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Blog 153 Hay to Grong Grong

29th February

For the past few days my head has been anaesthetised by the nothingness of the plains of Hay. It’s easy to be critical of a place without stand out moments of exotic geography and whilst there are many shades of burnt out browns and a multitude of greens the main profile is the flatness and the wheat and the salt bush but the most striking action of a landscape like this that the motion of pedalling across it leaves me feeling so small.

Against a red sky sinking steadily into the soil, touching the wheat tops with gold,  in the way clouds make a sunrise more majestic the silhouettes of man made objects take up more permanence than the trees which are always there.

And I've only ridden 20 miles so far today and I'm stopped by the roadies contracted to operate mobile traffic lights whenever earth moving equipment is digging close by. Of not quite full Aboriginal descent, Henry was the gang leader of the group of men and his great great grandmother was a Margaret from Scotland and as he told me his pride frothed onto his beard, his earrings tinkled and he wore his cap back to front. "My Uncle’s great great Dad was from Ireland, you know in that song," and he hummed the unhummable. Next to him, round faced with a portfolio of tattoos all over the visible areas of his body themselves telling their story, Dwayne had 12 children, his Mum and Dad having passed on. At the other end of the lights and paler brother Ashley, brother, all of them cousins in the kinship sense told me Henry has 12 children he knows about and they live all over, in Burke 700 kms that way and he pointed across the salt bush.

Birds harangued me with their calling and tumble weed flew across the road because there was a storm brewing but I had a tail wind, for the first time since Perth, oh my God it had been hard, pressed against the gale. 

Map of the Day

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Mar 09
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Your performance Nick was incredible,

I am really extremely impressed by your ability to persevere for so long and to get through being alone in the true sense of the word. I know that there are contacts, but they are usually short, friendly encounters.

Take care of yourself and I'll see you again at one of your events at your home.

Harald, Germany


Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

That picture of the guy in his ute should be painted on the nearest silo. Many tales in that face!

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