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Blog 137 Caiguna to Madura

14th February

Camped in the bushes on the edge of the roadhouse, hidden with the snakes. they were there, watching me. Snakes were everywhere, hundreds of them and I always slept fully zipped up in case they needed the warmth of my body against the chill of the night air. Most snakes I have been told will not attack and apart from the Taipen don’t want to hurt you. "They'll come up to you almost by accident and if they do get into your tent," said the Roadhouse manager, "just vacate it as gently as possible, stop dead if you have to until it gets fed up," and I concluded it was the least useful bit of advice I've ever been given, like checking your shoes for scorpions with a stick. What if they jump? "Nah, none of them here," he said, "they live in the desert." But it is the desert and I told him that, "nah, this isn't a desert, just because it hasn't rained doesn't make it a desert." So I pulled down my tent before sunrise without a stick and without having seen a snake.

View from the top of the Madura Pass

I rode hard into a headwind for 66kms to get to the exquisitely named Cocklebiddy Roadhouse. Their steak and eggs was better than the squidgy vomit prepped processed stuff in my can but I was falling asleep eating it. There was no internet or phone signal and I simply couldn't stay awake but needed to ride 96kms to the Madura Roadhouse. Why not stop? Take it easy? Well, with sponsorship comes a schedule and the big guys want me back. On projects as big as this you can drift off when no home longs for one's return. Suddenly you realise that bit by bit not a single part of you, your body and thoughts, remain the same. Moreover this was part of the ride for which I had no control. Following winds can change quickly given the proximity to the Southern Ocean so close by and low cloud took away the heat my body had begun to associate with hard riding.

Yet I was not the only traveller on the road, here's an assortment from today:

Met riders from Wales riding Sydney to home via Java, Sumatra,,Thailand, China, and the 'Stans'.

Here are two cyclists from Austria riding down from Alaska to Washington the Sydney to Perth.

Started eating and resting more often, drinking isotonic fluids and reducing my daily riding distance from 200kms to 180kms. 

Up the road I meet Louise, Helen and Steve in their campers, all from South Wales now living in Western Australia. 

After climbing then descending the Madura Pass I ride down the drive into the Madura Oasis Roadhouse. It’s a neat place with gas station a little way from the reception area and it was cooling off at night so this increased the chance of condensation on my sleeping bag which by the early morning I was sleeping in a swamp. Good night!

Map of the Day

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