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#19 – New stage under the Australian heatwave…


november 6, 2018. Today we go to St George via Eulo, Cunnamulla and Bollon. It’s a beautiful stage of 490 km! It's going to be long and hot... Fortunately, I have my airy motorcycle outfit: jacket and pants did the job!

Heatwave disasters in Australia

We were supposed to leave at 7:30 a.m. but a problem with a lamp on a motorcycle delayed the group. So we leave at 8 a.m., fill up, and off we go.

Eric had warned us to be very careful of the kangaroos which very frequently cross the roads. With our motorcycles going at 100 km/hour, it can do a lot of damage. Don't forget, he repeats to us, "these creatures can't go back... For them, it's straight ahead." We will therefore be doubly vigilant.

We take a beautiful asphalt road lined with trees and groves. The road is once again littered with animal corpses: kangaroos, sheep, goats which have been crushed or died of dehydration. It is an image that we will unfortunately all remember, as this exceptional heatwave has claimed so many victims.

During an evening stopover, we learned that a chain of solidarity had been set up with farmers, in order to bring water and fodder to the animals on the various farms. Water and hay arrive by truck, and even by helicopter for the most remote areas of the Bush. But despite this valuable aid, some farmers lost more than 60% of their livestock in a few weeks.

The kilometers go by. We stop frequently to drink, it's 40°C and it's only 11 o'clock.

Kilometer 130, in Eulo, we discover a nice museum made of odds and ends, and we have a cool drink in its bar. It feels good ! We then hit the road again on a beautiful smooth bitumen but littered, once again, with bones. It's not very happy.

The importance of good motorcycle equipment and ventilated motorcycle clothing!

My motorcycle jacket is open to the maximum, and the air current generated by the openings creates turbulence which dries my perspiration and refreshes me a little. At these temperatures, you have the sensation of having a “maximum power” hairdryer plugged into each arm. As long as you're driving, it's good... But when you slow down or stop, it's unbearable.

When choosing this jacket at Motoblouz, we insisted to Pierre and Justine to have a ventilated motorcycle outfit, while keeping a maximum protection. We do not regret our insistence on these two aspects!

The protections prevented Hubert's accident from being more serious and at the moment, the design of this airy motorcycle outfit, with jacket and motorcycle pants, keeps me from looking like a crayfish coming out of its pot.

We stop another 50 km further at Cunnamulla, to drink (again) something cold. We have 47°C, and we have only done 190 km. The road is monotonous and the landscapes little varied. Fences now border the fields, and we see fewer bodies on the roadsides...

Traveling from one bar to another

We travel from one flea to the next! Some would say from one bar to another... And they wouldn't be entirely wrong. 80 km further, in Bollon, we stop at a very nice little restaurant for a light meal. And above all, for a long break under the air conditioning. Some even doze off in the cool.

I don't remember who called the reminder that we had to go, but here we go again! We still have 100 km to go, and the prospect of taking a shower motivates the whole group. We therefore leave this haven of freshness to return to our motorbikes. And once through the door, it's an uppercut that we take in the face because the heat slaps us so hard. Even with my airy motorcycle outfit... Quickly, we have to go and ride to regain some freshness.

A few more stops to quench our thirst, then the signs for St George appear. Here we are. Time to find the Australian Hotel and collect the keys to our rooms, we all rush for a cold shower!

A good evening to unwind

We meet at the bar for the (first) cold beer of the evening, and we all look for the best place to get the Wi-Fi… Holy disease we have there.

During the meal, Eric tells us of the departure of Rémi Chapeaublanc, our photographer, who is called back to Paris by professional obligations. We give him a standing ovation to salute the quality of his work, and for his kindness.

Then the evening continues around a drink at the bar while listening to great music. The owner of our accommodation, emboldened by the good atmosphere of our group, suggests a little local game: strapping. Lying flat on their stomach, face to face, we place a circular strap between the two necks of our players, and the goal is to pull their opponent by the strength of their neck muscles. Misplaced, the strap slides over the top of the head and rasps the scalp. Hilarious laughter quickly arrives, and some friendly jousting takes place! The beer is at stake. The challenges follow one another until the owner calls his son... When we see the beautiful baby arriving, we quickly say to ourselves that it's over. Indeed, although very young, this (very beautiful) baby has the profile of an Australian rugby pillar. Not a single one managed to move it a millimeter! He raises his head and smiles toothily at his adversary who is trying hard to drag him along. The end of the game is whistled by the defeat of the visitors.

No hard feelings, it is at the bar that the third half continues. Fortunately, the local beer is only 3 to 4°… For my part, after having a good laugh, I go back to my room to try a Skype with the family.

And as Hubert wrote: more soon!

 

Photo credit: CitiesTips.com

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Florence and Hubert

Both, at fifty plus interests, live life with passion. What do we look for in our travels? The wonder! You know: that little light that lights up in your eyes at one moment or another... and when you can also share it, isn't it even more beautiful?

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