(written by Dave)
Let’s start today’s post with some thoughts about rest days. Rest days on bike trips are normally days which we don’t ride our bikes. No riding equals a rest. Well, strictly speaking we are not just on a bike trip. In fact, given that now and for the foreseeable future, this is our life, some folks might say that every one of our days are a rest day. Meaning, no going to work equals a rest day. This has been on my mind for some time now (what else do you think about when riding the wide open spaces of the Barclay and Stuart Highways?). So… from now on, we’ll refer to what we used to call “rest days” by a more appropriate new name called “no bike day. Nancy may not choose to follow this new naming convention and I don’t always (as in never) get editorial rights on her posts. Apologies in advance if she forgets to properly label our next “no bike day”.
Our site overnight was ok. We had a major light directly above the tent but with the inner tent, outer tent and tarp in place, the light was not too bad. And the light went off at midnight when the servo closed. The servo closing was also the end of large truck noise, I think. All of this was only reported to me by Nancy this morning. Me, I slept through it all. Thanks again to my many former employers making me fly economy class all over the world – it has been good training for this trip.
Midmorning I spotted Adventure Man’s brother on a tree near our site. You may remember that Adventure Man is my bicycle’s mojo – sitting proudly on my handlebar stem. I don’t know that AM’s brother is as proud of his home, protecting the camp kitchen – here he is with our site in the background.
Finally today I managed to beg a free coffee cup from a servo, just the cup. Frequent readers will know that I’ve sworn off Espresso Essential coffee some weeks ago. Today, through the generous donation of the Adelaide River BP service station, I bring you a visual of the ubiquitous EE orange cups. Remember, if you like your coffee at least a little brown, pick black on the EE machine.
In the afternoon Nancy read her book (editor’s note – a well-deserved break after reading the terms of insurance coverage all morning to try to find a decent travel insurance policy before we leave Australia) and I walked 1k down to the Adelaide River War Cemetery. Many of the service men killed in bombings on Darwin were buried here. Most of the Northern Territory war sites have been slowly decaying, fading back into the outback. Here however, they have kept everything nicely painted and clean. The grounds were well groomed also. There are some 450 Aussie, British and Canadian soldiers bury there. All other nations repatriated their servicemen.
There is a linear park between the Adelaide River and the road leading to the cemetery. I walked down right on the edge of where the park was mowed. I hoped to get a view of the river or maybe see another bower bird nest. I was quite surprised to spot a bright yellow tree snake sunning on a log. He didn’t stick around long once I took the photo. I don’t know if this snake is poisonous. No, I did not pursue it into the undergrowth once it moved off the log.
I also came across a group of black cockatoos. We’ve seen a lot of these flying near the roads but we rarely get a good look at them. They are very skittery and fly off pretty quickly when they see us. For some reason, these guys didn’t mind me getting a little closer. If you look closely, you’ll see that these were red-tailed black cockatoo. (Ross, show this photo to Jeanette if you are reading – she loves the black cockatoos).
Eventually, I worked my way back to the hotel behind the servo where I left Nancy and her book. She was sitting with Vince (the cyclist we met yesterday). He rode as far as Hayes Creek and turned around. Seems his house sale is moving fast and he has to get back home. We had a nice dinner and a few drinks with him on the hotel patio – nice evening – t-shirts and shorts for all.
Tomorrow, we are heading towards Litchfield National Park. Not sure how far we’ll ride as it is only a short distance between various stops in the park. We have to ride, so it is not technically a “no bike day” but we’ll probably end up riding less than 50k. Time to head to the tent now as the mozzies are coming out in full force…
Oh – and happy 4th of July to all our friends and family in the US!