Nundroo to Kyancutta
After the ‘early’ call last night, we have all managed to get a decent 7 hour sleep. We woke at 6am to no wind – for the first time in DAYS. Today, instead of slogging it out through aching muscles and fatigue, he is able to “just ride” and might actually be enjoying it J In fact, as I’ve caught up with Reid at the various pit stops today, he’s been smiling, positive and having a good banter with the crew. Since his frustrations aren’t aimed at the wind, he can start poking fun at the crew, and himself.
Life on the road is not exactly ‘clean’. We do our best and the ol’ shower in a can (aka deodorant) is a good back up. We grab a shower whenever we get the opportunity, generally at a roadhouse, costing anything from $1 to $5/person. Some are better than others. While Reid is out riding today (supported by Daun and Dan), the rest of the gang bolted ahead in Flo to do the laundry. We’ve come across a brilliant little caravan park in Penong – it’s clean, the dust is raked, they have frangipani hand soap and the newest washing machine I’ve ever seen… luxury! We were so inspired by the state of the park that we decided it was time for Flo to scrub up, so we’ve ‘mopped’ the floor and done a thorough clean of the toilet/shower on board – you can actually stand in there without gagging at the smell.
A few times today, I’ve found myself with not much to do. It’s a bit of an adjustment from the previous days, where we’ve either been napping (minimal) or go-go-go. I think it’s because we all got a decent sleep last night, so there has been no real need to grab a 30 minute (or 2 hour) kip in the back of Flo throughout the day. We’ve all been awake and coherent for the full day, and the pit-stop banter has been great. You can see it in Reid too. He’s alert and alive, having a good laugh at dinner and getting the footy scores off Hedgy. Unfortunately we missed our original meeting point with the good people of Ceduna, but were fortunate enough to cross paths on the Eyre Highway (in the middle of nowhere). After all the planning from a few weeks/months back, it was good that we were at least able to say hi and thank them for their support.
Lessons from the Headwinds
I’m not saying that the headwinds are over (though I really pray that they are!), but I would love to share with you Tim’s thoughts on headwinds and what Reid, Tim and Dan learnt from their previous ride around southern Africa back in 2011.
“Poverty, from what we have seen on this ride, is like living life into one relentless headwind. Each day it is a battle to move forward. Whether that be searching out enough money to buy basic food for the family, battling to stay healthy enough to get the normal life necessities done or constantly considering how to maintain the roof over your head. No matter which way the road turns, it seems there is the headwind buffeting you, making any sort of progress nigh on impossible. And yet, the people here are head strong and persistent. They continue pedalling when it would be easier to get off the bike altogether. And instead of responding with sighs of depression, they instead dream and imagine what tomorrow might bring. Sometimes the road might turn 10 degrees, and the wind is not so in your face, but the road to freedom still lies ahead. And to continue up that road requires resilience, humour and persistence. Despite the horrid dehumanising effects they live under, the people we have met continue to forge beauty, wonder and celebration in life. They greet each other with a dignity and honour that is unmistakeable. There is a willingness, despite the tiredness they feel and live under, to open their homes to us and answer our prying questions. This headwind is oppressive, but how they respond is unbelievable.” – Tim Burns (Husband, father, florist and taxidermist – also cyclist and Director on the EWAustralia Board)