About 500 meters before the Dawesville Road house, I steeled myself. I was not going to turn in and get a cold drink; I was going to stick with 80º F water from my bottles, but the thought of an icy beverage proved way tooo tempting. I pulled into the shade, and made some small chat with the man outside – standard “where you going, where you coming?”
"Preston Beach," I said. "Bout 35 km right?"
"Oh yea mate, least that." he replied
I had thought I had overestimated, so that when he would say "naw mate, just 25 or so," I would feel good about myself. But no, his answer came with the realization that today my out-of-shape self was going at least 90 to 10 km with about 33kg of added weight. Basically, it mean that I was going to sidle up to the Hurt cafe and order up some pain pancakes.
I got passed by my first Road Trains today – three in a row. I was still close enough to the city that they call them "long vehicles." My knee, which had been giving me trouble before the trip, had been holding up well. The road smells like the asphalt of any hot road, but now and again, I get the tangy smell of salt from the shore, sometimes mixed with the bittersweet smell of Eucalyptus. I am happy.