Part 3: Adelaide to Alice Springs
Adelaide to Port Augusta - 335km
Day 18: Adelaide to Hoyleton - 130km
For my last morning at Ian’s I got up early to bake bread, finished the book “Momo” and packed my things. Had a last coffee at ARGO’s. Because it started raining, I went back to Ian’s and had a nap. Soon enough it cleared up, I picked up the spare Schwalbe tyres I ordered and got some groceries from ALDI, which gave me some home feeling. From here on things weren’t fun. I was tired, terribly annoyed by the flies eating my face, felt lonely and stressed. Luckily Peter and Annette positively responded to my request on WarmShowers and I had a place to stay at the end of the day. Finally arrived in Hoyleton, where I was welcomed warmheartedly with a nice room, a shower and lovely dinner. In hindsight not to bad of a day, even though my knees hurt terribly.
Day 19: Hoyleton - 0km
The morning started out really nicely, but just when I was about to leave it turned into a miserable day in terms of the weather. Browns offered me to stick around another day which I gladly accepted. Peter, a former maths teacher at school, now mainly does woodwork, amongst which he produces Burr puzzles. Quite hard to solve these buggas, and fun to build. So I was buisy, adjusted my bike seat and also worked on the computer in the afternoon and had good conversation with Peter and Annette. Very grateful to have met them :)
Day 20: Hoyleton to Murray Town - 130km
I was happy to about the good breakfast, Peter was happy to take my bike for a test ride and was amazed by the power of the motor and the weight that needs to be handled. It was a warm and heartfelt goodbye which sent me off in the best mood. Drivers passing by waved and smiled back at me and I just grinned and sang along until I arrived in Brinkworth. Here I stopped to rest and for some coffee and ended up having a great chat with Sharell and Russel. The strong wind from 8 o’clock was to my favour and I made good distance. During lunch break in Georgetown I had a nice video chat with my friends in Canada. Unfortunately there was no host available for tonight. Fortunately I found the oval in Murray Town and had the whole common area for myself. I set up camp, went for a run, because my legs and knees felt great after the seat adjustment and enjoyed the gorgeous full moon rise in front of my living room, while the sun was setting. A magical evening.
Day 21: Murray Town to Port Augusta - 75km
Last bit of cycling today. The morning was really chilly (5C) and dark clouds where approach so I packed quickly, ate the porridge hastily and set off. Before the last incline I stopped in Wilmington for a coffee and caught up with Rose (my friend and host in Hahndorf, remember?). I wonder if we would ever have a boring chat. The way up was slow and annoying: fu**cking flies!! Downhill I could shake them off and enjoy the breeze from the new max speed of 64.6km/h ;-) At the end of the run I turned for a shortcut directly headed for Port August. I call it the Kangaroo run, Dead Kangaroo run to be more accurate. I was living ones jumping away in front of me for many kilometres, but for the most part they weren’t very active. Flat smelly corpses every few hundred meters. Once I arrived in town I relied on google for a good place to have lunch and the best reviews took me to a disappointing Deli. And just before that my front tyre went flat… So I rolled into town, got some fresh bread, went to the park, had lunch and replaced the front tube and installed the new Schwalbe tyre. After that I put up my fliers about looking for a ride in town and at truck stops. Once that was done I looked for a place to stay. No response on Couchsurfing, no WarmShowers hosts, and the Caravan Parks are too expensive. So I asked two hip guys in a Cafe for where to go. And once suggestion was a parking area at the lookout which I looked at as a potential place already. So I went there, rolled up to the sheltered platform and set up camp. The beautiful scenery to three sides and my friend, the moon rising in full glory, made me very humble and grateful for being alive. With earplugs in I had a good nights sleep.
Hitchhiking from Port Augusta to Alice Springs - 1.225km (Stuart Highway)
Day 22: Port Augusta - 0km
“It's a ute (pickup truck)! Does it have some space on the back? Is it gonna stop?” How often I was thinking something along this line I don't know exactly, but it must be around the three digits. Between these thoughts I read the “Bhagavad-Gita”, the Bhuddist “Bible” if you want so, meditated, stretched/did Yoga, killed flies, chanted Vedic mantras, tried to accept the flies bugging me, waved at passing cars and just sat at the side of the road. This was the main part of these 4 days. And I loved it. I loved being all alone at the side of the road appearing like a hobo, I loved it more than I hated it. I hated being lonely and dependent, but my love was bigger, when I talked to people and they showed generosity.
Day 23: Port August to Pimba - 175km
I had to escape the rain several times, I ate, but other than mentioned above I didn't do very much. At night I returned to “my spot” on the viewing platform and wondered who often I would have to come back here.
Day 24: Pimba - 0km
I wouldn't return. Early afternoon Steven turned around and pulled over in his shiny blue ute. Because he was in a good mood and had enough time to get to his new job he was super relaxed and helpful. Not only did the move me and the bike for the first time after 1,5 days, but also would he leave most of his fast food to me. We had a good ride to Pimba, where I continued hitchhiking. Later in the afternoon two railway workers stopped separately checking, if I was ok and left some water. Good cunts! With the sun dropping below the horizon I packed my bike and my hope and set up camp at the Servo across the road. Straight to bed.
Day 25: Pimba - 0km
Straight out of bed with the sun rising. No breakfast, another day of intermitted fasting. And it started cooling down, the wind became stronger, the sky darker, until it started pouring buckets. Just in time a moved to seek shelter, make some lunch and have a nap in my sleeping bag. Only shortly and only twice I went back out on the road to lift my thumb and wait. Main part of my afternoon was spent next to the Roadhouse, talking to people passing through. I played with a cute puppy, had friendly chats with its lovely owner and friend, got given some fruit. Another lady that felt pity for me handed me 10$ and said: “Get yourself a coffee, it's cold out here.” So I did. And a few moments later miracle number 3 arrived in a railway workers ute. The same guy from last night looked at me and said: “You're still here? Didn't get very far. If you want you can come to my place in Woomera tonight, I have an air mattress and you can have a shower.” Magic, right? I eventually made my way to his place and ate gratefully the dinner he had cooked already. Yisey is his name, a really good cunt from the Phillippeans originally. Together with his room mates Josh and Shane I watched a movie. Another thunderstorm arrived and I was super happy and grateful to be inside.
Day 26: Pimba - 0km
The boys got up and left early to work (5:30am), I turned around slept until 7, packed everything, made breakfast and left for the road again. That day it was already normal to just stand and sit around, occupy myself more or less, being eaten by flies and escape the upcoming rain. Nothing really happened, except for myself being super content and happy to be alive, in exactly that random spot on earth, all by myself, with strangers passing by. In this solitude, with the Bhagavad-Gita, I found connection to life itself. And I couldn't help myself not to cry, dance, throw my arms up high and put the widest smile on. Yisey rolled up, “Still waiting?” - “Yeah...” - “Come home when you have enough.” What a good guy really! And I did indeed return to Woomera, bought some groceries in the emptiest feeling grocer store ever, cooked pasta for everyone and watched another movie with the boys. I loved having a little temporary family and a home, not knowing if I will return the next evening.
Day 27: Pimba to NT border - 755km
It was already 8:30 when I arrived at the road. The sign needed more depth I decided and gave “Alice Springs” a black shadow. And I want to build a rock tower! :) I was in a good mood and fully accepted my current situation, my life at the side on Stuart Highway. And just when I was finishing the tower a fully loaded dark grey ute with trailer pulled over. A guy in high vis and slippers came strolling towards me, introduced himself as Adrian and said: “What have we got here?” He seemed not to be in a rush, asked if I had some cash to help out with fuel. We had a deal, I took the bike apart, he made space and loaded it up together. Yes!, I'm on the road again, all the way to Alice Springs! We had interesting chats, quite different characters, Adrian lots of beer, I lots of judgmental thoughts, and many laughs together. Really good guy. We stayed on a parking area at the Norther Territory border over night.
Day 28: NT border to Alice Springs - 295km
We got up with the rising sun. I packed my tent, while he's having breakfast and I meditated. At the next gas stop we ran out of fuel and Adrian out of money, so he borrowed some form me. At this gas station I had a little sparky moment looking into the cute cashiers magical eyes! Only the bare minimum to complete the transaction was spoken. We arrived in Alice, Adrian went for a quick job interview and at the Coles parking lot we put together the bike. After an unsuccessful attempt to get the money I invited him to share a delicious Indian plate in the mall. After that I got some nice coffee and cake and enjoyed the comfort of caffein, AC, a nice chair, WiFi and messages from friends and family. I contacted a few people on Couchsurfing and Warmshowers to find a place for the night. Adrian took off, I checked out the hostels. Just in case and to maybe find someone going to Darwin. At Alice's Secret Backpackers Inn I felt quite at home and decided to come back and stay here, as I didn't get any positive response yet. Bought a load of groceries, cooked a massive pan of rise with the intention to share, but no one was hot for it. While doing stuff in the kitchen Adva offered my new friend David and me to join her and three dutch girls at the table. David shared a bottle of wine and we had nice chats about traveling, politics, what we do and the like. I was very tired from the long drive, the heat and the wine, so we at the point where we were struggling to focus on the conversation we went to bed. I really missed the hostel feeling, paying for accommodation, being fully independent individual for a few hours. And of course very happy to have finished the first big stretch across the Red Continent!