Chapter 5. Nullarbor

Chapter 5. Nullarbor

Next morning I used a shower room for charging my camera and phones. Packed fast and started to cycle Nullarbor. Manager office was closed so I didn’t say goodbye to Steven.

Perfect cycling and for the first part of day I’m planning to reach Pennong – a small city 70km from Ceduna. I easily covered that distance before the afternoon. I make a rest on a gas station. Ate an ice cream and drank some cold coffee.

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While I was in the toilet a group of motobikers arrived. One of them – Nigel found my rear bag very convenient. I started to explain him that usually Russian bike travellers use such kind of bag. It looks like pants and is spacious inside to contain more stuff inside.  But European and American cyclists use separates panniers. And some of them put bags on the front fork. He said that he likes the Russian way and called my bag a “Good set”.

They headed to Melbourne and wished me a good ride.  I’ve continued my journey and after 20 km met the first cyclist who also travelled through Nullarbor. It’s Mark. He made a cyclomobile with a green bright cover. We made pictures of each other. He said that he met two Austrian cyclists two days ago. They also cycled from East to West. His way of travelling is very slow and I afraid more dangerous because his vehicle is really low to be visible for big tracks. But he made already big way from Perth and only is only a hundred kilometers from Ceduna. So I guess he drives carefully.

His contacts – Mark Doble – rvvelonaut.blogspot.com.au – 1st Trans-Australian Velomobile Ride.

E-mail: rvvelonaut @ gmail.com

Марк путешествует через Австралию
Марк путешествует через Австралию

me-mark-on-the-road

I tried to make a stop every 15 km of my ride. In the middle of the day I tried to sleep for 20-30 minutes if the flies let me to do it. Usually I leaned my bike to a road sign and was sitting on the road. Because the asphalt was the cleanest piece of ground. And I found out that if you are sitting on the road Australians start to get worried about you. They think something has happened to you and always make a stop to ask. Today one guy even made a u-turn when he saw me sitting on the road.

– Are you alright?

– Yes. Fine, just chilling. Very hot.

– Ok. Where you going?

– To the West, to cross Nullarbor.

– Great. I’m riding from Perth to Sydney.

His car, kind of Ford, was fully packed. It looked like there was a free space only for a driver. But I’m not surprised. You can see same picture in Russia during summer season when many people with 72/86 region are traveling from North to Crimea or to the Black Sea coast.

The distance between Pennong and Nundroo Roadhouse is 76 km. And I am afraid I can’t cover it till sunset. I hoped I would have to cycle only the last 10 km to Nundroo in darkness. But unfortunately Nullarbor kilometers are longer than the usual ones. The sun set on the 20th km mark. Still there was some light when I reached a 15th km mark. Now I’m in complete darkness. I’ve attached my headlight on the handlebar and continued to cycle. But I had to reduce the speed because I had to see what was lying on the road. It could be an animal or a snake trying to cross the road. Often I had to make a stop to give way for passing road trains.

I saw a group of people off the road. They made a stop to rest stop and built a fire. And I started to think maybe it was enough for the day and better to spend a night in wild camping. But I continued to ride.

Only 10 km left. I made a stop and eventually lifted up my face to the sky. WOW!!! Incredible. So many stars on the sky. So bright! And no trees and mountain around. You can see space 360 degrees around. It’s just like you are in the open space. It was breathtaking. I’m in space. Like Ryan Stone in Gravity movie. Then I rode on towards my destination.

I arrived at Nundroo at 8 pm. I checked in the Hotel Motel and for the first time booked a room instead of camping site. A girl at the reception saw that I’m from Russia and said: “Menya zovuv Katya”.

– Yes! Correct. How do you know these words? Did you meet any Russians who stayed here.

– No. You are probably the first Russian in Nundroo.

– May I have a dinner here.

– Yes. But the restaurant is closing in half an hour. You need to hurry up.

I moved my bike and other things to my room and returned to the restaurant. I’ve ordered a beef schnitzel with fried potato. I tried to order a glass of wine but they could sell only the whole bottle. It’s huge for me. So I got a juice.

I couldn’t deal with such big schnitzel so I took some of it away with me. The kitchen guy told me he was never able to eat the whole of it too, but Kate could eat it all.

Tried to watch TV, but I hate TV.

nundroo-hotel-motel

It was a spontaneous decision to order a room in the middle of the night. It cost me 99 AUD but it was a right, because this night was very cold.