Stage 65: South Australia

Cadney Homestead to  Coober Pedy
Date: 11-13-2014 Time: 05:53 h Σ Time: 366:24 h
Distance: 155 km Σ km: 7774 km Temp: 19/46°C
Up: 303 m Σ Up: 72427 m Down: 321 m
Calories: 2278 kcal Σ kcal: 166906 kcal  
Conditions: Wind was our friend today. Made it a partially easy but a real hot day.

After my sunset photo I joined a group of 5 riders for a peloton. The first 58 km were quickly mastered with a 10 minute rotation. Then I dropped out of the group to take a 1 in a million chance for a photo I was waiting for, since we were riding the outback. A lizard was sunbathing on the hot tar, when suddenly disturbed by our approaching bicycles. Luckily it only escaped to the the shoulder of the road, where it was perfectly hiding camouflaged between the rocks.  I got off my bike, camera ready, assuming it would run away from me. However it was quite the opposite. The lizard kept posing for me without fear. I really had to ‘touch’ it to make it move and take a video. I spent quite some time with it, and lost contact to any group for the whole day, which meant another 100 km of solo riding. Coober Pedy is the ‘capital’ of the Opal miners. The whole area seems to be turned from bottom to top. The dugout rocks pile up like huge termite mounts, but not as beautiful. We changed camp sites in Coober Pedy, away from the underground camp, closer to town. I rented a 4×4 with Michael Coo to drive to the Painter Desert for the sunrise. This means another 3:30am wakeup on a rest day. And it was said, their might be rain tonight making the drive on the 100km dirt road to the Painted Desert a real fun ride.