The day has gone swimmingly. I left Rumi hostel at a reasonable time and made good time through the morning, having my first break after 40km at a roadside bus stop, where I ate half of a fresh non with a couple of tomatoes. The bread was still warm from the oven when I purchased it from a lady making her morning deliveries from her bread pram. I was lazy enough to not bother making a sandwich, just taking bites from the bread roll and a tomato one after the other. I finished things off with some trail mix I had prepared with almonds, sultanas and peanuts wrapped in a sugar coating.
My next stretch was again 40km, placing me in the middle of nowhere, with not a skerrick of shade in sight. I pulled into a side track so as to attract less attention from passing motorists and proceeded to eat exactly the same thing I’d had earlier. I could have done with a longer break, but I didn’t really feel like sitting in the direct sun for too long, so I pushed on for another stretch.
After 25km I reached Gazli, where I took some shelter in the shade of a lonely shop on the side of the road, buying cold Pepsi and water. A Mongol Rally car pulled up while I was there, desperate for fuel, as they didn’t think they had enough to get to Bukhara. The shop had some fuel but it wouldn’t pass through their filter, suggesting that it was pretty impure, which it probably was. After cooling down, I went through a hazy period where I couldn’t help nodding off as I sat on my campstool against the building. It was one of those situations where every time I nodded off my head would drop and I would wake up, only to nod off again a few moments later. One particularly sharp head drop woke me up enough to check my watch and decide to get going again.
Twenty kilometres of the same flat, desolate landscape brought me to a track running away from the main road to the horizon. It was the perfect track down which one can find a home, running off the opposite side of the main road, which is currently inaccessible to vehicles. It was clear the track had not been used recently. I waiting for a lull in the passing traffic before making my move. I’m now about a kilometre from the main road, just hidden below a low hill. As I cooked dinner I watched the sky slowly change colour as the sun set, reminiscing about riding through remote sections of Western Australia which look and feel very similar to where I am now.
|Distance ridden today||127.04km|
|Average cycling speed||16.3kph|
|Total distance ridden||21,582km|