Baxter rest area graced us with the most beautiful sunset and sunrise and was a very peaceful and isolated place to spend the night.
Today’s ride started a bit before 7am, was quite long at 133km, and included the second half of the 90 mile straight. Overtaking cars and trucks were visible for a full five minutes or so before they disappeared over the horizon. Despite the long straights, the landscape was interesting as it constantly changed from low scrubby trees, to barren flats and back again. I notice some walking tacks disappearing off to the left and wonder where they go; I ride on still wondering.
I find myself focussing on the road kill to pass the time; firstly categorising them based on age (i.e. fresh), resembling a butcher shop window (only not as neat), to those that are smelt before they are seen and those vaguely recognisable as kangaroos (as they make up 99% of the carnage), to the neat piles of whiter than white bones.
I surmise it must be someone’s job to move the carcasses off the road and this supposition is later confirmed by Johnny the weed sprayer. I wonder why some of the piles of bones appear to have resulted from a feeding frenzy and others lie as a complete undisturbed skeleton. I imagine some of the carcasses being violently ripped apart by wedge tailed eagles while others are gently picked clean by ants.
I stopped at Caiguna, about half way, for some lunch and a cool drink. I had the pleasure of meeting Lyndon Poskitt who was travelling the world on the roads less travelled on his off road motor cycle. Check out his adventures here.
Just after Caiguna I crossed into the Central Western Timezone, which was a little unexpected and apparently not recognised by Telstra (no auto update on the phone), although my Garmin (cycle computer) was straight onto it.
Miranda, having worked on a watercolour pencil landscape at Baxter rest area for a couple of hours, caught me about 10km past Caiguna. Just as she stopped the car, a large black snake slithered out of the bush making a bee line for the car. I shouted to Miranda to stay in the car and the noise seemed to spook the snake which turned around and headed back into the bush. Not surprisingly, she cancelled her planned bio break.
I passed some dressed up rocks and wonder what might have caused people to stop here and offload some of their clothes onto unsuspecting rocks; again I ride on still wondering.
I stop counting the abandoned cars, there are many.
I arrive at Cocklebiddy, Miranda has checked in and parked the car and pod, nearly taking her bicycle out on the only tree in the caravan park in the process. A bread knife was required to extract a branch from her saddle.
There are many sinkholes and caves in this region and we drove out to one of them for a look. Unfortunately they are closed to the public due to rock fall risk. One of the underwater caves has been mapped for 6km by underwater cave divers and it is still not known how much further the cave extends.