Elliott to Daly Waters
Up = 257m - Down = 268m - Highest Point = 281m
ELLIOTT TO DALY WATERS - 10th September 2017
A big ride today - 154.9 kms in very hot weather!! At one stage Liz said it was 39 - and I think it got a bit hotter after that!! There was also no wind today really - occasionally an easterly cross wind, and late in the day even a light head wind. So to get the kms done to-day - we had to pedal all the way. We've become pretty used to the south-east tail winds - so today was harder!! For Sunday traffic there were a lot of our favourite road trains on the go - Gilberts - such great drivers who give us so much room it is just brilliant. We stopped firstly at a Telegraph Memorial for a drink and food bar, and quickly continued on our way.
We had another "incident" with a caravan during the next segment when one went past us way too close - I don't think it even gave us a metre and it was travelling at high speed. It was actually trying to overtake another caravan - the first one saw us - but he obviously hid us from this guy behind. We all got quite a start as it was pretty frighteniing!
Our road crew Bette made a wonderful executive decision that saw us have lunch at the Dunmarra Roadhouse. They advertised the "Best Pies" in the NT on billboards as we were approaching - and the one I had for lunch was superb!! While I was taking my helmet and gloves off and leaning my bike against the front of the shop, I glimpsed over to the petrol station part of the roadhouse and spied the car and caravan that had sped past us very closely. It was quite a colourful rig - and very distinguishable. I decided to go over and talk to the driver - mainly to check if he was from interstate and was unaware of the need in the NT to give cyclists 2m. I was going to be nice about it and keep my cool. Anyway he saw me approaching - and before I could say anything he offered the most sincere apologies possible and admitted that he had driven badly and scared himself as well. He was very genuine and I thanked him - but also pointed out how vulnerable us cyclists are - and thank goodness we were still here to tell the tale. I am pretty certain he is one driver that will be giving cyclists a wide berth from now on!
Liz called it a day at lunchtime, so Annie and I had about 50 kms to go. It was very hot, so Annie and I decided to do 2 chunks of 20, and 1 of 10 kms to get us there. I was remembering the hot times of the desert in USA - and was determined not to get "heat stroke" here. Water in our drink bottles was going from fridge temperature to very hot in a short period of time, so these 3 short stints would enable us to get cold water from the van frequently.
In the back of my mind, I knew that this was the last "long" ride of the trip - once over this the last 6 days would all be what we now call "short days" - the shortest being a 76 km day and the longest the last day of 114 kms.
200 metres short of the "10 km to go" stop - another puncture for me!!! Grrrrrr!! Fortunately at the very tired stage of the journey, I was able to sit on my bum while Dessy Wright put a new tube and tyre on my bike. It's been a frustrating week for me with punctures so maybe a new tyre might do the trick!
Daly Waters was a great stop !!!! We all enjoyed a wonderful Steak, Barra, or Steak and Barra meal with help yourself salads. Unbelievable steak - and reports were that the Barra was tops too! A very slick way they have of serving the meal to the entire dining area at once - just amazing!
Then they had live entertainment - and we have had loads of belly laughs and singalongs with "Sam" - a real character of an entertainer with hilarious jokes, and good music of "my era"!! A wonderful bonus was that he introduced our trip to the dining / bar area and let us take our collection boxes around during the evening. The people were very generous and thinking from the top of my head as I type this it was about $280 that we collected for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation - top stuff!!
There are a lot of amusing things around this place - outback humour at its best!!
The caravan park area was great with little ensuite bathrooms dotted around, all very clean and tidy in the testing dusty conditions. A wonderful feature was the laundry - All proceeds went to child cancer!! It is just a place that gives you warm fuzzy feelings, and I can see myself returning for a few days some time in the future instead of this whistle stop!