I'm woken by the tarpaulin cracking in the wind. It's still dark, but close to dawn. My first thoughts include: wonder which direction that winds coming from, is it really as fierce as it sounds, will it be bringing rain?
First light and Rayma is up cooking some breakfast. Eggs, sausages, fried veges, and hot black currant juice. Drag myself out of bed. While breakie is being made, I pack up my panniers, and pull down my tent. I'm all but ready to roll by the time I eat.
A quick lube of the chain, and a visual check of the bike, as I load the panniers on, and make the decision re long finger or short finger gloves, and how many layers to wear when riding.
Snack food into handle bar bag, drink bottles full, inReach turned on, change into my riding glasses, zero my distance calculator, and hit the road.
The support team normally catch me somewhere between 20 and 30km, and I stop for a stretch and snack. The big decision of the day....how many kms before the next break. This depends on how I'm feeling, how much wind there is, and how far it is to the next roadhouse. Deciding on your daily kms before you leave just doesn't work....too many variables.
The rest of the day is spent waving at Gray Nomads, dodging Road Trains, counting roo carcasses (an average of 3 per km today...just on my side of the road), spotting other wildlife, (today I was visited, followed, and swooped upon, by a Wedgetailed Eagle), being smashed by the backdraft of approaching trucks, and watching the Kms pass by.
I normally stop every 10 or 15km for a quick stretch, snack and drink, and this gives me a chance to have a 360° look about. There's not really much to take photo's of, so I seldom stop for that, although I thought I might get one of the Wedgetail today, but it flew off to quickly.
Eventually, some 5 or 6 hours of riding later, I arrive at our campsite. Food and drink and a comfortable seat are first priority. After a bit, I summon up the strength to get out of my sweaty, wet and cold riding gear into dry clothes. Then more food and drink.
Eventually, enough energy is found to put up my tent, and lay out my sleeping bag. If I'm really lucky, I've got enough strength for a short walk around the surrounding area, which helps loosen the tight cycling muscles.
Now it's tea time, and I eat twice as much as anyone else. Perhaps I survive 30 mins of conversation about the day, plans for tomorrow, and then I crawl into my tent. I write my blog......and then fall into a deep cyclers sleep, to dream about doing it all again tomorrow.......