I woke early to discover the inside wall of the outer layer of my tent completely soaking and instantly decided there was no way I was sorting it out with only a head torch. So I went back to sleep.
I woke again just before sunrise. I think Pemberton is actually part of Antarctica on holiday in Australia. For some reason the place I’d chosen to camp for the first time was 5-10 degrees colder than anywhere else in Western Australia.
Anyway, I was not in a good mood when packing away a soaking tent and it took almost two and a half hours before I’d sorted myself out and got on the bike. Which annoyed me.
Once riding all those feelings were dispelled. Granted I wasn’t looking forward to the prospect of a late finish when I had a tent to dry out; but given the circumstances, I was very happy.
Australia has been absolutely stunning today and bits of it have been close to some of the best cycling terrain I’ve ever come across. Even the main road had changed from yesterday and the traffic had thinned out. In fact I only saw a handful of trucks throughout the whole day.
My joy dimmed somewhat when I saw a very ominous looking cloud in the distance. As I got closer though, I realised it wasn’t a cloud, it was, in fact, smoke, and there were “controlled forest fires” being set off. I’m not entirely sure how you control a forest fire – maybe it just looks better on a sign than: “Beware! We f*****d up”
Regardless, I then spent about 20 kilometres riding through smoke which was a bit surreal and once the novelty wore off, not overly pleasant.
The smoke cloud meant that the sunlight was slightly blocked and was instead replaced by an orange glow. This was neither good nor bad; I just thought I’d mention it
The rest of the day passed fairly well. I only stopped for food once due to my late start but still ended up riding after sunset for the first time since Istanbul.
Since finishing, I have found a room for the night and spread my tent out all over the floor, and after a decent meal I’m only troubled by the prospect of another night in a tent tomorrow. It’s either that or a 240km day. If I should end up sleeping in said contraption, I think I may leave the door unzipped to prevent the condensation build up. I’ll just hope that there aren’t too many snakes and spiders waiting for me in the morning.
Now for some Discovery Channel stuff:
I must admit I’m not all that enthusiastic when it comes to bird-watching; however I have seen a fair few birds today that were actually quite interesting, including a few black cockatoos with red tails and some green and red parrot looking things (that’s about as far as my knowledge of the species stretches).
To add to the birds I also saw my first emu and my first (live) kangaroo. So that was all very exciting
Oh I also came across an Italian bloke who was also cycling across Australia. So that was quite good… That’s about it from today I think, hoping everything will be dry tomorrow
Distance: 119.21miles / 191.8km
Riding Time: 8:28:45
Av. Speed: 14.1mph / 22.6kph