Posts Tagged ‘Ouyen’


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


Cycling along the long road through the endless mallee, I realised I needed an early night, and I needed a bit of company. Cycling was long and straight and uneventful, and then eating to replenish the calories. I swung in to the caravan park in Ouyen, ate a kilogram of yoghurt, a mountain of spaghetti, spoke to some girls walking 500km for charity, and spoke in hindi/urdu to two Pakistani guys.

The mallee

The mallee

Clement and I raided the quarantine bin in Marla when we entered South Australia – a right feast of fresh fruit and vegetables. I had hopes of doing the same thing at the Victorian border. No. This border crossing is more serious. Video cameras and people waving cars in for checking. No raiding of quarantine bins here.

Victoria

Victoria

The dark clouds loomed in the afternoon, dumping rain on the horizon to the side, and I was unsure if I was going to get wet. The need for company, the need for shelter and the need for a shower drove me to the campsite, and so here I am.

Looming clouds

Looming clouds

Ouyen

Ouyen