2023 Indi-Pac Day 6 Report

Thursday March 23, 2023: Up a little later this morning, the sun already up which was a little unnerving given I’d been on the road more often than not well before dawn over the last 5 days. Part of me felt like I was already behind schedule, the other part was a little easier on me though…….Settle down there big fella, you needed the extra rest. I liked the other part more, him/he/they/whatever was a lot easier on me and just happened to also be in charge of Crunchie and Snakes Alive purchases vs healthier alternative snacks…….go on, get another one. How about a cheeky Magnum eh?

I wheeled my bike from my room around to the front of the Balladonia Roadhouse, wondering if I’d see Alison Skinner (aka “Stirling Roadrunner”). I’d received a text message from Alison after I’d arrived last night, checking up on me and offering a spare bed in her room should I not have secured accomodation. I was quite touched by the offer, it was very generous.

“Mark”?

Alison, how are ya?

There she was, the Stirling Roadrunner, with a big grin on her face although noticeably a little worse for wear given that she was moving quite gingerly. The poor thing! Bad saddle sores and buggered knees had put an end to a very strong ride. She was in the process of trying to hitch a ride as far east as possible, with the aim of eventually getting back home to Stirling in the Adelaide Hills.

As she was making enquiries for a lift I ducked inside for breakfast and supplies.

We chatted some more while I knocked back pastries and coffee, and then we did the whole photo thing, before saying our farewells. As the Indi-Pac route passes through Stirling, Alison said that she’d definitely be out to say hi as I rode through. We’d both have some stories to tell by then, I’m sure.

Thursday March 23, 2023: The Crunchie Salute. PHOTO CREDIT: Alison Skinner.

Thursday March 23, 2023: Alison Skinner at the Balladonia Roadhouse.

Back onto the Eyre Highway at 7:18am. Despite the chipper video below I struggled a bit early with lethargy and getting into a rhythm, so I took advantage of a couple of rest stops to push some more calories down – 2 x 5 minute breaks in the first 20 odd kilometres.

That seemed to work……..onwards.

My mind turned to Alison and how she was going to get back home to Adelaide. Regardless of which direction she went, her ONLY option was to hitch a ride. There was no public transport out here, far from it. Things were definitely taking a turn for the remote.

Right on cue and as if I needed further reminding of this remoteness, I soon later pedaled along a section of the Eyre Highway which doubles as an emergency airstrip for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Thursday March 23, 2023: Rest stop on the Eyre Highway.

Thursday March 23, 2023: Airstrip ahead….

Thursday March 23, 2023: Emergency airstrip for the Royal Flying Doctor Service about 20k east of Balladonia.

Australia’s Longest Straight Road

The most photographed scene on the Indi-Pac route?

Which of course then begs the question, how does our longest straight road stack up against the rest of the world? In getting to the bottom of this essential query I of course avoided all dubious online sources and went straight to the Guinness Book of World Records – turns out the longest straightest road in the world is a 240 kilometre stretch of Highway 10 in Saudi Arabia.

Thursday March 23, 2023: As it says on the tin….

The goal for the day’s play was not as firm in my mind as it was yesterday. A comfy bed was the absolute preference, but as I passed the 150k’s to Caiguna sign, another roadhouse community (Pop. 4), I wasn’t 100% as to whether I’d get it at Caiguna or Cocklebiddy Roadhouse 65k’s further on.

Time would tell………of which I had plenty……..while adhering to a rather long straight road.

Thursday March 23, 2023: 150k’s to Caiguna.

Thursday March 23, 2023: a long straight road…..

Was it boring?

In a word, absolutely……….although it could have been worse if not for the prolific and wide variety of vehicle traffic that I shared that straight road with. As per:

  • 2 x Dotwatcher’s – Keen cyclist Stephen Phillip and his partner (sorry, I can’t remember her name) who so generously stopped en route back to Perth for a chat and to supply me with much needed Snakes Alive. You can never have too much of a good thing. I could have done without the; “you’ve got a long, long way to go on the straight road”, though……😂😂😂

 

  • Plenty of 4WD’s with massive trailers hauling multiple boats for the Australian Rowing Championships that was due to start 4 days later at Champion Lakes, Perth.

Thursday March 23, 2023: En route to the Australian Rowing Championships in Perth.

  • Lots and lots and lots of road trains in a variety of guises. Check out the massive monstrosities in the video below…

Thursday March 23, 2023: A road train….

Thursday March 23, 2023: Another road train….

Thursday March 23, 2023: Yet another road train….

Thursday March 23, 2023: Road train approaching from behind. Notice how they have already moved to the other lane to overtake me.

Now that’s a road train!:

  • Plenty of “Grey Nomads”, ie road tripping retirees. The term was popularised apparently following the 1997 Australian documentary Grey Nomads, which captured the phenomenon of older travelers who made their homes wherever they parked. (ref the video below). I had seen a few over the last couple of days but they were out and about big time today. Perhaps taking advantage of the overcast conditions to track down campsites anew. I had been warned about these guys and their possible inexperience and questionable abilities towing a caravan but so far so good.

Thursday March 23, 2023: A Grey Nomad.

Thursday March 23, 2023: Another Grey Nomad.

Thursday March 23, 2023: Yet another Grey Nomad.

Thursday March 23, 2023: And another…..

…..and then it rained, not a heavy rain but a light persistent precipitation that pooled on the road and made the spray from oncoming road trains quite the obstacle – keeping the mouth shut and head ducked whilst the beasts whooshed by was an essential tactic to avoid a face full of liquified road detritus.

Thursday March 23, 2023: 69k’s to the Caiguna Roadhouse. Mmmm, dinner destination or dinner and accomodation destination?

Thursday March 23, 2023: Take cover……

Thursday March 23, 2023: Take cover again….

Thursday March 23, 2023: …….and again….

Thursday March 23, 2023: This is fun…..

…..but then the absolute majesty of mother nature puts on a show and brings a massive smile to your face. You can ride days before she unveils the glory but when she does, it is so freakin’ worth it…..

….and then a beer and a meal with Yorkshireman and all round gentleman Ian Copper (aka “iandipac”) at Caiguna Roadhouse.

Yep, I called it a night there….

Thursday March 23, 2023: Rolling up to the Caiguna Roadhouse.

The Day According to Strava:

 

WANT TO CONTINUE TO DAY 7?………………..CLICK HERE

No Comments

Post A Comment