The Nullarbor Plain is a relatively flat, almost treeless and a arid (severe lack of available water) part of southern Australia. It’s the world’s largest single exposure of limestone bedrock of about 200,000 square kilometers. It was the toughest stretch of cycling I have ever done.
The thing is, I knew it is 9 days of cycling from Norseman to Ceduna, with two days of 180+ km cycling, and two days of 150+ km. I knew I was about to cycle Australia’s longest straight road (146 km). I know there were road trains. And that’s all right.
Someone told us that it rains about 6 days a year – we got 5 of those. You know, cold and wet in the morning and no sun during the day to warm up. And you know, that’s also all right.
It never crossed my mind that we could have more than 1,100 km headwind! Call me naïve, growing up in flat countryside Groningen, I should have known better.
But sometimes it is what it is.
Cycling 184 km on the Nullarbor, with a strong headwind and drizzling rain throughout the day, it took me about 11 hours:
- eat well and go to bed early: 19:30 hours (yes, that is possible)
- start early means: get up at 05:30 hours (difficult, but possible)
- drop of bag at 06:15 hours, breakfast at 06:25 hours
- on the bike by 06:35 hours
- lunch at 75 km, still cold feet at 11:00 hours
- refreshment at 135 km, as there are no coke stops
- just rolling into camp before sunset at around 17:45 hours
Long day. Doable and exhausting.
But it has been beautiful. Amazing sunrise, and sunset, kangaroos (both dead and alive) hopping around, and endless views (which are mostly all the same, but still, beautiful). Here are a view pictures:
And if you think this is tough?! Meet Joe:
Joe is walking (!) from Perth to Sydney, including the Nullarbor, for charity ‘Sane Australia’ – promote mental health awareness. 40km a day, 5,000 km in total! Great cause, please support him by donating here: https://www.gofundme.com/trekking-with-joe