Today we temporarily separated from Peter Wilson who was staying on in Horsham for an extra day and then getting a train to Adelaide where he will rejoin the group. The idea is for Peter to avoid the long distance rides in the middle of the trip.
Our ride today was to take us across the Little Desert National Park. Weather started dull and relatively cool at about 18C and we were worried we might have had to ride across a desert without the usual searing hot skies. We needn't have worried though as all the clouds soon cleared and temperatures rose to 27C.
The first 15 miles were pan flat and I set a time trial pace of 16 mph to stop for 10s at Natimuk a small quiet town with a Milk Bar (Australian for a caf? combined general store) Several people enquired where we were from and where we were cycling to.
The B road out of Horsham was very quiet with several minutes between cars. We then turned off onto the C213 for Mitre and traffic dropped to a car every 10 minutes. We then turned off onto an unclassified Bush Road and traffic dropped to a car per hour. This road was lined with gum trees with small parrots noisily taking flight as we passed their trees.
Then it was onto the C206 north with a tail wind through the Little Desert. The first 10 miles of it had been badly burned in a recent Bush Fire. Martin found a live Australian Ant Eater or Echidna. This is a creature covered in spines which quickly burrowed into the sand to escape Martin.
We had a picnic lunch in the desert sitting on a railing to avoid any nasty creepy crawlies.
The rest of the ride was across flat farmland and on to the Comfort Inn in Nhill a small Bush Town. We arrived by 2.30 p.m. a record for the trip so far. The room we were given had 2 beds and a cot. We debated whether Martin would fit in the Cot but I went back to reception and got a room with 3 beds.
62 miles for the day and 669ft of climbing.