Larrimah to Mataranka
Up = 165m - Down = 215m - Highest Point = 198m
LARRIMAH TO MATARANKA - 12th September 2017
There was a time when I first started biking that I thought 10 kms was a long bike ride - and now today - here I am calling this a short 76 km day. I have learnt over the time though, that the short days can't be dismissed as necessarily "easy". Things happen - head winds can turn them into very hard days, and I will never forget on one of my rides calling a 45 km day a "riding rest day" - that ended up with Don's bad fall and subsequent need to "retire" from the ride!!
With all that in mind, and that it was now obvious we were into hot Northern Territory weather - we half-pie cnsidered starting earlier, but as we had a rest day at Mataranka the next day - stuck with our 7:00 am start time!
I actually had the worst nights sleep of the trip last night by far. Those dear little donkeys that I had tried so hard to get a photo of the night before took over the caravan park area by night!!! There must have been a fair bit of testosterone around as the "hee-haws" I expected of them were loud raucous bellows. Every time I heard one, or several, walking past the van - I thought they may be "tampering" with Finn!! When I would look out the van windows there were often 20 - 25 of them wandering around!!
So getting up early wasn't a problem and we were on our way before 7:00 am. The ride was reasonably uneventful. No wind to start with, a bit of a headwind for a while and by 10:30 we had rolled into Mataranka. Super early mark - wonderful!!
Oh - I did forget to put my drinks bottle on my bike this morning - after about 20 kms Pat cruised up beside me and asked if I wanted it. Visions of how the Tour de France riders get their bottles from their support vehicles flashed through my mind - but I also had stronger visions of how that could go horribly wrong if I tried it!! We had a fair bit of shade the early part of the ride so I passed on getting the bottle until our rest stop at 41 kms.
We were experiencing "normal" road surfaces - some good and some bad - the wind only something to moan about because cyclists (or this cyclist) does - no traffic to speak of - just another great day to be out on the bike!!
I rang the Territory Manor Motel and Caravan Park from the main road, and such good news that they let us in early. Super good as the temperature was getting very hot. We were able to pick nice shady spots, and Pat and I thought we were doing well to be close to the ablution block. Wouldn't you know it - a plumbing problem happened, the ladies side of the block was closed - and they opened a set of 4 ensuite rooms for us campers - so we ended up having to walk a little way afterall!! Oh well - it wasn't busy and a very nice park!!
This camp has a lovely dining area - and when we saw a sign saying Coffee and scones - that is where we headed. It seems like ages since we had had anything like that!! Not quite the standard of Pat's scones - but enjoyable watching the peacock and his brood shuffling around the parklike grounds.
At 1:00 pm they fed the Barramundi in a big pond.let us in early so we were all able to do our catch up chores today - and can truly rest tomorrow!! Very hot here - and I think it will stay this way til the end of our journey!!