The first leg was a commute across to Adelaide. Not much to report, other than the rain . Something like 80 mls fell in 36 odd hrs. I was in the Coorong. Took shelter in Salt Creek for a short while, talking to the backpacker running the show about absolutely nothing. Next stop on was Meningie – 60km. I made the Meningie bakery which is set back from the road and did a quick turnaround. 3 pies, 2 apple buns and some litres of milk had me back on the road in 20 minutes, wanted to push on to Tailem Bend for the night a further 50km on and 114km from Adelaide. Was going to be a tough 50 with the wind and rain. Made it as far as the road sign on the outskirts of town before I retreated. It was black!! The sky looked angry and it was! The morning alarm rang it’s head off at the pleasant time of 4.30am. I had my sights set on Adelaide by nightfall. A gentle 165 km into a head wind accompanied by showers was planned. As my hand came crushing down on the phone, the wind and rain did also. I knew Adelaide was not going to be reached by nightfall. Some calculations had and my new target was Murry Bridge then an early morning ride into the big smoke, Saturday morning. With that enthusiasm was restored, nothing like a few more hours of extra sleep to help. That was the commute leg ticked off.
I cycled straight to the bicycle shop past the hotel where I would be staying. I was leaving my trusty side kick there for the weekend to have a new chain and cassette fitted. Monday morning the phone rang it was the bicycle shop! I knew before the lady spoke something wasn’t right. I took a deep breath filled my lungs and listened. In the commute across I had cracked my rear rim in not 1 but 10 spots. I will be staying in Adelaide a few more days than planned.
Now in Burra having a day to do laundry and take another breath. Legs are a bit tired. I am following the Mawson Trail. Once you leave Adelaide you have lovely bike paths for 20 km before the trail begins. Once again had rain and for the first morning I spent 2.5 hrs pushing up 20% grades covered in thick clay. I was planning on traveling 122km but managed 60km. Was wet and wild.
Now about 4 days behind I may skip the northern section and the Oodnadatta track and take the Stuart highway instead. About the same overall distance but will be able to travel twice as fast, talk and engage with the wonderful people I am meeting every day.