Tuesday 5th April, 2022
Moving 6:16 Elapsed 8:50 Avg 24.3km/h Max 48.3km/h
Another latish start, rolling out at 10 past 9. We planned just to go to Penong today – only 80km – and I had rung and booked a cabin. After the last few big days, taking two ‘hops’ to get to Ceduna sounded pretty good to me.
Between Nundroo and Ceduna we mostly had a metre shoulder, and we were getting along at a pretty good pace, with a reprieve from the easterly headwinds. And it was a lot cooler. Most of the passing trucks were great, and would often have a chat on the radio. One trucking company, with distinctive yellow and red colours, stood out as exemplary drivers. Friendly on the radio. Giving us heaps of room when passing. One who came up behind us on a hill even had the patience to slow right down and wait for us to hit the crest (where we could give the safe-to-pass call or not.) After the second or third one, I actually asked which company they were with. Kalari Transport, based in Ceduna.
Me: “You guys are awesome, we’ll give the boss a call to let them know how great you guys are!” Truckie: “Let them know, I’m truck number 5!”
Me, laughing: “It’s not just you who’s special!”
We even had a few truckies thank us for having a radio, which kinda made up for the trash-talking we overheard on a few other occasions. Other vehicles varied. The whole way across the Nullarbor we would get many waves from both passing and oncoming vehicles. Not far out of Penong, though, a half-empty coke can was thrown at us from an oncoming dual-cab ute, missing us by barely a metre. That’s an oncoming vehicle. WTF?!
Then there were the things that keep you amused and are worth a stop for a photo. Even funnier is later checking out Streetview to find that ol’ mate here changes his attire!
At our second rest stop, about 15km before Penong, Marc had mobile phone coverage and was checking windy.com for the wind forecast. Damn. Tomorrow would be a strong south-easterly headwind again. “I think we should push on to Ceduna today.”, he said.
Logically I knew it made sense, and I also should have been more than aware that we needed to be ‘flexible’ with how we handled this wind. Psychologically I was utterly shattered. I tried to process it as I continued to count down the kilometres into Penong, and through eating lunch at the cafe/general store there. ‘Tried to process it’ meaning ‘trying not to cry and looking like I was having a big sulk’. Marc may have been just a BIT frustrated with me. Yeah, it was a sulk, but it was just the way I had to process the voices in my head debating their way through denial to acceptance. I called up to cancel the cabin booking, and we booked a motel in Ceduna. After nearly an hour and a half, we pushed on. Almost the same distance again.
In a rest area we met a westbound rider, Doug, and we had a bit of a chat. No idea what he actually looked like!
We were back amongst farmed land now. I cynically noted that any of the scenery now appearing to have ‘null arbor’ was now due to extensive land clearing on farmland!
We hit the fruit fly quarantine station on the outskirts of Ceduna and rolled to a stop. Ol mate looked at the bike, commented something along the lines that clearly we couldn’t be carrying any fruit on that thing, and he waved us through. Don’t really know why it’s situated, eastbound, nearly 500km into South Australia from the WA border…
Despite the better pace than previous days, we didn’t roll into the motel in Ceduna till almost 6pm. (A late start, and an hour and a half in Penong will do that.) Woo-hoo, though! We were back in civilisation, baby, with motel luxuries of shampoo AND bodywash provided! We decided that tomorrow would be a rest day, and we booked in for a second night. Even though the forecast was still headwinds for the day after tomorrow, at least we’d face it after resting legs and slightly chafed butts.
For dinner, we opted for the 1.5k walk down to the hotel/bistro, and a good choice that was too. If you’re ever in Ceduna, I can highly recommend the local catch – King George Whiting.
One thought on “IP Day 16 – Nundroo to Ceduna”
2 days of armchair riding at once! Excellent! Sounds like it’s getting just a little easier. Can’t wait for the next instalment. Good stuff guys.
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