Posts Tagged ‘NSW’


Today I felt tired. Tired until the final sprint. I turned around and there it was – the thunderstorm from hell. And the tailwind to go with it. 60km in 2 hours to Cobar.

Thunderstorm

Thunderstorm


The wind was meant to be a tailwind, but it didn’t know what it wanted. The road undulated, climbing slowly towards Cobar. I didn’t have the energy to fight the wind, so I crawled along. I slept for half an hour at each of the rest stops.

The road to Cobar

The road to Cobar


Afternoon nap

Afternoon nap


The last rest stop was 62km from Cobar. I wanted to get a bit closer, and headed off around 5 to do a few kilometres before setting up camp.


Before long I turned around. Behind me was black. The friendly sky in front was not reflected behind. A big storm was rolling in. Suddenly the wind picked up. The air smelt of storm. The wind was 100% in the direction of Cobar. So I took it.

Travelling at 40kmh, I realised that  Cobar was reachable this evening –  and looking at the storm – I really should reach it.

For 2 hours I rode the wind. The undulations made no difference. The wind blew me up anything. I arrived in Cobar at 7. With all hotels booked, it’s airbnb for me.


‘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.

‘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

Day 8. 0km. Hillston

Posted: October 19, 2020 in Australia, Cycling, NSW
Tags: , , ,

Thunderstorms were predicted, and with dirt roads ahead, it was a day for a rest.

Looking out at the rain

Looking out at the rain

It was spent doing some shopping and asking at the pub where I can get water between here and Lake Mungo. A homestead, a water tank at a hall and a school are now dotted on my map. Thanks Christie and the guys at the pub for all the help!

Hillston

Hillston

Tomorrow into the outback! There may be a delay with some posts. There’s no internet in the outback. 🙂


The clouds have arrived and the wind direction has changed. All is building for thunderstorms tomorrow. With dirt roads and a lot of nothing ahead, tomorrow will be a rest day and a day of research.

The road to Hillston

The road to Hillston


When the wind is at your back, the road surface is good, and it is slightly downhill, the cycling is easy. I was in Hillston by lunch.

Blue tongued lizard

Blue tongued lizard


A trip to the pub tonight made me realise my trip to Lake Mungo will be more adventurous than I thought. Dirt roads and long stretches with nothing. I’ll be planning out all the water stops tomorrow. And the joker card is held by tomorrow’s thunderstorms. If any roads are closed, a new plan is called for.

Let’s see what tomorrow brings.


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