Today weather was overcast in the early morning but soon cleared to blue skies and temperatures warmer than the last few days at 30C. The day was event filled. We had breakfast at 6.00 in the hotels breakfast room and hit the road by 6.45.
The first 50 miles of the ride until lunchtime was on quiet backroads with an average of a car every 10 minutes. We started by heading south for 15 miles on the plain next to the Murray River. This was a dead straight and panflat road heading towards the appropriately named Walkers flat. On our left there was desert like schrubland to the horizon. On our right we stopped at the occasional overlook viewpoint from the cliffs over the wide valley of the Murray. From the top the wide meandering river bounded by exotic trees looked like something from the Amazon.
We eventually turned off the main route and rode down the valley and a smooth operating chain ferry to Walkers flat on the other side. This was a few houses and store where we stopped for snack and drink. It was also where everyone from round about met. We also experienced the usual friendly welcome and interest in our trip from the locals. After a short climb out of the valley we headed west on a straight undulating road heading towards the distant line of hills we had to cross to get to Adelaide. There was the usual wide verge with Bush trees and great range of exotic calls from bush birds startled by our approach. Once a flock of 4 all over bright green parrots startled at our approach flew ahead to the next tree and then the same 4 or 5 times until they ran out of trees.
We stopped at a picnic stop just before the climb to refuel. We were warned by a fit looking young man on a mountain bike of the horrors of Cook Hill just ahead. He said he had always walked up it. In the end we cycled up the 1100ft climb with no problems even with panniers. The climb was about 3 miles up to a grade of 18% but only briefly and mostly between 8 and 12%. The road was then up and down on a high plateau Dartmoor style. Martin spotted 2 kangaroos hopping across a field in the distance and I got some pictures with the long lens of the film camera.
We stopped for a picnic lunch in the Park at the town of Mount Pleasant. Then it was rolling hills mainly down along the Scenic Road alongside the river Torrens. We stopped at a cafe of a Toy factory with a giant sized Rocking Horse. Then a few miles down the road I spotted the Chain of Ponds Winery. Martin and Peter were keen for some tasting and spent a little time sampling before deciding on a bottle to buy. Further on near the Chain of Ponds lakes I spotted 2 Emu next to the road and got some pictures as they unconcernedly ambled away from us.
A short way up the road a police car slowed down beside us and when I stopped the officer shouted out "tell your mate to put his helmet on" Peter had taken his Helmet off a few miles back because of the heat so to avoid any further run ins with the law he put it back on. Further on down we turned onto a quiet byroad and got some good views of the city 15 miles away. The road turned into the busy A11 through the suburbs and down to the city centre and the smart Mercure Grovenor hotel. Later in the evening I took some nightime city pictures by the River.
84 miles for the day and 3574 ft of climb.