Day 281, Monday, 4 January, 2010

Distance travelled – 105.5 km
Avg speed – 21.3 kph
Max speed – 37.8 kph

Robe to Penola

Our ride today was mostly along quiet country roads with very limited traffic, which made for a very pleasant day of riding.

As we crossed the Princes Highway we both commented on how green the countryside was. With all the media hype over the last few weeks about catastrophic fire conditions in South Australia and the dangers involved in being on the roads on hazardous fire days we both thought it was nice to be in country that felt like it would not explode into a bushfire at any moment.

Not 5km down the road we noticed smoke starting to rise into the sky from one of the fields beside us. It appeared that one of the headers or trucks involved in the harvesting had started a fire. A number of utes passed us at speed and drove towards the smoke but none seemed to be carrying fire-fighting equipment. When we lived in rural NSW many of the farmers at this time of the year would be carrying a small fire fighting unit on their utes and trucks. This is something we have not seen in WA or SA but nevertheless somehow the fire on our left was brought under control. A little later we noticed a small crop dusting type aircraft flying towards the fire and we wondered if it had been sent to water bomb the fire for good measure.

We arrived in Penola just after 4.00pm and we were both pleased with our progress. A pleasant change to the head winds of the last couple of days which have exhausted us in less than 50km. Today a leisurely 104km by 4.00pm.

Zoom into the map and use the 'Satellite' layer to see our new location.


Early morning light on the historic stables at the Robe Lakeside Caravan Park

A touring cyclist's curlers

Fire starting in a paddock

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