Posts Tagged ‘Kyalite’


It’s warming up – the weather and the people. Meetings with farmers – at the start and the end of the day, and a meeting with a Belgian backpacker couple. Drinks were shouted by everyone. The land is getting flatter, and bleeker. Today was a cycle through a plain with just dry grass as far as the eye can see. Beautiful.

Endless plains

Endless plains

I was escorted with kangaroos this morning, hopping along next to the road, travelling at my speed through the grass. Lots of rotting carcasses were on the road – you can smell them from a long way off – in different states of decay. First the scenery was similar to yesterday – mallee scrub and the odd wheat field. Also, there were some lakes with lots of birds. After lunch at Moulamein the trees stopped, and it was a ride under the stark sun on and on across the plains of dry grass.

Moulamein pub

Moulamein pub

Ready to leave into the heat after lunch, a Belgian couple invited me for a drink. Then, 16km from Deniliquin, at the first sign of life since lunch, I was called in for more drinks by a lovely group of farm workers, and then invited by the new owners for a lovely shower and a free camping spot. So, here I find myself, camping on the lawn behind the Pretty Pine Hotel.

Belgian couple

Belgian couple

Friend at Pretty Pine

Friend at Pretty Pine


The days are heating up, and my initial burst of speed has returned to a sustainable rhythm. Today the earphones were off, and I drank in the landscape – a very familiar one. I am now in New South Wales, and all set to veer off the main drag to Sydney.

Wheat

Wheat

This countryside is so different to lush Europe where I’ve spent the last half of my life. The sun, blasting from above, creates this parched landscape. You can feel your skin shrivelling up and burning when the sun is overhead like nowhere else I have cycled. Only the spindly mallee trees with their tufts of grey-green on their tops provide a bit of shade. Behind the trees that line the road where before was more mallee scrub, there are vast fields of wheat. I remember that this is the fertile corner of the nation, and there is water – rain water, artesian, and from the Murray River.

Wheat

Wheat

Mallee

Mallee

This dry, crusty landscape feels so familiar, and makes me smile inside. This is the landscape that I grew up in, and it feels like home. The flocks of pink and grey breasted galahs that launch from the road as I pass, and that call from overhead. The magpies that swoop, and the crows that screech.

In the mid-afternoon I crashed – just over the New South Wales border. Like in Uzbekistan, I decided it was time for an afternoon snooze to pass the hottest part of the day.

Afternoon snooze

Afternoon snooze

New South Wales

New South Wales

I decided to stop early and relax, so I find myself in the last piece of civilisation for 50km – in the little pub at Kyalite.

Kyalite

Kyalite