Daly Waters to Larrimah
Up = 195m - Down = 220m - Highest Point = 214m
DALY WATERS TO LARRIMAH – 11th September 2017
Off and away – about 6:45 am. Despite the “late” night last night we were concerned about how warm it would get today and thought we needed to get our 93 kms done and dusted this morning as soon as possible. What a great stop it had been at the Daly Waters Pub! It certainly feels like the comfortable cruise home for the ride now with no more long rides in the final 6 days. Perfect!
I always hate “biking backwards” – but to get out to the Stuart Highway from the Daly Waters Pub – it has to be done!! The signs all advertise it as “3 kms” from the highway – well we all measured it this morning at 3.9 kms – I guess that is advertising poetic licence!!
I seem to think of many different things while riding along - and this morning I was thinking what a great way Daly Waters Pub organised and served the meals last night. Just the three choices - steak - or barra - or steak and barra! It seemed to me - a bit like us three riding (in a very loose way of course)! In our case - bike shoes - or runners - or bike shoes and runners! Liz wore her bike shoes all the time on the ride, I wore runners every inch of the way - and Annie did bike shoes for the first half of the ride and was now wearing runners!
There seemed to be 3 clear rest stops along the way, and with the heat and need to keep rehydrated I thought it best that we take them. The first was at only 22 kms and from my research was named the Noel Healy Rest Area. Well we got to 27 kms with no sign of a rest area, so just took on board fresh cold water and had a couple of pieces of orange from the van.
Next stop was to be the Alexander Forrest Rest Area at the 54 km mark – and right on cue – there it was. Barry, Bette and Des were all there – so we had another short stop to toilet and again take on fresh cold water, oranges and have my daily “chocolate nut bar”. It was only about 9:20 – and already the heat was starting to increase – a high of 36 expected today.
So far the road conditions had been pretty good, and there was no wind to speak of at all. It was actually very pleasant cycling conditions. We wondered what the traffic would be like today being a Monday – but it was very light. We had perhaps a few more “toot-toots” this morning as people who we had chatted to the night before at Daly Waters who were heading north caught us up and passed us. One guy, an army man from Canberra on his way to see his son in Darwin, overtook us with happy toot-toots and then stopped to take our picture as we rode on through.
Immediately exiting the 54 km stop – a sign said Next Rest Area 20 kms. Perfect I thought – that would only leave 20 to go after that!! I quickly decided that we would each lead for 7 kms to get us there! Annie did her turn, I did mine, Liz was on the front for 8 kms – no sign of a rest area. I went around to the lead at 75 kms – and it was 78 kms before we saw Des and Barry pulled off to the side of the road. No idea where Birdum or the rest area is!!! More cold water taken on board and then off and away for the final 15 kms.
It was just after 11:00 am, but temperatures soaring – so it was good to get to the Pink Panther Larrimah Hotel, find a shady spot to camp, and get Annie settled in her “room” for the night. Her tent is just way too hot in these conditions!!!! Annie takes her bike Viola into her room each night – and when all bags were in her room Annie “flopped” onto her bed. What she hadn’t realised was that the bed was on rollers on a tile floor – and she almost wiped Viola out as the bed careered across the room with the force of her "flop"!! She also discovered that amongst the small "zoo" here was a crocodile - and its cage was right outside her room!
We had a cup of coffee – it was a bit hot for that, but I love dunking and eating gingernut biscuits – and then proceeded to the showers. Normally I report how good a hot shower after a ride – and while there was heaps of hot water – it was sooooo good to have a cool shower on this occasion. I am sure it was over 40 degrees!
A beer late afternoon in the Pink Panther Hotel, visit to the museum, and a wander to see wild donkeys ended the day. I had another option marked as a possible place to stay here as it had cropped up during my research - but it had been deserted a few years back and was in a total state of tumbling down disrepair!! Thank goodness the Pink Panther was still here!!
There is no mobile phone signal here – although apparently – at 8:00 pm on the front steps of the Pink Panther Hotel – a Telstra signal can be gained!!! I didn't test that out - maybe it was just a ploy to sell another beer!!
I dedicated this day as a day of thanks to all my
who have so kindly supported this ride with several making wonderful donations to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.
really do enjoy the wonderful camaraderie we have, and the support you have shown.
A lot of you are following us daily and commenting on our facebook posts - you have no idea how this helps us when the going gets tough!