March 27, 2010
Location: Mataranka, NT
We are now in Northern Territory! After a lengthy discussion, I convinced H that shipping his bike from Darwin would not be any cheaper or faster than just riding back by going straight down the center of the continent. It will take less than a week to get to South Australia, and we would probably waste almost that much time going to Darwin and getting the bike crated up anyway. Of course, gunning it down the highway for 3000 kms will not be a pleasant way to go, but shipping a bike home after coming all this way would just be… lame.
So, we rode 630 kms today. It was raining nearly the whole time and kept the long ride at a reasonable temperature. It’s still raining now, and we are staying at a homestead. It’s basically a bunch of cabin rooms the size of shoeboxes. I look forward to the humidity dropping as we continue south, but I’ll probably be complaining about the cold again soon.
There are a bunch of wallabies outside. Sorry this picture sucks, I took my contact lenses out as soon as we stopped riding because my eyes have been bothering me, so I couldn’t see what the heck I was taking pictures of. There are also hot springs in the area, but since it is already so hot and rainy, we had no interest in visiting them. I may be a little burned out.
March 28, 2010
Location: Tennant Creek, NT
We rode all day down the middle of the outback. It was… boring. We are now staying in a room at a pub. I think this might be the first motel room we have stayed in all trip. There is air conditioning and a bathroom and hot water in the shower and everything! Wow, this is nice. We only have a few more days of traveling together, so we thought that we could afford a little luxury. As much as I am enjoying this, I am sad that I will be leaving my travel buddy soon.
March 29, 2010
Location: Alice Springs, NT
Continued south through the middle of nowhere. Stopped by Devils Marbles, which are granite rock formations, and did a bit of scrambling. That was about the only remotely interesting thing we saw all day. We are now in Alice Springs, which is approximately the center of Australia.
March 30, 2010
Location: Yulara, NT
We came out here to see Ayers Rock, which is supposed to be the heart of Australia, according to the aborigines or whoever. The outback is quite something to see, since the terrain is so flat and the visibility so fantastic. However, it’s not as glamorous as Outback Steakhouse makes it out to be, because there are just so many damn flies and mosquitos out here. The flies keep going into my eyes and up my nose, and the mosquitos bite any last inch of exposed skin. When we take our rest stops along the road, I don’t even remove my helmets or gloves anymore, because they serve as defense against the bugs. Gross, I know. Someone really ought to introduce some cane toads or venus flytraps into this stupid ecosystem to keep the insects in check.
March 31, 2010
Location: Middle of nowhere, SA
My bike is running on opal, which is a type of fumeless petrol that the aborigines cannot smell. Apparently, there is a rampant problem of aborigines stealing petrol so that they can sniff it, so many of the petrol stations near aboriginal land only sell opal fuel. I asked H why aborigines sniff petrol, and he said, “Why do white people sniff coke?”
We are now in a fly-filled trailer behind a petrol station somewhere in South Australia. We wanted to make it to Coober Pedy today because it is supposed to be a town (and the only one for hundreds of kms around), but we ran out of daylight and stopped 170 kms short.
We started off early in the morning and went to see Ayers Rock again from a different angle. Also did a short hike to a waterhole. It wasn’t too exciting, and cost us precious riding time.
I am sad to be back in South Australia, because it is one state closer to Sydney. In about two days, we will be in Port Augusta, and H will be going back to work. I think my journey will conclude shortly thereafter because I can’t think of anywhere else to go, as Queensland is almost completely flooded this season.
April 1, 2010
Location: Port Augusta, SA
After 700 kms of riding today, we are back in Port Augusta. We have officially completed the long trek from the top to bottom of the continent. I am excited and relieved to be done with that long stretch, but also feeling a bit empty, because there is nothing else to look forward to.
It seems like so long ago that we were last here with F. And I do miss F. This time, we are not camped out by the beach, but staying at a cheap motel. It is a bit cold outside, but we have the air conditioning on at full blast, just because it makes the room feel that much more luxurious.
My stomach hurt today from drinking the artesian water that I filled my camelback with at the roadhouse in the middle of nowhere.