I woke up feeling unrefreshed, knowing I’d have a battle on my hands to maintain a calm, positive mind against the force of a tired-induced short temper. The battle turned into a war the moment I hit the road, for there wasn’t a minute in the day that I wasn’t fighting against a headwind. At times I had to push hard just to maintain 8kph on the flat road. Today was just as long as others and my wheels had been turning for 7.5 hours before I called it a day. This is actual wheel turning time, not including breaks. I started thinking I’d much prefer 7.5 hours in the office any day. Not really, but sometimes I think returning to work would feel like a nice holiday compared to what I’m doing now.

I was able to pick up two bottles of water shortly into the day before riding on until I’d completed 40km, when I had a break by the roadside to eat some stale bread, tomatoes and trail mix. My day fell apart a bit after this as two points at which I’d anticipated I’d find water were not present. I had to ration what I had and was down to my last litre at 83km when I finally found a place selling water. I was hoping they also had some food, but no, just water and soft drink. I pushed on to the town of Miskin and had all but decided to stay in a motel (even checking out the rooms and negotiating a price) when I passed on the opportunity. I was put off by the fact that I wasn’t allowed to store my bicycle in the private entry area that leads to my room. Instead, I was expected to put it in an unsecure shed several hundred metres away. I rode on and began to worry as it started getting dark. I hate finding a place to camp after dark as you can never be sure what is around and it’s annoying setting up and cooking dinner by headlight.

As I passed a chaihana on the edge of town I decided to ask if they had rooms. When I conveyed my desire to find a place to sleep, a young guy gestured to the ‘eating platform’ outside and similar ones inside. I learned that I could sleep on any of these if I wished. The price? 10,000s or AU$1.50. Perfect. I could even stand my bike next to my chosen bed-site. I dumped my stuff inside before digging out my foldable bucket, which I filled with water using a hand operated pump outside, which accessed underground water. I took the filled bucket around the back of the teahouse and proceeded to have a wash. Returning inside, I ‘chatted’ to a group of truck drivers who I gathered were driving to Russia. I managed to order some kind of food and was happy to receive a huge plate of fried fish, along with non, green tea and sweet chilli sauce.

Pushing on

Accommodation $ Chaihana (tea-house)
Distance ridden today 100.76km
Average cycling speed 13.3kph
Total distance ridden 21,813km