Day 71: Four Backpackers And One Walker

May 25th, 2011
60km east of WA border to Eucla
Distance: 78km
Total distance: 3902km

One great thing about cycle touring, you wake up every morning with zero knowledge of what’s about to happen and who you’re going to meet on that day. Today is one of those days that will stay in my memory for a long time.

The morning saw me riding about 40km by myself with very little traffic. Probably because it was still too early. One thing that’s more evident now is that I seem to be waving and smiling more often with the oncoming motorists, whether or not they were doing the same.

Hail to the King!

At about 40km mark, guess who I met? Andrew! That’s right, the walking guy I met at Ceduna! Yelled at him “Andrew! I finally caught up to you!”, as I approached him and unintentionally gave him a fright, haha. He is one very fast walker. I left Ceduna only 3 days after he left and it took me 5 days to catch up to him. We stopped and chat briefly about what we’ve been through since leaving Ceduna. Gave him my breakfast for tomorrow as I felt he needed the calories more than I do. This morning I aimed to ride about 150km today to Mundrabilla Roadhouse and was planning to have lunch at Eucla so I must move on.

This my friend, is an extremely rare sight in Nullarbor. A Homo sapien spotted walking along the length of Eyre Highway

Andrew where I first met at the caravan park in Ceduna. He walks an average of 50km a day. On the days of extreme headwind, he walked a distance further than I rode. No wonder it took me so many days to finally caught up to him!

Rode for another 10km or so before I was stopped by two friendly French blokes who invited me for lunch because they have to cook up all their veggies or else it’ll be confiscated when they cross the WA border. Wow, a free lunch out of no where? Unbelievable. I met the rest of the party, two girls from Italy and Sweden. Diego, Pier, Angelica, and Karin were traveling in a hired campervan from Melbourne to Perth, and they just found out that they couldn’t bring raw veggies across the border and hence the random lunch 13km to the border. They were just cutting veggies and preparing to cook so we spent a good 30 mins chatting and them trying out my trike. Despite our different mode of traveling, we got along really well. Not long later, Andrew caught up to us and answered a series of queries from the curious backpackers. He left after consuming the last few pieces of fruits he had while the 5 of us had our lunch. I was well fed with heaps of boiled potatoes and yummy stir-fried chicken.

View at one of the lookouts, the awesome cliffs have flatten out at this point

The friendly folks who gave me a free lunch! From left: Karin, some crazy dude, Diego, Angelica, and Pier

Andrew joined us soon after. This was him showing us where he arranged to have his food parcels picked up. This self-drawn map was the only map he carries. Champion!

Spent about an hour altogether there and I wasn’t sure if I should still aim to get to the Mundrabilla Roadhouse, still about 100km away. About 5 mins down the road, I caught up to Andrew again. It was then that I decided that I should just settle down at Eucla tonight so the next 25km I rode alongside Andrew, sharing about the ups and downs of our trip, wildlife sightings, what inspired the trip, work life balance, religion, and before we knew it, the 3.5 hours flew passed and we’ve already reached our destination, Eucla. The officer at the border didn’t go through our bags to check for fruits and veggies so it was only a quick 5 mins stop there. I was only asked to open one of my panniers and that was it. Once we got into WA, the shoulder widens which was great for us both.

Farewell to an awesome bunch of people!

It's a good thing I checked out on this earlier at Ceduna. Can't imagine having my 1 week food supply confiscated!

Border village, as the name suggests, is a roadhouse at the WA/SA border. And this is the big kangaroo Rooey II (proudly endorsing a soda drink brand)

Andrew said we looked kinda funny riding and walking together, after seeing this photo, I totally agree, LOL

The quarantine inspection station, putting an end to all raw fruits and vegetables attempting to cross the border

What the heck?! Stray cattles!?!? ROFL!

Just as we were talking about wildlife sightings, Andrew spotted an emu amongst the bush!

Another rainbow day! Double dose this time!

At Eucla, we checked ourselves to an unpowered site as a group of two, so we paid a cheaper price compared to when we checked-in separately. This caravan park is even better than the Nullarbor’s. It has a full camp kitchen facilities and very clean ammenities. Got myself a nice homemade beef burger at their restaurant which was very satisfying although it wasn’t very filling. Some dark chocolates given by a neighbour caravanner took care of my demanding stomach.

With a population of about 50, Eucla is apparently the biggest settlement at the Nullarbor


Our campsite for tonight. This is by far the best caravan park I've stayed at the Nullarbor

READ: EASTERLY WINDS AHEAD!!! My life is perfect now! XD

Showers are generally not free here due to limited water

One of the best (roadhouse) burger yet! Om nom nom nom

I couldn't believe how much food Andrew is carrying on his buggy. He admitted that he had more than enough, so he's sending some to Norseman to be collected when he reach there

So that was my day. Wasn’t expecting anything like this but it was a memorable day. Spending some quality time to get to know a traveller (extraordinary one in this case) rather than just a quick 5 minute chat was definitely an eye-opener. A significant day in my tour thus far.

3 responses

  1. Lynn Brown
    14 Jun 11

    WOW ….one awesome man is Andrew. What an inspiring guy. Great pictures once again Melvyn of your trip….Keep on cycling my friend :)

  2. Len Gibson
    23 Apr 14

    G’day Melvyn, I just had some spare time and thought I should check my favorites in Google chrome and came across your Blog so I decided to see what you were up to.
    I met you as you were heading west from Ceduna I was travelling East after going as far as Eucla,I posted some Photos on Google Earth but Google Earth don’t except posed shots so you would have to look up ozimage@panoramio.com.
    Cheers Len.

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