Monday, March 10, 2008

But at night I'm a junk-food junkie, Lord have mercy on me.

Night of the 25th to 1030 am on the 26th

Once on the Adelaide side of the ferry, we still had the country roads, but with the city traffic. It continued to be a stressful ride. Its only redeeming factor was the bright moon, nearly full that presented itself to us in ripe orange glory. Unfortunately, like so many natural phenomena, it could not be done justice by our cameras. The last 98 km were on a busy highway, much smoother quality of road and at night, hardly any traffic.

However, as a cyclist, you can sense a dangerous road, and this was certainly it. 25 km outside the city we had to jump a fence to the suburbs and seek refuge in a local cafĂ©; you might have heard of it - McDonalds. No, I’m not going to apologize for eating there. It was all things good, bad and familiar – yes, I read Fast Food Nation - I know the food is designed to be that way. But, after riding through the night and dealing with highway traffic, I was just hankering for an Egg McMuffin®, hotcakes, and some hash browns. The familiar packaging assured me it was all Australian potatoes and that they got their eggs from the same place I did. Whoopty-do. And yes, in answer to your question, I was indeed loving it.

At this point all credit for toughness goes to Anthony. There was only one road into town from the north, and half the locals told us they hated getting on it in a car. Our options were getting a big cab or a train. In my beleaguered condition, my vote was for the cab. Trooper that Anthony was, he pushed for the train. As exhausted as I was, he did not have to push hard. I just needed to move to stay awake.

So we combined one part local knowledge, one part determination on Anthony’s part, and one part lucky spotting and finally found a train. Anthony got our tickets. I fell asleep standing up, then followed Anthony the last few km from the city center to the oasis of his lovely grandmother’s house. We ate. I showered. We slept. I woke up with a genuine dislike for the fur on my face. Shaved - felt somewhat civilized again.

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