Day 321 | 5 km past Arltunga: on the road to Ambalindum

58 km | zzOz total: 7844 km

Last night Frank came over from his well kitted out 4WD ute with its purpose built camping canopy on the tray.

He’d seen my bike and that meant he just had to tell me his bike riding story: 4 months in Tassie with a mental case, a genuine story of perseverance, except Frank probably wouldn’t have it in his vocabulary.

They arranged to meet at the Tasmanian ferry in Melbourne, despite reassurances he was organised, his mate arrived with “300 lbs” of junk and it went downhill from there. The mate refused to have breakfast, or lunch it seemed, and failed to drink much, even on 38ºC days, so he fainted and then refused to drink Gatorade or whatever to help rehydrate himself.

He decided one day, during a 10 minute breather, to change the bike chain, Frank having lost his chain breaker pleaded with him to wait until they got to the next town with a bike shop, ie, the next day, but he couldn’t wait smashing the chain with rocks, then of course had no links.

They split up in desperation only for Frank to find his mate weeping at the side of the road, it’s not me. Eventually he agreed it was him and they continued, more or less in this fashion for a couple more months.

Frank had an absolutely deadpan delivery which made it sound quite hilarious but I sort of had the feeling that Frank may have been the culpable one.

Fortunately one of the gals, Ollie, came over and rescued me for a goblet of wine, rather than more whine, and some civilised and intentionally funny conversation. Might be the last of that for a while.

Today, well, I rode my bike, the seal ran out early and there was a roller coaster period, crossing various creeks, 20 in number, with short, sharp drops and rises with any surprise you can imagine at the bottom, sand, rock, corrugations, even excellent road.

It was all up, except the last 2km, a beautiful cloudless day, around 20ºC, wind in my face for the most part, finally out here.

Spent some time at the Arltunga Goldfields historical site and wondered about the sanity of anyone searching for gold out in this dry forlorn spot 140 years ago.

I’m camped in a little creek bed in a crossing on the completely overgrown Old Road. Very quiet, don’t expect much, ie, any, traffic.

Just the way I like it.