Coober Pedy

July 7th, 2008 by Ross

Coober Pedy is a strange little place and hard to get a grasp on. It’s the Opal capital of the world, Australia produces some 90% of the worlds Opal and Coober Pedy is responsible for most of that. I personally don’t see the attraction with the gem but good quality natural opal doublets are worth more than diamonds carat for carat!!!
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Hard Work

July 5th, 2008 by Ross

This evening I made it to Coober Pedy. I’m going to take a few days here to explore a little but I’m really looking forward to some rest. The wind has been making the ride north very hard. The last two days I’ve been averaging only 17km/h. According to the newspapers the wind is averaging over 30km/h with gusts of 60+.
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Struggling a bit

July 4th, 2008 by Ross

The nice conditions of yesterday were just an anomaly. Again today it was back to more of the same, grinding away into the wind. I didn’t make bad progress, covering just about 100km today. I had two punctures today. I was almost glad for the break from the wind. I’m still on the same tyres from Melbourne and the rear is showing the strain. I should get another few hundred clicks before I retire it.
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July 3rd, 2008 by Ross

From Port Augusta the Stuart Highway travels straight through the centre of the continent up to the coast in Darwin. As far as I’m aware there are no hills or ranges to cross on the way to Alice Springs, which is 1200km away and 500m above sea-level. So it’s not an exaggeration to say it’s going to be a pretty flat run. And for the first three days thats exactly what it’s been. There have been a few little lumps along the way, nothing worth taking about.
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Another Cyclist

July 2nd, 2008 by Ross

It’s rare that I bump into other cyclists on the road but today I met a German called Michael. He’s been in Australia for 10 months when we met, his route taking him from Adelaide, around the east coast and back down through the centre. Safe travels back to Adelaide.
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Damn wind!

July 1st, 2008 by Ross

What an absolute crock of a day. The wind was so bad as to make it dangerous to be on the bike. So bad that I came off twice! The first time was a nothing slide on some gravel, but the second resulted in my camera bag hitting the deck hard and breaking my videocamera. My other camera is also reporting a lens error intermittently. That and I fell on my left arm again. Kudos to the Rapha Fixed shorts, even though my hip took a beating they have no visible damage. I’m pretty sure that it’ll be hard to get worse, the only way is up from now on… I hope (incidentaly thats the way the route is going from here too! 🙂 )
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Hawker & Quorn

June 30th, 2008 by Ross

The next day I did some more bush walks around the station. I wandered off the trails but it was impossible to get lost with the huge escarpment of Wilpena Pound always in sight. I was really enjoying myself. I got back to the camp the afternoon, had some food, packed up and hit the road south. Hawker is only 40km away and with only around 2 hours of full daylight left I wasn’t going to be going much further than that.
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Wilpena Pound

June 29th, 2008 by Ross

Today I got up at dawn and rode to Wilpena pound. Most of the walking trails are based from here so I picked up a map and set off to Marys Peak, the tallest point in South Australia. What I didn’t realise until I got to the first good photo opportunity was that I’d forgot to put the memory card back in the camera after I finished copying the last set of images. Thats the second time this has happened which is not saying much for my mental well-being! What I have now discovered is that this camera does not give any indication that there is no memory card present until after you’ve taken a picture, and tried to review it. Not the best design decision but still no excuse for doing it twice in two weeks!
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The Flinders Ranges

June 28th, 2008 by Ross

As promised by the met service, the winds had changed. When I got up there was a gentle breeze blowing from the south west. Even though the third night is free, I was eager to take advantage of any tailwinds which promise to be very rare until I get north of Coober Pedy. The prevailing wind in this region is west or north-westerly.
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June 26th, 2008 by Ross

Next morning at the supermarket in town, I was collared by a woman who noticed I was riding a fixed gear. She said she hasn’t seen one on the road at all since leave the UK 30 years ago. She claimed to have been a former female British Time-Trial Champion, I never got her name so I can’t check but I’ve no reason to doubt it. Anyway, just as I was leaving the supermarket to go and fix breakfast I bumped into a few people I’d spent a few days with in Broken Hill. I offered them some tea which wasn’t the best idea seeing as I’d only one mug for the three of us
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