Dave Byrnes' Adventures

Round Oz Bike Record Attempt - 2008
Overview     Planning     Schedule     Map     Diary     Pictures     Messages     Conclusion
Day: 017
Date:

2 June 2008

Start

Barkly Homestead Roadhouse

Finish

Cape Crawford

Daily Distance:

374km

Daily Speed:

25.4kph

Relative to Schedule:

-543km

Daily Podcasts: Here
GPS Track Here
Journal:

I got up at midnight, feeling very tired and somewhat dreading the day ahead, although also a bit excited.  This leg of the trip was a journey into the unknown.  I hadnít been up this road (Tablelands Highway) before and both Eugen and Erik, the previous and current record holders had chosen not to go this way, presumably because it was a bit unknown and remote.  Anyway, I left shortly before 1am, farewelled by two young guys from a nearby motel room who were having a quiet smoke before retiring after a long night in the Roadhouse bar.  One of them was genuinely interested and envious and came to have a good look at the bike.
 
The narrow strip of bitumen headed north into the darkness under the usual brilliantly starlit skies.  You cannot beat the Australian outback for night skies.  There as a slight following breeze and it was cool but not cold.  To my relief the road surface seemed fine and I made good time.  The total distance to be covered, according to the road sign was 378km, with rest areas at approximately 150km and 290km.  I decided to make these my breakfast and lunch stops and to have short breaks every 50km, which worked well.
 
I did not see another vehicle until around 7:00am and the only sign of life I saw before then were the distant lights of a cattle station and a couple of winking lights from high-flying aircraft.  As the sun rose, the countryside was revealed to be mostly dry grass prairie with some trees and occasional cattle and kangaroos.  I reached my target breakfast stop to find a number of caravanners getting ready to leave for the day.  One couple immediately offered me a cup of coffee which I gratefully accepted and we chatted while I ate one of the sandwiches I had bought the previous night at the roadhouse.
 
Then it was onwards across the Barkly tablelands with the terrain gradually becoming more undulating and varying from timbered scrub to vast treeless plains.  Traffic was extremely light, maybe two vehicles an hour, and I enjoyed the scenery aided by a strengthening tailwind.
 
Towards the northern end of the Tablelands the road crossed a few low forested ridges with some rocky outcrops and then, as it neared Cape Crawford, followed a picturesque river gorge that included some spectacular red rocky cliffs.  In this area I came around a corner to find a very big tiger snake thrashing around on the road with its back broken, presumably by a car which had just passed going in the opposite direction.
 
The Roadhouse at Cape Crawford is primarily aimed at tourists and had a nice shaded and grassy campground which also house three helicopters used for scenic flights in the local area.
 
I arrived at 6pm, having had a successful and pleasant, if tiring day, obtained a basic cabin for the night and enjoyed a chicken schnitzel dinner in the dining room before getting an early night.

ADVENTURE LIST

 

Round Ireland
(2016)

Hume & Hovell Walking Track
(2013)

Via Alpina
(2012)

Australian Alps Walking Track
(2011)

Land's End to John O'Groats
(2010)

Round Oz Bike Record Attempt
(2009)

Round Oz Bike Record Attempt
(2008)

Round Oz Bike Record Attempt
(2007)

Australia Tip to Top MTB
(2006)

Adelaide to Darwin MTB
(2005)

Sydney to Melbourne MTB
(2004)

Three Peaks Race
(2004)

Appalachian Trail
(1986)

Alpine Track
(1983)

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