Today, it’s been 7 months since I left Paris on a sunny afternoon after getting my vaccinations done at the Pasteur Institute. Yesterday, my bike’s odometer turned 40000km. That means I have sat on that saddle for about the circumference of the Earth and the trip is far from over. My dear companion had about 7000km in the odometer when I left, that makes 33000km in 7 months. When I left, I had had the bike for 9 months. That’s about 800km per month before leaving and about 4700 per month for the last 7 months. Now, when people ask me, I can tell them that my average is around 160km per day but enough with the numbers.
Far from me to do a balance post right now when I could be enjoying some fine Australian wine but I have something as significant as that. Here’s two pictures of the bike. The first one was taken when I was setting off, the second a couple of days ago at the Madura roadhouse on the second day of the Nullarbor crossing. Find the differences!
Tomorrow I take the Eyre highway to Adelaide. 2000km of treeless nothingness and of course no cell coverage or internet. It’s going to be the longest communications blackout since I went “into the wild” in Kyrgyzstan.
There is supposed to be gas stations and water/food shops along the way but apparently everything is terribly overpriced so I stocked up on water and food for the crossing. I have probably overstocked since the crossing should take around 3 days/2 nights give or take and I must have food for a week or more. But hey, it’s me! I’ve already been lost and without supplies so this time I won’t be caught unawares. The thing I may be short on is cash, will they take my credit card along the way or does everyone just leave for that highway with a big pile of cash for fuel? I guess I’ll find out in a couple of days.
In the meantime, you can follow my progress thanks to my SPOT, here: Live Tracking.
If you want to know more about the Nullarbor crossing (some call it like that), here’s a couple of links:
Wikipedia says 321, the Lonely Planet says 320. Tonight I stopped at Walpole, Western Australia for the night and I was complaining about the quality of wifi and the fact that Vodafone doesn’t cover this “city” when I decided to check the total population.
On a more cheerful note, this morning when I was leaving the campground I saw a kangaroo for the first time. Two kangaroos actually.
No, those are obviously not the kangaroos. Those are Myriam and Koen, the gentle Dutch couple that camped on the site next to mine and shared dinner with me. I had beef sausages, they had vegetables. I had wine, they had chocolate. I had bread, they had, well, they had bread too. And fruit! They had everything that I can’t carry on the bike. We had dinner together and a lot of fun chatting into the night. They are from Utrecht and they are travelling in a rented van for a month around Western Australia. Naturally, this morning they wanted to share their breakfast with me too and even though I didn’t have anything to contribute, they shared pancakes and coffee. Awesome breakfast! Thanks!
While I went on with packing, they left to try to find some drinking water and the way to the beach so when I set off, I didn’t expect to see them again but when I was almost at the exit, I saw them on a side road and they were pointing somewhat excitedly to somewhere where there was not the exit of the camp so I pulled the break, turned around and came back to where they were and started looking at them quizzically. They were still pointing at something behind me, so I looked.
Later, on the road, I saw a dead one. That happens a lot in Australia, they get hit by cars that drive in the evening or early morning and they die.