AUSTRALIA Page 9 - South Australia - February 2007.

Australia, the adopted homeland of both Mal and Lee. The only continent under one government and the country we both love. The picture above is the “skyline” of our city, you can click on the picture to get a larger image. Perth is one of the most isolated regional capital cities in the world. There are so many things to say about our country that I simply do not know where to begin...

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Thursday February 1st 2007 Macclesfield to Strathalbyn.
15.93k's Average Speed 13.22kph Cycling time 1Hr(s) 12Min. Max speed. 59kph Max temp we recorded °C
Hilly. Road Conditions: Poor, No wind Overnight Accommodation: $. Standard)

We were invited to go to the “Eastern Fleurieu School” and have decided to stay in this beautiful, historic town. Bill Kelton is the driving force behind the wonderful achievements the students have strived towards.

Bill and his students, designed and built the fastest human/solar powered “hybrid” vehicle in the world! Based on a recumbent trike... The inspiration for the trike came (I believe) from Greenspeed)

We took quite a few pics and can upload more when we get to a broadband connection. This one should be here though...

What a wonderful achievement by our rural youth and their dedicated teaching staff..... The research going on into things such as, hydrogen fuel cells, HPV solutions, solar power, etc.. Some, perhaps many, Universities could not do better.

The ride from Macclesfield was one of the best rides we have ever done... Two huge hills and long long gentle downhills.. 5 ks of downhill all the way into Strathalbyn. The scenery was superb, the bird life exotic, the roads serene and quiet. Sadly 11 or so k's was over in a short 44 minutes.

Reluctantly we booked into the caravan park.... A dreadful park with no facilities. One “Full Sun” seat, no camp kitchen and dirty facilities. A useless camping area with sloping patchy grass. Simply unacceptable in today's world. But they have the monopoly... ??? More tomorrow...

Friday February 2nd 2007 Strathalbyn to Wellington .
49.75k's Average Speed 13.78kph Cycling time 3Hr(s) 36Min. Max speed. 41kph Max temp we recorded 43°C (Shade)
Small hills. Road Conditions: Poor, No wind to slight headwind Overnight Accommodation: $. Standard)

Very hot weather again.. Road temp over 50C... Water consumption started to soar... Over 3 litres per hour. Despite the improved “cruising speed”, since our gear changes, we just had to stop in this heat. Both Lee and myself agreed to take extra care (where possible) when faced with Temperature extremes. I am 60yrs old next year and want to continue this exciting adventure – in good health :-)

This part of SA (The Fleurieu Peninsular) is stunningly beautiful... Perhaps one of the most beautiful parts of Australia... (Although I Love the Murray and wanted to do a holiday business on the river in the 1970's). On a bicycle you not only get to “see” Australia, but you “hear” it as well. Something you cannot do in a car or caravan is “hear” this fantastic country, the engine(s) drown(s) it out. Bird sounds must be a subject all on it's own... I have heard the terrible screeching of “our” Cocky to the wonderful songs of birds I do not know the name.

BTW The Donkey I told you about in “Kangarilla” some days back – The RSPCA did not bother replying to my email... Perhaps one of you (the reader) can direct them to the pictures on this site.. as my Internet/phone is far too intermittent to stay on long enough? I will be out of range the next few days as well. So far today I have been unable to upload, therefore you may not even read this.

We have succumbed to the heat and got ourselves a budget cabin – with A/C. The owners Ann and Tom are great hosts

Lee cooked a nice dinner and we just accept our stopping at 1:50pm... It is only 42k's to Meningie – our next scheduled stop. With our new gearing it is only a little over three hours away. Sod's Law will be in full force tomorrow... you just wait and see... The weather will “floor” us and it will take six hours :-) (Update 3rd Feb: well it did not – but, the headwind did make it a little over 4 hrs :-) )

UPDATE: Just learned this region is expecting 41C tomorrow.... Bugger!!!! Will re-evaluate as required.....

Saturday February 3rd 2007 Wellington to Meningie.
46.65k's Average Speed 11.23kph Cycling time 4Hr(s) 09Min. Max speed. 39kph Max temp we recorded 35°C (Shade)
Moderate hills. Road Conditions: Poor, Moderate to strong headwind Overnight Accommodation: $. Standard)

NOTE: Of course we – and you the reader – understand the correlation between heat and water consumption, however, I did not realise how much and how critical this equation is! Take care in your own planning – for ANY type of trip, not just cycling.

Usual start time (10am) when we get a room :-) However, no pressure today, it was either “Meningie” or 60k's further on.

There are poor opportunities to bush camp in this open cattle country. It is no fun out in the open with cars “tooting” through the night. Prolific bird life along the lake – but, it has been days now, since we have seen anything other than domestic livestock? The countryside is dull cattle country with the accompanying “fly” menace. Cattle have largely destroyed Australia and will do so even more until the “Votes/Money” shifts out of their corner. Yes I do love my steak!!!

Meningie C/Van park is clean and full facilities.. We will see how the noise levels are tonight. Catchya tomorrow.

Sunday February 4th 2007 Meningie to Policeman's Point.
55.56k's Average Speed 11.23kph Cycling time 4Hr(s) 56Min. Max speed. 33kph Max temp we recorded 40°C (Shade)
Moderate hills. Road Conditions: Poor, Moderate to strong headwind Overnight Accommodation: $. Standard)

Interesting day, our start was delayed (as is becoming the norm). We met a 60 yr old cyclist from Italy who is doing the same as we will do. He is in his 4th year of world travel. His stories about South America, particularly Chile and Peru are fascinating. He is travelling alone on an upright bike... and loving it!

A few hrs later we met an American couple... Who shouted as they peddled – sadly they did not stop for a yarn... Oh well.

We are the only people staying here at Policeman's Point.. The facilities are excellent and clean. We had heard they may be closed.. It will be sad if yet another rural town dissolves into the landscape.... Here is our camp spot – we borrowed the table :-)

Not much more to say, catchya tomorrow

Monday February 5th 2007 Policeman's Point to Bush Camp about 48k's from Kingston
45.90k's Average Speed 10.13kph Cycling time 4Hr(s) 31Min. Max speed. 30kph Max temp we recorded 37°C (Shade)
Moderate hills undulating. Road Conditions: OK, Ferocious headwind O/night Accom.: $. Standard)

We tossed up weather to take a rest day or not... after a hot night and soaring morning temperature. We could see the cool change from our vantage point, so decided to risk it. The first 10 k's to Salt Creek was very hot... then it started to cool..... We enjoyed the cool change even though it meant a very strong headwind, just like turning the Air Con on :-)

The rest of the ride was fairly uneventful with similar farming country to that between Albany and Esperance. In order to get our email today I had to hold the computer above my head... We got a few but cannot reply or upload... 50k's from a town not too bad for Australia.. Would be unacceptable in a first world country like Bangladesh :-)

Anyhow it is a quiet camp and we just had a good feed of “Lee Food” as I have come to call it. She does her very best to keep our diet Nutritious and interesting.... She's an absolute Gem!!!... And I remain as fat as a Pig! Catchya Tomorrow...

Tuesday February 6th 2007 Bush Camp about 48k's from Kingston to Kingston
52.78k's Average Speed 10.03kph Cycling time 5Hr(s) 15Min. Max speed. 24kph Max temp we recorded 27°C (Shade)
Undulating. Road Conditions: OK, Brutal headwind O/night Accom.: $. Standard)

Absolutely brutal headwind today, both Lee and myself have sore knees... I am amazed at the “Double Figures” on our average speed... I think it was helped over the line by the fact we did 3k's in town, without trailers? Again the terrain was uninspiring, mostly farming land, however, the bird life was varied. (And dead on the side of the road :-( ) We pulled into Kingston and like many towns in Aussie they have the big “symbol” In Kingston”s case it is a Crayfish.

We met a nice couple from France. Cathy, who is Dutch and Jean-Claude, a French National. Both live in the south of France. They have offered us accommodation should we ever reach there.

One can always hope :-) The caravan park is poor, however not nearly as bad as Strathalbyn. Anyhow more tomorrow.

Wednesday February 7th 2007 Kingston to Robe.
45.61k's Average Speed 10.43kph Cycling time 4Hr(s) 22Min. Max speed. 23kph Max temp we recorded 27°C (Shade)
Some hills but short. Road Conditions: OK, Murderous Headwind O/night Accom.: $. Standard)

Strange day, another very hard headwind – again! Still nothing we can do about the weather. Varied countryside from Pine plantations to cattle/sheep countryFunny how they all look at us when we pass.....

Trooper Harry Edmonds Pearce lost his life near here, only the second Police Officer to lose his life on duty in SA. He was only 24 yrs old when an escaped Crim stabbed him to death... The Crim was later captured and hanged.... What would have happened to the Crim today... The Irish nutter Freud was not “famous” in 1881....... Another subject... We often see these stories on the side of the road, so I set out to see “Who” Harry E Pearce was: Bellow is testament to part of his life:-

Trooper ‘Harry’ Pearce was buried in the WALKERVILLE CEMETERY. Trooper Pearce, a member of South Australian Mounted Police Force, in 1881 was murdered while escorting his prisoner near Kingston in the South East.

(The second Police Officer to lose his life on duty in S.A.)

This monument (pictured bellow) was erected by officers and his late comrades of the SA Police Force.

Henry Edmonds Pearce was born in Gawler in 1858. He joined the South Australian Police Force in 1880 after working for some time as a clerk. In 1881 he was stationed at Kingston when he was ordered to escort a Robert Johnson (Johnston or Johnstone) alias William Nugent to court to appear on charges of having sold liquor to aborigines. Johnson was also in possession of a stolen horse.

What seemed like a simple procedure, ended in tragedy. Trooper Pearce had escorted his prisoner for about 2 miles when Johnson dismounted from his horse and refused to go any further. Johnson tackled the trooper with a long knife and during the struggle Pearce’s hands were cut and he was unable to use his revolver. Johnson struck his captor several times and tried to cut his throat as the two wrestled together. Pearce became faint after being slashed in the abdomen and then collapsed. Johnson then turned the trooper’s horse adrift and left him to die.

Later that morning a local resident was riding by when he heard a cry. In the long grass by the road he found wounded Trooper Pearce lying in a pool of blood. He hailed a passing dray to carry the wounded man to Kingston while he hurried ahead to alert police. The nearest doctor was from Naracoorte. He arrived on the next train and did what he could but found only a weak pulse and gave Trooper Pearce little hope of recovery. Pearce’s parents who lived at Kapunda arrived on the train a few days later and Dr Wigg accompanied them so as to tend to their son’s needs. They saw their son shortly before he passed away in the evening of 18 May 1881.

Sergeant Morris and two other men tracked down Johnson who offered no resistance when approached. Johnson was committed to Naracoorte Circuit Sessions on a charge of murder and removed to Robe Gaol. After the jury had deliberated for 15 minutes he was found guilty and sentenced to death. The execution took place 18 November 1881 at Mt Gambier Gaol in the presence of the Sheriff, W R Boothby; keeper of the Adelaide Gaol, John Howell and other officials. The body was left hanging for the customary 60 minutes and buried within the grounds of the gaol after a short formal inquest into the death. The Pearce family also has a separate monument in the cemetery marking the passing of their family members.

Above the Plaque is a stone marking the spot

We pulled into Robe and thought – for a change – we will get our food first.... Just as well we did. We found there are (at least) four C/Van parks in Robe and an abundance of accommodation. We are staying at what is reputed to be, the best “camping” park in robe. It certainly is nice here. Will check it out further and report back.... The park is in a bit of a hollow, hence no Internet – well we cannot have it all.

We are discussing a “Rest Day” tomorrow. For some reason Lee's knees are playing up... Will go over her seating and pedalling position tomorrow and see if the solution can be found. Catchya Tomorrow.

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