December 31, 2010 GMT
Air Conditioning

Friday 31st December 2010 Ė Ride statistics:

Cobar - Cunnamulla
Distance: 406.7 km
Depart: 9.30am
Arrive: 4.00pm
Total ride duration: 6.5 hours
Temperature: 40C (at Enngonia Hotel)

So today I thought Iíd try a new strategy for combating the heat Ė a wet T-shirt. This turned out to be remarkably effective and kept my body temperature to a more acceptable level. I also made sure I stopped every hour or so and drank at least one bottle of Gatorade (a special hydration drink with lots of salts, etc). As a result, the ride up the Kidman Way from Cobar to Bourke (which Iíd been dreading) was a real delight. Everything was green and lush and I even saw a flock (?) of emus and several herds of goats (one of which I narrowly missed riding right into!). Plus, I can now say Iíve officially been to ďthe back of BourkeĒ (an Ozzie expression meaning the back of beyond).


I had reached Barringun by early afternoon and as it was literally a 2 building town, I decided to press on to Cunnamulla. The Mitchell Highway (which I joined at Bourke) was another good road but had no stopping places on it, so, about 60km out of Cunnamulla I had to make an emergency roadside stop when all the Gatorade started filtering through. You know its just typical Ė I hadnít seen another vehicle for miles, then, as soon as I have to pull over and bare my all, one comes along! Luckily, I just managed to conclude my business before it arrived.

A few kilometres on there was a sign saying water on the road. Luckily it wasnít all over it and was the only bit of flooding on the road I encountered, but when I arrived in Cunnamulla, the girl in the bakery advised there was no bread because everyone was panic buying because the floods are due.

The forecast is actually for good weather for the next week, but now the flood waters in northern and eastern Queensland are making their way over to here. At lunchtime the Police in Bourke said the road was passable to St George (a town due east of here), but the bakery girl said they expected it to be cut off by tonight. So my plan is to try and outrun the flood waters by heading north west. Hopefully, if I leave early tomorrow, Iíll make it to Charleville from where I can either continue northwards to Balcardine or go west to Windorah then north to Longreach on back roads. The latter option will add a huge detour onto my route, but its better that than getting caught in the floods.

So its New Yearís Eve and Iím stuck in a grotty, north facing, motel room Ė so its absolutely boiling in here, even with the air con going. Anyway, at least Iím safe and sound so all is well. I hope everyone reading this has a great New Year and that 2011 brings you all that you wish for.

Posted by Jill Maden at December 31, 2010 08:53 AM GMT

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