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31 October, 2007

hello again,

I'm finally back in a place where there's e-mail; the first town of any kind in 7 days. Since I last checked in, I've managed to advance the things a bit further east. After 11 days of riding I'm 1960km/1225miles along. I just finished crossing the Nullarbor Plain; 1200km of unpopulated bush.

The only civilization are widely spaced roadhouses with marginal quality motels attached. Since I'm traveling very light; with only about 6-7kg of gear and clothes, I'm obliged to stay in them.

Riding conditions have improved considerably since last week. I've been averaging 180k/111miles a day. And last Saturday I logged a day for the ages. The biking stars and planets aligned perfectly; yielding smooth, straight roads, good weather, a cyclist(me) in improving condition, and a biblical tail wind.

Sensing something big could happen, I decided to stay on the bike as long as daylight and a reasonably placed stopping point permitted. 11 hrs later(9hrs 40min in the saddle) I was 351k/218miles closer to Sydney. This is a day I'm sure I will NEVER be able to repeat. This is 130k/80miles further than I've ever done in one day on a bicycle.

I'm now in the small town of Ceduna, along the south coast. Two days ago I saw the sea cliffed coast line of the Southern Ocean; the most spectacular coast I've ever seen.

Unfortunately, most of the wildlife I've seen has been road-kill. At one point there was a smashed kangaroo every 500 meters for sevral hundred km. I understand now why the locals here put 'roo bars' on their cars.
Remember; if you can smell the road-kill before you see it, you're fighting a headwind!

Physically, I'm still hanging in there. Although my neck has been a bit of trouble, and I had some knee pain. Every thing hurts about what I expected. I've lost a bit of hand strength/feeling from compressing the nerves on the handlebars; but this happened years ago as well, when I rode across the US. It recovered completely a few weeks after I finished.

Otherwise; the people are friendly, the weather's ok, and the food unhealthy.

more later, hal