Day 159, Friday, 4 September 2009

Distance travelled – 56.6 km
Avg speed – 18.28 kph
(the first 46km was on bitumen and the average speed for that was 22 kph, however our pace slowed for the last 10km which was on corrugated dirt and loose sand so our average speed for that leg was 10kph)
Max speed – 32.3 kph

Sandfire Roadhouse to 80 Mile Beach

We left a lot later than normal as we only intended to ride 53km into 80 Mile Beach, however, just in case the 9 km access road was very sandy we carried enough water for the two day ride to Pardoo Roadhouse.

In 2003 after doing some filming at 80 Mile Beach for work we undertook that next time we were passing we would go in and spend a couple of nights as we found it a difficult place to leave – lovely white beaches with turquoise blue sea. When we made this undertaking we had no idea the next time we came past we would be on push bikes.

We had an extremely friendly tail wind all the way to the 80 mile turn off. As we were riding up an incline not far from the turn off a caravan drew up next to me and the passenger started to introduce themselves as coming from Moruya in NSW. They thought we were Peter and Barbara who we met at Daly Waters. They had been following Peter and Barbara’s trip through their updates with local ABC radio. As we talked their speed kept dropping below 20kph and I had to keep asking them to speed up to my 27kph as neither Denise nor I wanted to loose momentum up the small hill. We told them Peter and Barbara were spending the wet in Darwin. They thanked us and did a U-turn behind us to head north. It would appear they had done a u-turn earlier without us noticing to chase us down.

The dirt road into 80 Mile beach was very heavily corrugated and it took us just over an hour to do the 9km. At one stage Denise disappeared from view in my mirror and as I rode back down the road to see what was holding her up a caravan stopped to tell me she very spectacularly dropped her bike in front of them and could not pick it up again out of the sand. They had stopped to help and she was OK. The benefit of the corrugations meant nearly all the traffic was moving at 20kph or less.

As we rode over the last sand dune into the caravan park the turquoise blue and white sand dunes came into view for the first time and it was very hard to resist a “WOW”. This was why we had come back.

We spent the afternoon lazing about on our campsite and watching what the shadows did before pitching our tent for the next two nights. We then went to the beach to watch the sunset before returning to dinner of two very large pizzas and fresh salad from the store.



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



Termite mounds

Bush on the road to 80 Mile Beach

Denise on the road to 80 Mile Beach

Our campsite at 80 Mile Beach

Low tide at 80 Mile Beach. The beach grows by more than 1km at low tide



Sunset at 80 Mile Beach

Rising moon over caravan park at 80 Mile Beach


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