Today was scheduled as a rest and recovery day, to allow me to a) recover from the past eight day’s journey, and b) rest in preparation for tomorrow, which might turn out to be the hardest day’s ride yet. So I stayed another day at the Murray Bridge Marina & Caravan Park on Roper Road, Murray Bridge.
I set out from Dimboola and before long reached Loch Iel, more commonly known as the Pink Lake. This salt pan is home to a type of algae that reacts to the sun by showing a pink hue, making the entire lake varying shades of pink depending on time of year, sun position, etc. It was very beautiful…
I started this morning in the worst possible way — disaster struck my rear axle. I snapped the ‘Burley Balls’ rear axle bolt, which was made out of cheap Chinesium, as I went to depart the Darlot Motor Inn! I was devastated — this could easily have been the end of the adventure right there. I was completely immobilised. Without a rear axle I couldn’t even walk the bike to the local bike shop. I rang my partner Danielle in despair.
I awoke early this morning to the sound of kookaburras laughing, and then cockatoos having a screaming match, so much better than an alarm clock! I love the bush!! Enjoyed a beautiful sunrise through the gum trees as I packed up camp and had a muesli breakfast. The family I’d met, the two little fellows were up bright and early like me, so we enjoyed breakfast together before I headed back down the gravel track to the highway. Lovely people!
Slept in slightly, then as I was leaving from home and not coming back, needed to double-check that everything was packed into the trailer and the gear was all ready to go.
When sitting down to plan out the Ride in September, one of the first requirements to come to mind was carriage space on the bike — how would I allow enough storage for food, water, shelter, changes of clothes, etc? Being a newcomer to the world of bike touring, I quickly found a number of different options and styles of travel, that when compared to the gear I already had, left me with three main choices to make: A setup involving lots of panniers and frame bags; a support vehicle to accompany me and carry all my gear; or attaching a cargo trailer to the rear.
Not wanting to ‘waste’ money on proper accommodation that could be far better spent on the cause, and being an enthusiast of the outdoors anyway, the obvious answer for me has always been to camp rough in, or near, each town/stop on the journey. It’s with this in mind that I first started contemplating a simple hammock and tarp setup. The Snugpak Jungle Hammock and All Weather Shelter fitted almost every requirement that I had…