Leaving Port Augusta

01-DSC_0439It was only a short visit to the beaches of Port Augusta in Southern Australia. Before we return to the coast again in 3 days time, to start into the Great Ocean Road section, we take a detour into the wine lands, giving us a chance for wine tasting and practice our climbing skills, that we didn’t need since we left from Indonesia. It was a real change, the first day riding outside the outback. First a climb over the Horrack’s pass into the Beautiful Valley. Some very small towns – every building is a kind of museum, corn fields, sheep, alpacas and some humans! However, it looks as if time stopped in the mid 19 century in these places, except for a well equipped bike shop in Melrose.

Below are some photos of todays ride into a different Australia, compared to the past 4 weeks cycling in the outback.

Watch for Cyclists

What a surprise. Now that the chances to see a kangaroo, emu or other wildlife are much lower than in the outback, the motorists are informed to look out for cyclists! Obviously a rare and dangerous species, too.

DSC_0458

DSC_0374I understand the meaning of the road sign above, as well as the reminder on the right, that there are kangaroos and other wildlife to expect to be on the road. However, what is a DIP?DSC_0446

Can it fly or swim? How big is it and what color does it have? Has it fur or hair? Is it endemic to Australia or can it be found in other countries, too? Has anyone seen a DIP on the ride today?

Stage 71: South Australia

Port Augusta to  Jamestown
Date: 11-21-2014 Time: 06:23 h Σ Time: 398:40 h
Distance: 130 km Σ km: 8461 km Temp: 14/35°C
Up: 982 m Σ Up: 74736 m Down: 539 m
Calories: 3045 kcal Σ kcal: 180064 kcal  
Conditions: Cool morning, hot afternoon. Into the Flinders Range, a short climb. First 28 km on a bumpy tar road.

The first day cycling outside the outback and without road trains. It was so different and for those, who did not cycle in Indonesia, a completely new experience. The first 28 km where on very bumpy gravel road; almost as if build by Indonesian prisoners. A constant head wind was accompanying us. The first 36km were also a constant climb from sea level to 480 m. First almost not noticeable, but the last 6km with grades up to 6%. Nothing compared to what we had in Indonesia, but a lot for what we had so far in Australia. You even saw fellow cyclists walking their bike up the hill. Huge trees were seaming the slopes of the mountain range. We ended up in a ‘Beautiful Valley’ in the Flinders Range. Fields of grain as far as the eye could reach. Large herds of sheep and even alpaca were farmed. The times where we had to carry extra water are over now. Coke stops should be available in shorter distances, as the density of settlements will increase. Wilmington after 40km and Melrose after 64km were our first stops. These are really sleep old historical towns founded in the 1860 range. They still appear as if time stood still since then. Toys and puppet museums are main attractions, as well as old farming tools. Lunch was in Melrose, at a bike shop & coffee house. Yes, a real bike shop! Cycling is very popular in this area. There are even bike lanes and special bike tracks & trails. Since the outback wildlife will more and more disappear, road signs are now warning to watch for cyclists and less frequent to watch for kangaroos. After a cool start in the morning the temperature raised as usual. Unfortunately, I had two flats today, which slowed me down significantly. The first was 8 km from lunch and I could pump up the tire at the bike shop. The second was 30 km from camp and with my little pump I could only get 1 bar air into it instead of the usual 4 bar, making the final 34km a bit more difficult. It was still early in the afternoon and I finally arrived in camp at 3:30pm. First thing was fixing the punctured tubes to have spares for the next two days. X-fingers that I don’t run into more problems in the following two cycling days. I’d rather spend extra time with wine tasting in the vineyards that we pass, than fixing tires!

stage-71

Over the Edge

At lunch and coke stop in Melrose. The local bike shop welcomes Tour d’Afrique riders. What a change, the first day riding outside the outback. First climb over the Horrack’s pass into the Beautiful Valley. Small towns – every building is a kind of museum, corn fields and humans! However, it looks as if life stopped in the mid 19 century, except for the well equipped bike shop.

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