Wednesday, 19 September 2012 at 2:05:25 PM EST - Paul is in Marla. Day 6 - Wed 19.9.2010 Oodnadatta to Erldunda NT 466 km today (254km dirt)
After a good night's sleep in my room which was actually a converted shipping container, I tightened up a few bolts, adjusted and lubricated the chain and packed the bike. The oil was topped up with some synthetic motor oil from the Pink Roadhouse. The attempt to repair the gps bracket using loctite failed, so I 'fashioned' one with the versatile cables ties.
Farewelled Trina and Alan, who were heading towards the painted desert, and I headed north past the old Ghan railway siding.
The dirt road to Marla Roadhouse on the Stuart highway was better then the previous day. By the last 50km past welbourn hill homestead, it was easy to ride at 80km+. I kept meeting a family from Adelaide who had a Danish exchange student who was getting sunburnt quickly! They let me stay ahead of them.
The vegetation changed to more low bushes and even gum trees at the creeks and a number of grazing cattle. The 'dropped a gear & power through the sand' technique was working well in general, although I had a couple of "this is it" moments.
At Marla, the dirt ended, and the telstra mobile coverage started again. I had my first meal of the day and took in a lot of fluids as it was now 37 deg and a very strong nw head wind.
The ride to Erldunda was uneventful, other then the wind buffeting. The highlight was crossing the Northern Territory Border. No motherhood captions such as "garden state", just a sign showing a sensible 130km/hr limit, and road trains are a max 53.5m long. Like the vastness , both took a while to ponder.
I decided to camp at Erldunda, as it was 17:00 and still 260km to the rock. The camp ground is well set out for car & trailer/caravan. I found some grass for the tent. Also met Jun the 22yr old Japanese guy doing "big adventure". That is 3 mth cycling from darwin to Adelaide! I bought him a beer and listened to his story in amazement.
Other travelers tell me to go to Kings Canyon, so that is on the agenda after ayers rock tomorrow.