Mataranka to Katherine
Up = 294m - Down = 324m - Highest Point = 203m
MATARANKA TO KATHERINE - 14th September 2017
The last rest day of the journey is over - and we only have 4 more days of riding to go!! Suddenly the ride seems to be coming to an end rather quickly!! These last 4 days are all relatively "short" with the shortest being 92 kms and the longest 114 kms on the last day. We are pretty fit now too, so all things being equal - they should be pretty easy riding days, and we will cruise into Darwin on Sunday, on schedule!!
The main thing we have to contend with now is the heat - with temperatures in the mid to late 30's predicted. But - so long as we stay well hydrated during the riding morning - all should be good. We have also brought the start time forward to 6:30 am. It is only just getting daylight at this time - sunrise this morning at Mataranka was at 6:33 am. However it lightens up very quickly once the sun is up!
We scheduled rest stops at 30 kms, 58 kms, 78 kms and then "downhill" into Katherine for the final 30 kms. We had a couple of extra little stops along the way as Liz had trouble with her bike seat slipping so Annie and Liz were able to fix it well enough until Des attended to it at the 78 km mark.
Today rode really well tho, the inclines were only that - just had to push a bit harder - not really change gear. The road surface was probably the best we have had for a full days riding - only a couple of really rough parts, and the last 20 kms into Katherine was a brilliant downhill swoop! Just after we had passed the Katherine Airport turnoff - there were signs for a bike path - it was actually on the other side of the road to what we were taking, but we went on to it for about 6 kms. All we encountered on that was 1 guy walking 2 dogs!
All too soon (as I was enjoying the ride so much) we were in Katherine. The smooth streets were sheer bliss!! Again we had made great time and as this area with the increasingly hot weather is entering its "low" season - we were able to check into the Riverview Caravan Park at 11:00 which was great. It is a very well laid out and organised caravan park. Lots of nice trees give good shade.
The by now "must have" cold shower at the end of the ride was wonderful, clothes were all washed and hung out to dry and we drove down to Katherine Central - and had the delight of shopping at a Woolworths Supermarket!! Then it was on to fill up the van on Woolworths Caltex Petrol and use our 4c discount - finally petrol at a reasonable price!!
It was too hot to go sight-seeing, so we headed back to camp to rest and relax in the shade. Our camp backs on to the Katherine River and in the late afternoon when it had cooled down just a fraction - w took the walk to the Katherine Springs - which were very popular and very nice. There were signs warning of crocodiles - so I would be a little hesitant to go in there if no one else was there!!
The Katherine River had water but was pretty low. It is hard to imagine that a few years ago the whole town flooded as it is such a big almost empty river bed at the moment.
A special mention today for someone who barely gets in the photo's - yet takes plenty - and also gives us such enthusiastic words of encouragement every time they pass us in their car and caravan - Bette - you are one in a million - and Barry - you've got the speed and distances of the overtaking manoeuvers down to a fine art to give Bette time to cheer us on!! I'm no good at taking pics while on my bike, but I wish I did have a snap of you in action!! Hopefully Annie has on her go-pro!!
Time for another big
to a group of people who have very
generously supported this bike ride by
making a $500 donation
to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.
The Belvedere Sports and Social Club are
a great group who meet socially at the Belvedere Hotel, Woody Point and
run raffles etc to raise funds.
They listen to people in the Redcliffe
Peninsula Community and decide who
they will support.
I wish to thank Biking Buddy Simon Mills for organising this opportunity for me - and
many thanks to the committee for agreeing
to come on board.
Fabulous community spirit!!