Adelaide to Kimba
We left Adelaide after we had a good rest at Robbo’s place and was ready to take on our next leg towards the Nullarbor. The week that followed was maybe the toughest part of our adventure as everything was thrown at us with extreme windy conditions, breakdowns that tested our nerves to a great extent and sheep on a truck that pissed on me as it went past!
Showering is not the first thing on the list in the mornings before you take on another long day of cycling. You quickly get use to it, but this week we were craving a shower more than ever as I was covered in grease because of all the breakdowns and the wind made sure that we were properly covered in dust.
The head winds came through as we continued our westerly cycle towards Perth. Some days we struggled to reach the speeds of just 10km/h as the wind tried pushing us back by using the loaded bicycle and ourselves as a sail and we used all the energy inside of us to keep peddling and slowly moving forward.
We certainly had interesting days and first one that comes to mind was the one that we only cycled 25 kilometers because of the winds that took everything apart next to the road, including the two of us!!!
We woke up with the idea that we will cycle about 60km past Port Wakefield, but came short when only making it 3km past the town. The day started off windy and we averaged about 10km/h the first 15 kilometers. As we got closer to Pt Wakefield the wind continued to pick up and by the time we reached the town we were cycling between 8 – 10 km/h. After taking a good rest behind the restaurant wall, eating dry 2 minute noodles and smelling the beef of the burgers they were making in the restaurant we took off to face the windy weather.
3km past Pt Wakefield we had to pull off as we were cycling about 6km/h and the cross winds keep blowing us into the road. This made it very dangerous and decided to wait until it calmed down, but that did not happen. The wind picked up and were gusting at 75km/h at 5pm. Branches broke off the trees, the grass were lying flat on the ground and we were struggling to stand up straight and keep all our stuff together. We spend the night over there and lost a day we have to makeup somewhere along the way towards Perth.
We were cycling north-west towards Port Augusta before we will start our Westerly cycle towards Kimba. Again we passed through some small towns like Redhill and Snowtown where we took a break, marked doen another Big Thing in Oz (The biBig blade) and made some food on the locally provided electric barbecue’s.
When we reached Port Augusta, we had to stock up on food because the towns are getting smaller and this means that the food gets so much more expensive. As we are on a very tight budget we made sure we had enough food for at least 6 – 7 days. At this point we were maybe the heaviest we’ve been loaded up as we repacked and stuffed our carrier bags with food and the rest of our stuff.
We had some amazing sunsets, nice camping spots and ever changing Australia environments but saying that we were badly hit with many breakdowns since Adelaide. Between Adelaide and Pt Augusta we had a few punctures and more spokes broke but the real frustration began as we were heading from Pt Augusta to Kimba.
We said goodbye to Pt Augusta and had about two more hours of daylight left to cycle and hopefully get a nice camping spot for the night. The terrain was rugged, dry, bushy with rocks everywhere so we pushed on and finally at about 90km we got to a rest stop…. But this was a rest stop that was totally different that any of the other ones we had encountered until this point. As we approached the rest stop we noticed something we have not seen since we started our adventure… There was a sign that said… “Free coffee” and a cup of coffee anywhere is a huge luxury for the two of us. When we stopped we met the interesting three guys… Harry, Bushy and Slim….
They were sitting on one of the permanent build benches and on the table were two bottles of whiskey, bottle of wine, coke, milk and water. As we approached them you could see they had a few drinks as they greeted us with big happy smiles. They offered us some coffee and also showed us to a table with water, ice and some concentrated orange juice!! I mixed mine extra strong as I needed the sugar in my body. After I downed almost all of the juice Harry handed us the medium warm coffee in white polystyrene cups. It went down quickly and we talked to the guys about the area and what they think we might encountered the next few days. They said we had to join them again in the morning to have another cup before setting off.
The next morning started perfectly as there was no wind, dry tents and we had a nice cup of coffee!! This was the perfect way to start the day and was ready to take on another long day…. but it played out totally different than we expected it would.
We stopped the first time on 11.80km and from there everything just went bare shaped. My breakdowns included:
– 2 broken spokes
– chain repairs before it snapped
– peddle started to get loose
– bottom bracket seal started to fall to pieces
– chain finally broke
We arrived in Iron knob 13:00 and did 45km to that point. I wanted to buy some beer but the hotel was not open yet. So now the two cold beers should just wait until we reach Kimba. We found a mechanic to help with the bold for my peddles but he could not help us more than what we have done ourselves.
We went to the park where we made some noodles and also pasta for dinner later. I repaired my chain and refilled the water bottles. At 16:00 we headed out for the final stretch of the day towards the rest stop. We were going very slow as I had to stop three more times to make a plan with the bolt holding my peddles together.
As I woke up the next morning, I got ready for the last day to Kimba. I prepared myself for a long difficult cycle because of the problems I had with the bottom bracket. The wind was against us and was blowing north to north-west at about 35 km/h.. We reached Kimba earlier than expected but I stopped 17 times to tighten the bold on my bottom bracket!!! 17 times!!!
After a loonnnggggg day in windy-, hot conditions and after all the stops we FINALLY
got the chance to reward ourselves with a cold beer!! Beer in Oz is very expensive and it was difficult not to down the ICE COLD BEER!!
We made it halfway!! Strange feeling to actually sit here and and look at the speedometer that is saying…. 2100km!!!
Now we need to fix the bottom bracket and then take on the rest of Oz… The part we’ve been waiting on for a long time… THE NULLARBOR!!