Friday, January 18, 2008

Humbled by the stars

Jan 17

I woke at 2;30 this morning on a picnic table staring up at the stars above the trees. It was windy. For the past two hours, I had again been cold. Whereas, the first part of the night had left me hot and sticky despite stripping down to nothing in the thin Gortex® of the bivy. It was clear, and wind came from the east – something I hoped would not follow me on the Nullabor in the next few weeks. I lay uncomfortably considering my options. I wanted to sleep in. If I did, I would be riding in the hottest part of the day - not an option. I could rest here in the bush for a day, not idyllic, but there was plenty of shade, and hell, I had Martin’s Tank to look at? I then realized that I had 4 liters of water, enough to get me to the next road house, but not enough to wait a day before heading on – again, not an option.

Back to plan A. My body hurt, and I was not looking forward to the four or so km of sand and gravel that I would have to fight through in the dark before I reached the paved road. Halfway up the road, I turned of my headlamp and bike light. The sand was white. The unfamiliar stars above sparkled vividly within the haze of the Milky Way. Every few meters, I would hear a scramble followed by rhythmic crashes through the bush. More roos.

I reached the main road in two hours, mindful of the dark and road trains, and rode on in the early morning into the sunrise and Bunbury. I hoped there would be a beach.

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