Great Memories of South Australia – Cycling Across Australia 2013-2014
Wow, and we thought culling the pictures from Western Australia was difficult, South Australia proved even harder!!! SA definitely gave us some of our most treasured memories of the whole trip and some of the big milestones. Perhaps it struck a cord because we were getting closer to family, or maybe it’s because we are both born and bred in this part of the country.
Number 1. At this stage we had just crossed our first state border and we were also well over half way across The Nullarbor. Signs like this were driving home just how far we had to go. We were on one of the longest stretches between road houses and this was going to be our longest ride yet at 170km.
Number 2. We had been really surprised at the amount of vegetation on “The Nullarbor” thus far. In reality we were on the southern tip of the actual Plain. This part of the ride had us experiencing the real deal. Not much poking out above the horizon on The Treeless Plain.
Number 3. Ceduna is the Official end of The Nullarbor crossing. It had been a huge challenge and at that very moment we thought we were legends in our own lunch boxes! It was our first big challenge and had been a great personal achievement. There was nothing that was going to wipe the smile off our faces for days and days.
Number 4: We soon found that riding through the rest of South Australia was a day to day challenge. Long distances between towns, a lot of windy weather and plenty of trying hills thrown in and we were having to push hard. At least the traffic was pretty sparse, although it was on this stretch we had our scariest encounter with a fatigued driver when he nearly wiped us both out.
Number 5. We got to have our first contact with family in Pt Augusta. We were spoilt rotten and ate and drank toooo much. You can’t see how shabby I was feeling on that morning, knowing full well we had our first big hill challenge coming up, climbing up Horrock’s Pass.
Number 6. Making a 420km detour up to surprise our mums in Broken Hill meant we had an opportunity to enjoy the hospitality of many of the country pubs along the way. There’s plenty of places to bush camp BUT water and supplies are quite a distance apart and the ground is dry, hard and dusty. In our opinion, the local pub is the hub of any community in country Australia and a great way to meet the locals, so we took the opportunity to stay in quite a few.
Number 7. The Broken Hill road is every bit as barren as The Nullarbor. It seemed we had head winds the whole way and the treeless expanse provided absolutely NO cover. We’d driven this road dozens of times over a lifetime but driving in a car and riding a bicycle along it are two completely different things!
Number 8. After surprising our mums (see the NSW entry) we hitched a ride back to Peterborough and headed towards wine country. The ride between Peterborough and Jamestown was one of the best days of the whole trip. We no longer felt any time pressures and the weather had turned awesome. It seemed slightly downhill all the way but that could’ve been the favourable winds. Sparse traffic meant we could sit back and enjoy our surrounds.
Number 9. Our first rail trail since the rained out mud slide between Cowaramup and Margaret River. The Reisling Trail between Clare and Auburn was on a firm gravel track and slightly down hill. There were plenty of opportuities to visit the surrounding wineries and some awesome views to soak in.
Number 10: Gotta love wine country. The Clare and Barossa Valleys are a delight to visit and take a bike tour around. Lots of local delicacies to partake of, great accommodation options and fairly quiet roads for cycling.
Number 11 It’s lovely to see that many of the historical buildings have been preserved in this part of the world, providing for great photo opportunities.
Number 12. Adelaide provided another opportunity to catch up with family. Why is it we always seem to eat and drink too much and then have to hit the hills on the first day back. We were heading for the Adelaide Hills this morning. Around 15km of up just to cross over and then another 60 or so kms of hills before we’d get to our destination for the day.
Number 13. Strathalbyn is an idyllic country town with a beautiful central park, historical buildings and plenty of great eats and local delicacies. We managed to catch up with a mate from Africa and have a close encounter with one of the more slippery local inhabitants.
Number 14. Our first Ferry crossing. It was quite exciting putting the bikes on board and saved us time and kms heading south into the Coorong. Little did we know at this stage that ferries would play a very important part of our trip when we got further north.
Number 15: The Coorong is a unique environment. Extremely windy, sometimes stinky and a loooong way between towns, it’s a great opportunity to get away from it all and enjoy the wildlife, especially the birds.
Number 16: Refueling in The Coorong. The winds had made progress difficult and rain kept things interesting. We’d had a good rest at Salty Creek, fed ourselves up and were ready to head out to Kingston. A gas truck driver offered to put the bikes on the back but we politely declined. He looked at us like we were mad!
Number 17: Who was the dude that went around Australia offering to build “BIG” things. He obviously did a roaring trade. The Big Crayfish in Kingston SE is just one of dozens of whacky edifices you’ll run into on a trip around OZ. Looks like the aliens have invaded!
Number 18: The pristine white sand at Beachport, a lovely, unspoilt little hamlet on the south east coast. The beaches in the South East of SA are some of the most pristine you’ll ever find. Still a bit cold for our liking, we didn’t get in. We were sorely tempted to fish, but settled instead for stuffing ourselves with the amazing seafood in these parts.
Number 19: The Blue Lake in Mt Gambier is one of the sights to see in this part of theworld. Unfortunatley the colour didn’t stand out in this photo because of the weather. You’ll just have to trust us 🙂 Would we lie to you?
Number 20: Once again we were bowled over by the kindness of strangers. This was my second flat tyre in 2 days and the tyre was a complete write off. We were at a bit of a loss as I’d thrown my old tyre away and didn’t have a spare. Tony and Pam not only stopped to see if we were OK, but drove me back to retireve the old one and hung around to see if it would solve our problem. Thanks guys.
OK, Now the struggle to find the best of Victoria.With Tim having his camera back, that’s going to be quite a challenge..
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