Gladstone via Clare

heavy rain showers woke me thru the night – right up till dawn – but then a fantastic day on the bike. the weather Gods turned down the wind dial – shut the water tap and I had pleasant light conditions. Beautiful country thru the wine growing district of the Riesling trail. the temp gauge on the bike started at 10 degrees c and the toes where a bit numb but with lots of sun the temperatures soon stated climbing. They peaked at 22 c so it turned out to be a warm day.
stopped at Clare after 23 Kms to enjoy coffee and a big breakfast at an upmarket cafe. best I have seen. Clare is a nice sized and pretty township.
leaving Clare the ride moved into serious cropping country with wheat barley and rape- canola bring the mainstay of this region. Truly impressive arable cropping country- australia is blessed with amazing minerals but also some fantastic food growing lands.

My arse has been sharing an intimate relationship with my leather Brooks saddle. Not too much trouble – just a little bickering from time to time and the need for a trial separation as the Kms accumulate. every little township affords that opportunity – when we get into the desert proper there is simply no place to stop between settlements and not even a tree to lean the bike against. I suspect that as this ride progresses my arse will – more than any other part of my body- yearn for the last km into Alice springs.

After 100 Kms I stopped at Gladstone – a dying run down town once famous as a major terminus for the 3 different rail gauges that were once used here. Common sense eventually prevailed and they elected to use only one gauge – the middle one. Staying at the pub again- real cheap here – 40 dollars for a room – not flash but I am so knackered I don’t imagine it will matter.
Also famous for the huge grain storage facility- built in 1957 – it can hold 600,000 tons
An impressive sight on the downhill run in to Gladstone

Visited the old gaol – also has a claim to fame – built in 1881 and was the 2nd largest inland penal facility in aus. was closed in 1975 due to the fact that the cost of upgrading it so that inmates had a toilet in their cells was too prohibitive. up until 1975 they had only a bucket to handle any private business. times were tough eh!

Pt Augusta bound tomorrow – and hope to meet Charles who is going to take the slightly shorter but traffic wise busy main highway. he must have ridden out of Adelaide today.

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