Saturday 27 January. Mildura to Renmark.
After the hot weather yesterday today was much cooler reaching only 24C. There was a lot of cloud around in the morning which cleared to blue skies in the afternoon. After 4 days of tail winds getting from Halls Gap to Mildura our main problem of the day was a 20mph SW head wind as today we turned west to go towards Adelaide.
We started early in expectation of the wind and a long 88 miles for the day. After breakfast in the room we left just before sunrise at 6.30. With few alternatives we had to spend the day on a major trunk road the A20 Sturt Highway. With an early start and riding on a Saturday traffic was quite light and we had the benefit of a good hard shoulder.
Soon after leaving town and not long after Sunrise Martin spotted for us 2 Kangaroos. They were too far away for decent pictures but were the first we had seen since Halls Gap. They sat and watched us for a good minute so we waved at them and they quickly hopped off into the trees.
Much of the day was notable for straight roads again with vast wheat fields stretching for miles. We had the unhappy combination of open land with nothing to stop the wind and gently rolling so there were a lot of little climbs.
We met and chatted to some Australian Cyclist travelling the country but they had light race bikes and car assistance to carry luggage.
We stopped after 38 miles for 10s at a Service Station at Cullulleraine. After 55 miles we stopped for lunch at a picnic rest stop but were immediately covered in the dreaded bush flies so lunch was hurried. The flies never bother us while cycling but often hitch a lift and start buzzing again when we stop.
We later rode across part of the Murray Sunset National Park with some interesting Bush scenery.
We next came to the boundary between the states of Victoria and South Australia. Here we crossed a time zone with South Australia being 30 minutes earlier than Victoria so I put my watch back 30 minutes and we had more time to do the Ride!!
There was a big Welcome sign for South Australia and signs warning that the importation of fruit was prohibited to prevent fruit fly spreading. A few miles up the road we came to an Inspection Station and I had to surrender some grapes from my panniers uneaten from lunchtime.
After the Inspection Station there was a Service Station doing food so we quickly turned in this being the first Caf? in 40 miles. We all ordered Apple Crumble with ice cream and were rewarded with enormous portions at least twice the size of anything available in the UK at a cost of about 2 pounds.
On the last stretch into Renmark we had views of the Murray River and then reached the grand Renmark Hotel by 4.00.
88 miles for the day and 797 ft of climb. Despite the headwind we managed a respectable 11.6 mph average.
Posted by Edwin
at 9:15 PM EADT