Today, everyone received a certificate to document the successful traversal of the Outback via the Stuart Highway on a bicycle. Starting in Darwin in the Northern Territory all the way south to Port Augusta, a 2786km journey in 22 cycling days through the dry and hot Australian outback.
Tailwind for the first 110 km. The last 20 km to Riverton against the wind. Riding through grain fields and vineyards.
Leaving from Jamestown was easy: Setting the bicycle into the wind, and off you go. The tailwind blew us almost directly towards Adelaide. If it wasn’t for some photo stops, lunch at 72km would have been reached by not later than 9am. The first 60 km were on tar, the last 60km on compact and fine gravel; after lunch it was a nice bicycle trail on an old railway track, away from traffic. It was as if the kangaroos wanted to say goodbye to us. In the morning, all of a sudden, they showed up around every corner in the corn fields, under trees, in the grass and on the rocks. No time to store the camera away. This changed once I entered the wine area. At least I haven’t seen any in there. Seems they don’t like grapes or carry wine bottles in their pouches. After lunch we continued on a nice trail, the ‘Riesling Trail. It is built on an old railway track that cuts through narrow valleys seamed by pine trees covering the trail into cooling shade. It almost felt as if riding thru parts of the Black Forest, so dense and dark where the rows of trees. Several vineyards have wineries and offer wine tasting. However, my French friends stood me up with a meeting at a vineyard for a joined wine tasting, thus I continued to see, if I can find them somewhere else. The nice tailwind was over after turning onto the second trail, the ‘Rattle Trail’ in Auburn. Only about 20km to go to Riverton. I was arriving in camp very early; somehow unusual for me. Time to stroll through the sleeping town. Because it is a Saturday, Riverton was almost shut down completely. Only a deli and a bottle store was opened, where I could buy some pops and ice cream. Thereafter enough time to relax and prepare for the final riding day, which will lead us to Adelaide tomorrow, with another rest day, that closes the Opal, Missiles and Vino section. Some riders will leave us here, 7 others will join us.