1 July 2015 – Day 1
After months of anticipation the big ride begins.
Over the next six months Maree and I intend to ride from Swan Hill to Kangaroo Island, through the Flinders Ranges and then north through central Australia, west through the Kimberly and Pilbera – to the south coast via the Munda Bindi track, then back to Melbourne via the Nullarbor and Eyre Peninsula.
Our first day was mostly spent in train travel. The trip from Melbourne to Swan Hill takes about three and half hours – four if you include dealing with getting bikes on and of the train at either end. Add a supply shop at Swan Hill, and a rather long lunch break at a roadhouse and we only achieved 35km of actual riding. We'll need an early start tomorrow if we are to stick to our average 90km per day we've set ourselves.
We may not have ridden far, but our first campsite – a spot on the banks of the Murray River where Major Mitchell (and no doubt thousands of people before him) once camped. Edible nettles grew nearby and they provided fresh greens to our couscous and tuna meal. They also made a delicious tea. Apparently nettles are a great source of iron, so all in all well worth the effort to collect. As I get ready for sleep I am contented. This is living.