After more than 9 hours of sleep I feel that I could sleep more. Being the day after my birthday, I think it would be a sin not to.
The start of the day is beautiful with a splendid sunrise. As pretty as the sunset yesterday, just I’m more in the mood to enjoy it.
Off I go and I take the big detour, 15 km on a flat and well maintained dirt road is likely to be shorter than the shortcut for a pushbike. On a horse it would be a different story. The other thing is that it’s easy to navigate and I don’t get tired from bush bashing.
My derailleur is still causing me some troubles and I keep thinking I could tune it, but I don’t want to make it worse. I just want to make it to Mackay, 200km north. Then I will get it replaced with a proper one. Still it takes some concentration with my thumb constantly adjusting the tightness of the cable.
I finally make to the crossing of the Fitzroy River. I’m excited and a little anxious about the crocodiles. At least it’s day time and everything is more enjoyable than when it’s dark. The issue is that I need to get some water. Most creeks are dry and I’ve used up all my water yesterday by camping away from a water source. The cooking and cleaning the dishes does use a couple of litres even if I’m being extremely careful.
I look around for some time and don’t see any crocodiles. I do see some litter including a recent baby napkin right on the river bed. Must have been dropped yesterday or today. I can’t believe someone could do that. It is so disrespectful to the environment and the people who want to enjoy it, like me and who even wish to drink out of the river. I hope a crocodile will get them one day. Unfortunately, their litter tossed out of their car is more likely to attract crocodiles that would then get me, instead of them.
Fortunately the river is running fast, far from the litter. I take my chance and go refill my water bottle a couple of times, being extremely careful and doing it in crystal clear water where I can see everything. I’m confident crocodiles will only have been spotted here on rare occasions, they would probably stay away from the busy road.
Later on, at lunch time, I decide to finally tune my gears. I’ve had enough of struggling with this derailleur. I pull the cable, rescrew, and hope for the best. I didn’t use fine tuning and instead went for a more radical way. I try it and by miracle, it’s near perfect. Very smooth indeed. That could be the beginner’s luck.
The rest of the day is spent riding at relatively fast pace. It’s a very easy and flat road. Just what I need.
I spot some huge birds. I’m surprised they can even fly. They are too far away and too fast for my camera. But later on, I spot another smaller bird eating a dead kangaroo and manage to get a picture of him whilst he was on a branch, waiting for me to go away.
Soon I arrive in the town of Marlborough. For a few dollars I can camp at the pub. There are many other campervans here. Such a contrast from the chaotic ride in the dark and camp by the road yesterday.
The pub only has pizzas on the menu tonight, and unfortunately nobody seems to come and offer me dinner at the campsite. I almost started to think it was going to happen every time. Well I’m happy to cook myself a huge serve of rice, it hits the spot with some Muesli for dessert.