Posts Tagged ‘Aussievelo’


‘You look hot and thirsty. Would you like a cup of tea?’
The group of 4 from yesterday in Broken Hill passed me. A welcome break from the nose down and eat the kilometres.

Would you like a cup of tea?

Would you like a cup of tea?


The aim now is to get close enough to Sydney to have no worries getting there when my holiday is up.  For the next few days I’m going to eat the kilometres and try to camp near water. Today I had an ambitious goal of 200km to get to Wilcannia. I had a tailwind, it was flat and not too hot. Make hay while the sun shines.

The road to Wilcannia

The road to Wilcannia


The plastic bag on the ironing board, I cut the white powder with my pocket knife. I had bought too much of the stuff. Caring is sharing when it comes to milk powder.

Sharing the white powder

Sharing the white powder

I met the group of 4 at the Mundi Mundi lookout and spent the evening at dinner and then in our very kitsch hotel – the Palace Hotel of Priscilla Queen of the Desert fame. Only wanting 200g of milk powder, and only being able to buy a kilogram, I gave them the rest. It led to much amusement and a funny video.
Chris, Ben, Kamidy and Peter

Chris, Ben, Kamidy and Peter

The Palace Hotel

The Palace Hotel

The Palace Hotel

The Palace Hotel

The road to Silverton and Mundi Mundi lookout signifies the end of the outward bound part of the trip. It’s as far west as I’m going. From here on I’m east bound.Mundi Mundi is a lookout on the top of a hill looking out over endless plains to the west. Normally these plains are barren red. This time they were green – endless pastureland.
Mundi Mundi

Mundi Mundi

A stop at the famous Silverton hotel for lunch before a 27km slog into the wind that had blown me there that morning.

A nice creek bed for lunch. Out of the wind. I turned off the road and cycled 10 metres towards the creek into the soft clay before my wheels stopped moving. Pushing the bike didn’t work – my sandals just slid in the clay, collecting it on the way. Time for a declay.

Fix the mud

Returning to the bitumen pushing the bike was impossible. The bike had to be carried. Memories of the Oodnadatta Track in the rain. This clay is solid.

Oh, the mud

Oh, the mud


What I originally thought was going to be a massive tailwind turned out to be a massive sidewind – in the beginning with some side-rain. Nothing like some projectile throwing to release the frustration.

Projectile throwing into the wind


At the end of the day I climbed into some hills. Yes. Hills. I wasn’t expecting that. The scenery feels like the Flinders Ranges to me. Desolate landscape and some small hills. The town of Broken Hill has a South Australian feel to it too. It is nearer to Adelaide than to Sydney of course.

The hills near Broken Hill

The hills near Broken Hill




The sky was grey and the wind churned up waves that hit the shore of the beautiful lake. I was waiting for the storm to break, perched in a dead tree standing in the water. Lake Pamamaroo before the storm.

Lake Pamamaroo

Lake Pamamaroo


The storm felt imminent all day. Most dirt roads were already closed. A meander down the Darling River was thus cancelled. The road to Lake Pamamaroo is the last to close, apparently, so off I went, battling into the wind there (and blown all the way home).

The road to Lake Pamamaroo

The road to Lake Pamamaroo


I swam for over an hour in the refreshing waters, watching a pelican from my perch in a tree in the lake.

Lake Pamamaroo

Lake Pamamaroo


Lake Pamamaroo

Lake Pamamaroo


Lake Pamamaroo

I listened to the rain in my hotel room most of the afternoon. Tomorrow should be dryer and the wind should turn. My hope is to be blown to Broken Hill tomorrow.


‘Be off the dirt roads by Friday – the heavens are opening up!’ warned a lady yesterday who stopped to give me water.
‘What’s the road like to Menindie?’ I asked the barman in Pooncarie.
‘Rough as guts!’

The road to Menindie

The road to Menindie


It was 125km to Menindie, 100km of which was a dirt road. It was hot, there was a headwind and the road was bumpy and had soft sand and corrugations. And there were flies. I felt tired today and just wanted to get there.

The road to Menindie

The road to Menindie


The road passed close to the Darling River (Australia’s second largest river) several times. I had hoped for a swim, but it was hard to get to and not very inviting.

The Darling River

The Darling River


I’m having a day off tomorrow to watch the heavens open. 🙂


Early to rise and early to shine – to get to the visitor’s centre by 9:30 for the Great Wall of China tour. Today was a slog to get to Pooncarie, leaving Mungo at 1:30pm. I did it, as I am now sitting in Pooncarie.

Pooncarie

Pooncarie


The 70km tourist loop of Mungo – also recommended for cyclists – continued its corrugated way, throwing in short sand for good measure. It was very peaceful and beautiful, though, passing along it in the early morning light.

Morning corrugations

Morning corrugations


Morning corrugations

Morning corrugations


When I heard the Great Wall of China tour was actually at 11, I raced off to the Mungo Lodge to feed. I caught the tail-end of the breakfast buffet. In the half an hour I had, I consumed most of the calories I needed for the day. `The buffet and… a caramel milkshake.

Walking onto the sandhills that make up the ‘Great Wall of China’, under the guidance of a local aboriginal, you see a lot more. The dunes are alive with animal tracks – painted lizards, snakes, magpies, kangaroos, goats.

The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China


The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China


Leaving Mungo at the hottest part of the day, I made my way along 50km of bumpy, corrugated, sandy road. The start was fine, with a tailwind and better road surface. The last part was awful, and I was counting the kilometres to the main road.

The road to Pooncarie

The road to Pooncarie


When the road did come, it was heaven. Perfect bitumen, flat and a strong tailwind. I made it to Pooncarie in time for a big chicken schnitzel. 🙂

A beautiful cycle through a barren moon landscape. Malley scrub, massive flat saltpans, sand formations and corrugations. Oh, and a caramel milkshake.
On the way to Lake Mungo

On the way to Lake Mungo


The morning was still so time to take out the drone.

The view from above

The view from above


The World Heritage Area began with a climb over a little ridge to see a huge expanse of flatness with a dead straight white line bisecting it to the horizon.

The vast saltpans

The vast saltpans


On the horizon were blobs of shimmering white. They looked like wheat silos from a distance, but as I approached, I saw they were sandhills.

The sandhills before Lake Mungo

The sandhills before Lake Mungo


As I proceeded, I climbed lines of sandhills to descend to the next salt pan.

When I arrived at the main loop around Mungo, where all the tourists go, I hit the corrugations. Sometimes they were ok, and other times they pummeled me to a standstill. The road to the campsite was a bit bumpy in the evening light.

The road to Belah Campsite

The road to Belah Campsite


The east side of Lake Mungo is flanked by a range of sandhills. Blown there by the prevailing westerly wind, they form a range of odd sculptures.

Sand sculptures

Sand sculptures

Sand sculptures

Sand sculptures

Belah campsite is busy. Not the solitary experience I expected. Still, a nice bench to cook dinner on, and a chorus of mozzies and flies to keep me company.

The mornings are beautiful. Crisp air and beautiful light. As the afternoon ages, the flies pick up, and the bum gets sore. My water stop became an afternoon learning about the farm. Thanks Ryan for giving me a glimpse into the day in a life on the farm.

Taking the cattle off the truck

Taking the cattle off the truck


The track continued west with kangaroos and emus crossing.

The track westward

The track westward


The track westward

The track westward


Around 3 the flies picked up.
The flies picked up

The flies picked up


Carrots and sugar snaps, fresh from the ground. I hadn’t expected these. I was greeted my the friendly locals today with food, water, and a place to sleep for the night.


Laura and Michael

Laura and Michael


The road is now truly flat and the landscape arid. I love this kind of country. The red earth, normally bare, is covered in a blanket of grass.

The road to Mossgiel

The road to Mossgiel

The road to Mossgiel

The road to Mossgiel

The road to Mossgiel

The road to Mossgiel

The road to Mossgiel

The road to Mossgiel

The road to Mossgiel

The road to Mossgiel


There were lots of sleepy lizards on the road. I also saw a snake warming itself on the road. I startled it passing, as it dragged itself up into a vertical position.

Sleepy lizard

Sleepy lizard


Thanks to the Huntlys for letting me stay on their property. Lovely people.


These places are far apart. To cycle to a big town further than 65km, I had to do over 160, so I started at 4am. Speeding through the dark, the first shades of pink developed behind me.

Sunrise on the road

Sunrise on the road

Sunrise on the road

Sunrise on the road

It wasn’t hot, and there was a gentle tailwind pushing me to my second breakfast at Condobolin. A big breakfast and 2 cakes hit the spot.

The main road to Lake Cargelligo has no town in between, so I took a side road that followed the Lachlan River. That way I had some civilisation after 68km. Little did I know this involved 50km of dirt.

Some dirt

Some dirt

Some dirt

Some dirt

The back road

The back road


The bitumen resumed after Euabalong, and I even had a tailwind (rather than the normal headwind) for the last 10km.

I spent an hour relaxing on the lake shore.

Lake Cargelligo

Lake Cargelligo