Cycling the Nullarbor, Australia Part II
Bucketlist… bucketlist… If you don’t have one, I will encourage you to create one for yourself!! Writing things down and to look at them once in a while definitely have an impact on decisions you will make and keep doing things you really want to do and keep enjoying life. If you have not climbed Table Mountain, surfed, Bungy Jumped or just small things that you’ve wanted to do for a long while, anything can be written onto your own bucketlist! You never know when you are at some random place where you will be able to do something crazy, something that will raise your heartbeat a little higher than normal!
DOING SOMETHING YOU HAVE NOT DONE BEFORE IS ATTICTIVE AND THE MORE YOU DO THE MORE YOU WANT!!!
I believe people don’t do bucketlists because they believe they wont be able to do it and don’t want any disappointments if they don’t do them… Well will I ever go to space??? Well very unlikely, but you never know! Will I ever drink a beer on the white beaches of Utila (Honduras) watching sunset and scuba diving during the day?? You never know! But since I’ve been writing it down I started to do more… Big things like this adventure, backpacking on my own for three months and smaller things like learning to surf, take one Sunday a month and go walking different paths or grabbing a Sup (Standing paddling board) and go out for a paddle on a beautiful Saturday morning overlooking Table Mountain!
When I finally reach Norseman, I would have ticked off three more things on my list! When was the last time you have done something crazy??
Soooo here we go!!! Second part of the beautiful Nullarbor!!!
PART 1 : Ceduna to Eucla (491km – 5 Cycling Days)
1. Ceduna to Penong (73km)
2. Penong to Nundroo (79km)
3. Nundroo to Yalata (55km)
4. Yalata to Nullarbor Roadhouse (93km)
5. Nullarbor Roadhouse to Border Village (192km)
6. Border Village to Eucla (13km)
PART 2 : Eucla to Norseman (644km – 5 Cycling Days)
7. Border Village / Eucla to Madura (115km)
Finally entering Western Australia and after visiting the small museum we were ready for the next leg of the Nullarbor!
The cycle between Eucla and Madura was definitely one of my favorite stretches to date! Lovely weather… what actually means no wind and temperatures that reached about 40 degrees. If you have water the hot temps are ok and is manageable.
The morning started off amazing with one of the most amazing and beautiful sunrises I’ve seen in my life.
The alarm went off and I struggled to get to the snooze button in the dark as I listened at the wind blowing through the top of the trees that is surrounding the tents. We set off at dusk (like every morning) and as we rode along the straight, never ending road we spot a few kangaroos do their final morning runs before they crawl into bed and we work hard to reach our next destination in the Nullarbor.
It was about 70% cloudy and as the sun decided to treat us with his presence and all the clouds started to light up with a dark orange color. This was spectacular and became even more incredible as the whole sky started to light up in orange.
The spectacular sunrise, kangaroos hopping in the distance and the tail wind all started to slowly fade away as I once again broke a spoke just before Madura. 25km into the day we stopped for over an hour in Madura where I had to repair another spoke, refill water bottles and get back on the road.
8. Madura to Cocklebiddy (91km)
Just outside Madura, the Madura pass started and when we reached the top the direction of the wind slowly started to change. Ken the Japanese guy was right when he said the direction would change after Madura…
So our ride continued in the strong headwinds and the day quickly got alot tougher than we thought it would be. We had another setback as Ulrich had another puncture. (I break spokes and Ulrich have the puncture problem)
We struggled to get to the 50km mark where we had to take a break and get out of the heat. At this point the sun was blasting and burning the living hell out of us! My temp gauge said it was 44′ at that time when we pulled over into a rest area. We found the most dense trees so that we could get the most shade as possible. We fell asleep on the poncho as the wind burned your skin as it blast over you.
We woke up when we heard a voice saying, “do you want water”, and we jumped up like we had a good nights rest. We went into their campervan where we met Mark and Heather. Such a nice couple and we started to have great talks as we joined them in their campervan. Heather filled our bottles with ice cold water (at that point I started to think back on when was the last time I had something to drink that actually cold). It definitely beat our 30degree water that’s been cooking on the bicycles as we cycled. They also offered us some food and they were so generous when they gave us two packets of noodles, four cans of beans and two packets of cookies!!
This happed out of the blue and it could not have come at a better time. Our food supply is running low and then we will need to pay premium Nullarbor prices to get some food in our stomachs.
Heather toped up three more glasses of water for each and when we finished we thanked them and they were on their way again. Sometimes you just need something like this to remind you that there are some great people out there and this will definitely help so much boosting our morale.
When they turned onto the tar road we munched one packet of the cookies and drank the much-needed water to get hydrated. At that point we were ready to take on our remaining 23km that is our goal for the day!!
Cycling between 7 and 10km/h is not fun and hard work on the loaded bicycle. There is a constant battle to keep focused until you finally reach the goal.
The whole day we were craving something sweet as our bodies were screaming for some sugar. After we pitched our tents a guy came from his caravan and handed us a chocolate!!! I think my eyes almost fell on the ground! I could not believe it as we were so desperately needed it. Ken is originally from NZ and has been staying in Oz for over 16 years. Ken left and we munched the whole chocolate in one go!!
I was very exited when I went to bed, as we were will hit the longest straight road in Australia and mark off one more thing off my bucket list!
9. Cocklebiddy to Caiguna (65km)
Mmmmm, what to say about this little stretch…. Can’t remember what happened…. Was getting nervous for my interesting cycle when I enter the longest straight road.
10. Caiguna to Balladonia (154km)
We arrived in Caiguna and had to buy new bread as the previous one that started to mold but in our stomachs. Nothing goes to waste on the Nullarbor… when you are hungry not much food will be discarded. The bread was $5,50 per bread! We had to buy four and hopefully we will make it to Norseman where we can buy cheaper food at the Supermarket. As we left Caiguna we saw our first snake… was quite big, at about 2meters. Think it was a Brown Snake, one of the oat poisonous snakes in the world!
Even before the whole adventure I had this idea in my head on a photo I wanted to take… and when we planned the Australian leg I knew straight away that this was the place to finally take this photo and mark of another thing that’s been brewing on my bucketlist!
After being a bit mad, crazy or whatever you want to call it we cycled out another 6km away from Caiguna where we will set up camp next to the blowholes.
At a few places in the Nullarbor you can get these blowholes and they differ in size. There are caves of kilometers long, where the caves are deeper and where there is lakes spreading under the surface!! I’ve heard of these caves while I was in Halong Bay in Vietnam and the diving they do in these caves underneath the surface of the earth! This is one of the main reasons why I want to come back to Oz when I have the specific diving licenses to dive these caves!
On the straight we met Melwyn and Maurine atone of the rest stops were we camped one night. They gave us tea, beans with potato and before they left they gave us some beans we can take with ☺ This showed again how people is willing to help along the way! This helped so much to get us through the Nullarbor without buying more than the bread.
The next day we cycled 126km and was yet again one of my favorite cycling days to this point! Beautiful warm day, not much traffic, long flat roads and cloud formations that’s out of these world!
Reaching Balladonia I was actually sad, because I really enjoy the last few days, especially on the longest straight road. I also realized that we are almost at Norseman and then we are done with the Nullarbor.
We reached Belladonia and could not believed when we saw the caravan of Melvin and Maurine!! After two days we caught up with them and was great tosee them again. Before they headed off they gave us two more cans of beans☺
11. Balladonia to Norseman (219km)
The final 219km was though as it included winds, hills and a day we cycled 138km trying to get to a rest stop that was not where it was supposed to be.
The final day to Norseman was a 104km cycle with a few winds and temperature that drained all the water we drained out of our bodies!
It was a strange feeling when we cycled into Norseman but such a great feeling to know we made it through the Nullarbor with our bicycles through all the weather conditions.
We could not believe our eyes when we saw Melvyn and Maurine in their Ford as we took the turnoff into Norseman! We caught up with them for the second time! They offered to pay for our accommodation at the caravan park, which we accepted. It helped more than they will ever know and we now had a chance to charge all our electronics before Ulrich and I goes our separate ways for two weeks.
The Nullarbor was by far the best part of the adventure and one of my highlights in my life! I knew traveling through it will be amazing, but in the end it was much better than I expected! Meeting great people, seeing the wildlife, feel the weather and most importantly seeing this amazing part of the world!
Mmmmm….. ok… now for this one on my bucketlist ☺ Will be interesting …..