Cocklebiddy to Madura – 90km

Apologies for the late post - limited internet service from Madura to Eucla.

3 minutes before our 6:15am leave time Rob wakes me up. What? It turns out that the iPhone did not adjust itself for the made up Eastern Western Australia Central time zone. No problems I could adjust. It turns out I was not the only one with the same problem as it was dead quiet outside. Great I thought to myself that would mean I would escape a fine for “entertaining” activities tonight.

The one person who was up was Kerryn. Kerryn looked serious and said “I dreamt about you last night...and you said that you need to leave the trip to go and do something for week”. Not likely, it would take me at least a week to get out of here and besides, not a day has gone by where I haven’t been in stitches at some stage during the day. It’s hard work but I’m having an absolute ball making new friends, seeing some amazing scenery and been constantly blow away by the generosity of others.

It was cold first up, which meant I would volunteer Barry to do the first stint on the bike, we are sharing the mechanic/2nd support vehicle. The sunlight was doing its best to break through the early cloud cover and I was accompanied by the now familiar tunes of Daryl Braithwaite’s “Horses” that Barry had seemingly hardwired onto repeat.

Ticking off the kilometres (only 90 today) you need to look for ways to pass the time. Games of emu spotting or playing the “what road kill is that” are a couple of the favorites. We still have visions of finding a skull that we can zip tie to the front of the mini van.

As we have headed further east we are finally seeing more wildlife. Major Mitchell cockatoos, galahs, kangaroos jumping in front of the peloton, flocks of wild budgerigars and soaring wedge tail eagles add pleasant variety until the serenity is interrupted by the crackle of Janette on the radio “John and I are just going to race ahead and setup for morning tea.” By now the peloton know what this means. Food, water as well as our daily fix of Janette waving us in with her fluorescent pink Pom Pom dance routine. This not only lifts team spirits but also raises more then a few eyebrows from passing road train drivers.

A gusty headwind picked up after the break resulting in the team taking rolling 1km turns at about 20kph, all the time looking splendid in their pink and blue Start Foundation jerseys.

The day was capped off with a quick hole of golf at Madura’s par 3 on the Nullabor Links course. If you ever play the Madura hole, be sure to keep an eye out for the crows that align the course. Jan found out only what these “spectators” were up to all to well. After hitting a perfect tee shot straight down the rocky fairway, a crow flew across the course, picked her ball up then flew off and dropped her ball in the top of a tree. Classic!

PS. I was fined anyway, for taking an afternoon nanna nap.

Richard Cooke