Day 12: Quorn to Cradock

After an excellent dinner at one of Quorn's pubs, chosen by asking one of the patrons who was standing outside if the food was good (turns out he was the owner), we staggered home, to ready ourselves for the 85 km ride on the morrow.

Unfortunately the IGA was not open when we left, so we had 4 mint chocolate biscuits (don't know where the rest of them went) and the usual nuts and cheese to sustain us through the day. And what a day...

It was a full on fly net wearing day. Although the road out of town was bitumen, it lasted about 5 minutes until we were on a rutted gravel road. 14 kms of being shaken to pieces before joining another bitumen road. We thought we had gone to heaven, until it too petered out after a couple of kilometres, and it was back onto the gravel, with all the usual bumpiness that ensues. We spent most of our time trying to find the smoothest part of the track, or the least bumpy.

Even though the state of the dirt roads was terrible, we made fairly good time because there were not many hills. We stopped for some cheese at somebody's grave. Apparently they drowned out there (Ray thought it must have been in the bath). The very dry creek bed that we were looking at, can become a raging torrent in the unlikely event of rain. Jim, who is traveling around Australia in his 4wd with his kayak, stopped for a chat. He turned out to be a bit of a character

The country was becoming drier and drier the further we were from Clare. And our destination at Cradock was pretty much a dust bowl. It's not called Heartbreak Hotel for the obvious reasons, but for all the farmers who have lost their farms through drought. One hundred people used to live in Cradock, but now it's down to just five and three of them are the publican and his family.

The hotel is still standing since it was built in 1878, but I don't think they have replaced the showers since then. I managed to get 30 seconds of almost warm water to wash off the dust of the day. We retired to the bar and watched lots of people arrive for dinner. I don't know where they came from, but the food was pretty good.

Unfortunately we could not get breakfast in Cradock, which meant we had to detour to Hawker, adding a few extra kms onto the last day of the journey, but what's another 8km when your energy levels are at stake. I can't believe. Our last day tomorrow. The end is nigh.
 

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What were they doing out here. I think I am pretty nuts, but these people were really nuts. I suppose at some stage these places may have looked more promising than they do now. As usual I blame stupid politicians. Politicians who think they know everything and replace ideology for policy. The outback is full of policy failure.

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The environment continues to change with more oranges and purples.

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Are we coming or going at this point. I have no idea.I can't see any tyre tracks so I would say that we  are just about to go downhill on quite a good road. That means speed. Speed is good.

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Now that we changed the tyres, the Aldi 29er bike is performing pretty well.The bloke who died trying to cross a flooded creek and who was buried here 150 years ago may have benefitted from some excellent Aldi products at very reasonable prices. I'm not sure if there were many Aldi stores in the outback in those days.

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Bloody corrugated roads! According to a bloke we met at the Wild Daog Hotel who happened to be part of the road building team who were upgrading the highway in Hallet, said that roads made out off aggregate corrugated over time whilst crusher dust or talc roads potholed.

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This could be part of the original telegraph. The original Ghan railway passed close by.

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Like an oasis in the desert, the Cradock Hotel seems to attract people from nowhere.

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The sun sets below the big hat whilst we sip beer at the front of the Cradock.

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