Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Nullarbor fades.

Feb 18th*

At sunset we left this Tarantino-inspired landscape for Nundroo – flat road and a sunset that set quickly on the unobstructed horizon. The heat still broiled the air despite the sunless sky. We powered up on Tim Tams (like Oreos but 10 times better – chocolate filling dipped in chocolate) and Redbulls before rolling away.

I soon decided to ride shirtless, a rare treat as it has usually been quite brusque at night. Riding without a shirt in the daytime is out of the question with my Northern European pigmentation. Besides, I would hate to ruin my Seattle tan - what would the neighbors think? Within 15 km, the land began its transformation from the desolation of the Nullarbor back into, as the lady at Nullarbor Roadhouse said, "good old Australian bush." Scrubby skeletons gave way to fuller salt brush and, eventually, actual gum trees.

Thankfully there was no wind. The road began to show some shape again with the rolling hills that breed speed – something Anthony and I were grateful for after the last few days of slogging it out. In between the heat were pockets of cold, refreshing air that whipped pleasantly across my bare skin.

We arrived at Nundroo a half hour after sunrise. I was more exhausted than I realized. The heat was already up, and the flies were coming with it. Dirty with dust and salt, they went right for our eyes and mouth. It was not an option to ride in the upcoming heat. We got a room for the day.

* Note: My dear readers, by this time you will have realized that these blogs are quite postdated. I did this because the internet between Norseman and Adelaide was very spotty. I am now in Hall's Gap in the Grampians and have a terrible confession to make - since leaving the Nullarbor Roadhouse, I have only made brief notes on the days, and for February 18th through the 28th will have to rely on these and my memory. I will do my best. Please enjoy.

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