10 Sept – 16 Sept Wagga to Euston, Australia
Its been a very though few days but as we cycled from Wagga to Euston as the scenery and small towns impressed even more and it just got greener and many great sunsets and sunrises. I loved the small, beautiful and old towns we are traveling through.
As we entered our second week Im slowly starting to get more organized in terms of where to put things in all the bags. Shifting things in the bags has been done a few time and will probably be shifted many times more in the future. One thing I knew beforehand was that the bags need to be organized and tidy as living out of bags can get frustrating.
The flies and wind was quite bad this between this two cities. Most of the days we had head winds and had to cycle hard to achieve our daily targets. The fully loaded bicycles makes it very hard when the winds blows and it feels it 10 times more than on a normal bicycle. Our average speed goes down dramatically and we spend an hour or two extra on the bicycles if we get the head winds.
As our cycle continued in Australia the flies got worse than I would ever expect it would be. Getting use to them is impossible and when 100 storm you as when you stop to take a rest, its not so cool. Everyday I kept thinking and hoping that the flies don’t get worse, but Im going to stop hoping. When the sun comes out and the temperature start to rise, so does the flies and they come in masses I have not experienced before. In the beginning the flies did not bother us when cycling but changed this week as they are on and around you all the time! The most irritating thing about the flies are that they crawl into the worse possible places like your ears, nose and eyes. Imagine cycling and the flies climb in between your sunglasses and eyes. Very very very frustrating!
This week has been a tough one as we had to endure many kinds of totally crap weather. We got our fare share of head-winds, cold temperatures, wet mornings and then the rain got to us as we did not pack the warmest clothes for Oz. Pushing on to get through this week did us mentally good as we went through a few extremes conditions. Trying to stay warm or get cover when we had break was a mission.
Ulrich continued to struggle with his knees and we tried to take off his peddles that he can start to cycle with his flip flops. We are considering all the things that might be a problem and we think the clips might be the reason. The clips were so tight that we broke two tools as we tried to loosen them. We now have to wait to get to Adelaide to use proper tools and take them off.
Into the second week and we really start to feel the impact on our bodies… Calves, hamstrings, upper legs, wrists, back, ass and arms. The cycles got tougher as we tried to push through the pain barrier to achieve each days cycle goals. We knew the first month or two will be the toughest in regards to getting our fitness up to scratch and get use to the 45kg average we carry with us in the bicycles.
We cycled through Narrandera on Ula’s birthday and we had a few B-Day goodies to eat for lunch and the rest of the day. As we cycled out of Nerrandera we took a photo with the Kuala, thinking that we would not get the chance to see one in real life. 100m past the kuala sign we noticed a big object in the trees… and guess what… a kuala!!! This was maybe one of our highlights on the adventure so far as a few people said we would be lucky to see one as we cycle.
We have seen so many things next to the road and when we cycled out of Nerrandera we picked up a cellphone that was still working. When we took a break at one of the rest stops we called a few numbers on the cellphone and finally found the owner. They picked it up and hopefully they appreciate it more that they showed us they do.
My first real personal mental struggle came on the day we completed our first 100km. The rain started early in the day but was drizzling most of the times. The max temperature during this day was 12degrees celsius and at some point the rain started to come down hard! We have a K-Way waterproof jacket which helped that the water don’t get through but underneath that I was freezing my ass off! At some point I pulled over, took out my Poncho and both me and Ulrich was sitting under it covering us from the rain, wind and cold temperatures. It took a bit of time to build up courage and finally get back up to push on to complete the cycling day. As we stopped at our camping spot at one of the rest stops I took off all my clothes without even looking if someone os driving into the rest stop to rest. We were both freezing our asses off and I needed to get dry and warm as soon as possible. In less than 10 minutes I was dressed with all my warm clothing I have with me for the Australia cycle leg.
The hard cycle to get to Balranald to watch the rugby turned out to be a huge disappointment as for the first time I got to a town that does not have a bar… and this also meant there was no place with fox tv so we had no chance to watch the rugby and we were looking forward to the game for over a week! Balranald was the first town I personally did not like at all. It was not just the whole rugby scenario, but the people was not friendly at all. So if you go through Oz, give this town a skip.
This is by far the longest time I went without showering. As we got into yet another small town, Euston, we asked if we could charge some of our equipment at the caravan park as we ran out of battery power on most of our stuff. We have a solar panel but we had rainy weather and could not charge things as we cycled. As the charging session got under way I went to the public toilettes to properly wash my face and my beard.
Its been a hard week mentally and physically but the scenery and towns we go through make up for all the though time we endured. We are so much closer to Adelaide and making good progress on our first continent!
Atleast we got the opportunity to see more beautiful sunsets, sun rises and and other scenery along the way as we travel through Australia!