Pimba to Glendambo
Up = 356m - Down = 374m - Highest Point = 204m
PIMBA TO GLENDAMBO - 22nd August 2017
It had been a good stop at Woomera. Annie had chosen to take a motel room – the wind had been strong yesterday when we arrived, so putting up a tent was a pretty scary situation. Also it would make packing up this morning easier – as the plan was to get my bike in Pat's van, Liz and Annie's in Des and Liz’s van and drive out to Pimba where we would continue riding from where we finished last night.
Pat and I were up bright and early – preparing for a 7:00 am drive out from Woomera camp and then the planned 7:15 biking getaway from Pimba. We breakfasted and had the van packed and headed to Annie’s room to get her gear. At that stage we had a call from Des to come back to jump start his vehicle as it wouldn’t start. This was quite a disaster as only 3 days ago (when leaving Port Pirie) Pat had jump-started his vehicle. Des thought the batteries must have been the problem, so at Port Augusta he had purchased 2 brand new batteries!! So for this to happen this morning – a disaster!! In trying to start his car from the van secondary battery – no go, from the main van battery – still no go, from a fellow campers portable charge starter – no go, from Des’s reserve battery – no go, from Barry’s reserve battery – no go ………….. oh dear!!!! – what to do now??!! I can imagine how frustrated Des must have been – and of course we were anxious to get biking. We considered heading off on our bikes the extra 6 kms back to Pimba – but didn’t really want to add those extra kms to our day!! The journey so far had been pretty tough going, and our “rest day” had already been absorbed as a catch-up day!!
Eventually, through a combination of batteries, jumper leads and prayers – Des’s car burst in to life!! Such relief!!! The conclusion arrived at is that one of Des’s new batteries is completely flat!! So in we all piled to the respective vehicles and trundled off to Pimba. We off-loaded there and were away on our bikes. An hour later than what we wanted to (8:15 am instead of 7:15 am) but we were on our way! In effect – we were 2 hours behind schedule for the day – cos we would have been an hour further down the road that we still had to ride. Not to worry we were on our way!!
First stop for the morning was planned for 40 kms down the road at Lake Hart – what a stunning view of a very large salt lake that was! An air-force guy pulled in while we were there and came over to chat as he was a cyclist. The best news he told us was that it was virtually flat all the way to Coober Pedy. When a cyclist tells me this I believe them - and it did turn out to be true! He had been to a remote aboriginal community to do some life skills teaching for a week, so he was interested in the cause we were fund-raising for as well. We snacked, took pics and were on our way again.
The road was good, the traffic very considerate of us, and best of all – the wind was light and a side one!!!! The most pleasant riding conditions so far!
We saw sheep grazing roadside, plus plenty of visible roadkill on the sides of the road, and smelt many more putrid smells from some poor animals that had probably been hit by cars and limped off into the scrubby bush road side to die. The “Grid” signs and subsequent stopping to cross said grids were still occurring regularly, and we welcomed them as a time to stretch sore bones and bottoms and take a drink.
Another Rest Area at 89 kms had been targeted for our second stop, and we made not too bad a time in getting there. Time to take on more food – fruit, nuts and protein and electrolyte drink to enable us to complete the final 25 kms of the day.
After gradual climbing (although it appeared pretty flat) for most of the day, the last climb was an overbridge over the railway line. Stopping on top of this gave a great view of the north – south train line. Shame we didn’t see a train coming through – although we had seen two freight trains travelling south earlier in the day. One appeared to be a coal train, and the other had lots of containers on board. It doesn't seem to be a very busy railway line.
We made great time over that last bit with it all being slightly downhill. Before too long we could see in the distance a windmill and a high aerial – a giveaway sign that civilisation existed out here - Glendambo was in sight!!
Weary, but happy to have made camp at a reasonable hour considering our delayed start we found our camp sites, set up and then the best part of the day – a hot shower after a good ride. It was chilly at the start of the day, but mid-afternoon was pleasantly warm. Showered, rested and "coffeed" – we then headed to the Glendambo Hotel to see what was for dinner. After selecting a meal from the menu and downing a very welcome beer – we sat around a huge fire-place enjoying the warmth in the falling late afternoon temperatures.
Our meals arrived and were DELICIOUS! All were very generous servings – be they the barramundi, the lamb roast or the chicken stir-fry.
We left the warm dining area and headed out into the cool evening air – such be the temperatures in these areas – cold nights – warming to nice warm days. We ride again tomorrow!!
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