A relatively short morning ride brings me to Port Augusta – the last true civilization I'll be seeing for quite some time.
I ponder, as I often do, my journey through the Outback as I look at where I've come from and where I've still to go.
The highway I will be traveling on northwards from Port Augusta is the Stuart Highway. It runs north for 1,761 mi / 2,834 km to the city of Darwin, the capital of the Northern Territory.
Until now I had been considering turning east at some point along the Stuart Highway and making for the city of Cairns (located on Australia's eastern coast in the state of Queensland).
Until now I hadn't really considered Darwin as a possible terminus for my journey.
But why would I change my destination?
Well, a couple of reasons:
- The Stuart Highway is a well-known route through Australia and quite literally cuts the country into east and west.
- Darwin has crocodiles, and since I've yet to see any real Australian wildlife, I might as well try for some crocs.
- If I don't go to Darwin now, I cannot realistically see myself making it there anytime in the near future (the only future worth considering).
- I am traveling without plans and one of the beauties of planless travel is that I can do whatever I want whenever I want.
Good enough reasons? If not, then how about I just say that it's shorter (and it is – by 227 mi / 365 km)? Now, have I adequately justified my new position now?
And yes, I said new position. This has officially gone from something that I'm thinking about to something I'm planning on doing.
Corcodiles, here I come.
Should I make it up to the top of the northern territory quickly enough, I may be able to spend some days in Kakadu and Litchfield national parks (and possibly add the Big Jumping Crocodile to my list of big things).
Both are supposedly spectacular (and filled with crocodiles), and a visit would give me something to look forward to during the long haul north from my (planned) visit to that big rock in the middle of the country.
In terms of riding, today was short and easy. However, when checking myself into my Port Augusta motel, I had an altercation with the owner regarding whether or not my bicycle would be allowed to stay in the room with me.
Needless to say, I sought more hospitable accommodation down the road (where they had surprisingly quick wifi as well – quite rare in this country).
- START: Rest Stop, South Australia
- END: Port Augusta, South Australia
- DAY'S DISTANCE: 30.64 mi / 49.3 km
- TOTAL DISTANCE: 699.73 mi / 1,125.84 km