Port Pirie to Port Augusta
Up = 299m - Down = 284m - Highest Point = 63m
PORT PIRIE TO PORT AUGUSTA - 19th August 2017
Still keen for early morning starts before the wind – we were on the road at 7:20 am. We had used a combination of Wikicamps and a Camps8 book to see where we could meet up with the “crew”. Sadly the information we had was highly inaccurate – so we had to make it up as we went along. I think I am repeating myself, but I found this an annoying thing to have to worry about, as Pat in the support van could just stop wherever we wanted pretty much, but the concern was where Des would be able to pull over.
Saturday morning traffic was pretty light, and still very courteous which was great. The road surface again wasn't great, but we did have a "shoulder" most of the day. The climbs weren't too bad at all, with only really the one around 60 kms requiring us to dig in and change gears! We still had head/side winds, but they weren't quite so strong as they had been. The temperature was pretty cool at the start of the day - 3 degrees C!!
We were very excited to see a self-supported cyclist riding towards us, and he made a bee-line over to have a chat. He was Korean, aged 63 years and has been "on the road" for 6 years since he retired! He has ridden most of the world and on this journey had ridden from Darwin and was heading to Melbourne so he was going well!! Today he had the good fortune of a tail wind, as we were still experiencing head winds. I have to say that this was contrary to the "research" I had done that said Adelaide to Darwin was the best way to go as we should get more helpful winds. At this stage of the trip it hadn't been that way at all - but by the end of the trip we had certainly had the best share of tail winds and I would not have liked to be going the other way!
As we were getting closer to Pt Augusta we saw a huge “aerial” type thingy with a large metal shape at the top. From afar, the sun was reflecting off it and we thought it was a flame from an oil or gas refinery – but it wasn’t. When we got to it there were signs saying it was a Coles Sundrop farm. I have since googled this to see that it is a global leader in producing fresh vegetables and fruit using sustainable farming techniques. Quite an amazing looking set-up!!
We had made pretty good time today and it was a delight to be greeted at the Port Augusta Discovery Park and shown to our spacious corner site where we could all set up, shower, rest and relax and catch up with facebook messages and emails! Barry and Bette were already there and it was good to see them again!
We were also able to duck back into a Woolworths Supermarket in the town to stock up on water, food and other provisions for the next several days as it would be 5 days before we would get to Coober Pedy and another decent grocery shop. Vehicles were also filled with petrol here as tomorrow we started the great trek up the Stuart Highway and prices for fuel were likely to increase to quite high levels!
I particularly liked being at the Big 4 Pt Augusta camp as 6 years earlier – when I rode from Scarborough (WA) to Scarborough (Qld) we had stayed at this very camp. They had just opened the “Kitchen” which I recall as being quite a haven to be able to sit at a table and try to catch up to date with my write-ups for that trip. It is amazing how the days go by – and if you miss a day or two writing – so much happens to recall!!
Pt Augusta camp really turned it on for us!! At 6:00 pm there was a sausage sizzle in the kitchen area – gold coin donation to our charity – the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. It was a cold night – but people seemed to come from all corners of the camp and we enjoyed the companionship of all the folk. Talking about our exploits and hearing of others exploits – everyone here had an interesting story to tell.
Sincere thanks to Discovery Park Pt Augusta for this gesture – very much appreciated – and we got through a fair few “snags” too!! The total raised for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation was $166.30. GREAT!!!
JUDY & KHAIN BROOKMAN
The last time I was in Port Augusta was 18th April 2011 - which happened to be the 19th day of my ride from Scarborough WA to Scarborough Qld. That day of my journey was also supported by the Brookman family due to Judy's close family ties with the area - being related to the owners of the noted business throughout the area of Young and Gordon.
I am thrilled to say that the "Brookman" name has the wonderful honour of being the only one that has supported each and everyone of my travels by making a very generous donation to the charity I ride for. It certainly is appreciated!!