Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Derby, Broome and Port Hedland.

After 7 days bumping on dirt roads I thought that 70 km asphalt  before Derby
would come as heavenly change. But it wasn't entirely so, there was nothing magical in this transition and I soon started missing the good (I mean bad) old red dirt. In Derby I made a quick raid of the local supermarket, washed the clothes and did an inspection of the bike. In chain stay I discovered something that might be a crack in the frame. It's still 3000 km till the finish of the trip so, if it really is a crack it will certainly show. Ride to Broome was just too easy with magical tailwind. There I again gorged myself with supermarket food (an item I particularly favored was Greek-style yogurt with blueberries), took a stroll on Cable beach and moved on. On day 15th I made a record breaking ride on the longest stretch without facilities - 286 km from Roebuch to Sandfire roadhouses. I started at 6:00, which wasn't particularly early but still bloody cold, so I didn't get into right pace until 7:00. From there on it was pedaling, pedaling, mostly with tailwind, until sunset when I reached 250 km mark and an further hour on night ride lightning my way with a small torch and being careful not to run into a dead kangaroo or a cattle grid.
The following days were marked by tailwind almost all the way to Port Hedland. The scenery changed too, instead of the bushes by the side of the road which obstructed the view, there was now dry grass stretching to the horizon. The flies became more active. On one ocasion when I tried to chase them away, I hit my glasses with the hand and sent them to the ground. In the panic glasses-rescue operation I stepped on them and crashed them. Jesus!!! I felt like Mr. Bean in one of his best roles. I had a spare pair, but I was really pissed-off: can't just one tour end without some similar embarassing event happening?! On the other hand, if there were no such events I would not be able to tell anything interesting about the trip, would I? Something like this:

They (people expecting a fascinating tour report): "So, we heard you cycled in the Indian Himalaya. That must have been an amazing trip!"
Me: "Yes, it really was."
They: "So, what was the most memorable moment?".
Me: "I fell through the hole in the stairs and almost killed myself."

Day 12: 156km. Day 13: 115km. Day 14: 145km.
Day 15: 283km. Day 16: 155km. Day 17: 168km. Total 2485km.


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