This comprehensive guide begins at Alfava Metraxis and ends at Doctor Who Magazine wins the ACE Press Award 0 Following its record breaking ABC figure earlier this year, Doctor Who Magazine had cause for further celebration at the 2014 ACE Press Awards held https://www.levitradosageus24.com/ viagra bedeutung online apotheke at the Museum of London. This may take a second or two.
The Saddle Saga: Road Kill on the Remote Australian PlainsDecember 5, 2012
Australia was supposed to be sunny and warm, by British standards. It was surprising, then, when on our first day’s ride from Perth we encountered torrential rain, fierce winds and hail.
Our journey east followed the Golden Pipeline that carried water from Perth to the gold fields of Coolgardie. From there we turned south to Norseman, the last town for 700km and the start of the Eyre Highway, named after Edward John Eyre who crossed the plain in 1840. Eyre described the Nullarbor as, “a hideous anomaly, a blot on the face of nature. The sort of place one gets into in bad dreams”. Something to look forward to then.
We were certainly dreaming of cooler temperatures as the mercury rose to 37 degrees Celsius through the Nullarbor. At those temperatures water became a top priority but was hard to come by. With a few roadhouses spaced up to 200km apart we had to make sure we were well supplied.
Often roadhouse staff would not allow us fresh water from their taps and tried to charge $7 (AUS $) for one 1.5 litre bottle of mineral water. We were drinking about 6 litres per day each and spending $28 per day was unfeasible. Instead we had to fill our bottles from the saline bore water from toilet sinks.
The scenery of homesteads and forests of gum and eucalyptus petered out the further we travelled into the red centre. From Norseman, the ochre earth contrasted with the bright blue sky and the bone white trunks of the trees.
The best views were saved for the night time when stars shined so vividly over our camp fire. We were educated about the Southern Cross and shown the spiral arm of the Milky Way by Christian ministers at the Koomara Retreat who let us stay the night and cooked us an amazing roast supper.
At the retreat we saw an emu running wild, sadly one of only a few we saw alive. The highway was a graveyard of native animals too slow to evade the rampaging road trains carrying freight between west and east. There were hundreds of kangaroo and wallaby corpses littering the hard shoulder. The smell of putrid flesh could sometimes be overwhelming.
We too were nervous of becoming fodder for the road trains, large trucks towing two or more trailers, or huge pieces of mining equipment, even yachts, that took up both lanes of the road. The danger being that we could be caught in their wake and be sucked under their wheels.
We were always aware of the threat of the traffic and made efforts to get off the road when we heard the rumbling of a truck behind us.
Another danger we were warned about was the poisonous snakes that make this inhospitable landscape their home. We saw a death adder and several brown snakes crossing the road only feet from us. The brown snake is the most lethal snake in Australia and kills more people than any of the others. We gave them all a wide berth.
The town of Ceduna marked the end of the Eyre Highway for us. From there we crossed the Eyre and Yorke Peninsulas. The route took us through rolling green landscapes that reminded me of England.
Further reminders of home occurred while catching the ferry between the two peninsulas when we bumped into my parents. My dad had seen me in Perth but mum hadn’t seen me in 13 months. It was quite an emotional reunion.
We reached Adelaide a day later. My parents followed us at a discreet distance whilst pretending not to. We did manage to shake our tail along the winding roads of the Adelaide hills to Stirling. It was a stunning ride through steep valleys covered in eucalyptus trees home to the odd koala.
After covering 2000km in 24 days we felt a rest was due and stayed at a friend’s parent’s home before enjoying a short ride down the hills to Murray Bridge and to the friends of my parents, the Mueller family. Their home overlooked the silt laden Murray River. It carries water all the way from Queensland and is the lifeblood of the farming community here.
The Muellers put on a sausage sizzle fundraiser for War Child that raised a whopping $600. They also took us around the Barossa valley and the places where their Lutheran German ancestors settled when they first arrived in South Australia in the 1830s.
We visited Kangaroo Island too. With its green hills and pastures, crisp blue waters, golden sand, remarkable rocks and a terrific amount of wildlife, including seals, the copperhead snake, spiky echidnas and penguins, it was one of the highlights of our Australian adventure.
Returning to Murray Bridge, rejuvenated by the break and Neville Mueller’s amazing steak sandwiches, we felt the lure of the road and the finishing line in Sydney, only another 2000km away.
- Matt McDonald and Andy Madeley are cycling from London to Sydney to raise money for War Child. Follow their route at www.thecyclediaries.com
- Order a postcard: www.thecyclediaries.com/postcard/
- Donate to War Child: www.justgiving.com/thecyclediaries