84.4km 4h 59min 354m Ascent
61km before lunch at 12:30pm
Last night I decided on a plan for the remainder of my trip. Personally I thought it was a very clever plan as it left me time to ride back to Adelaide if need be, or it I can get my bike on a bus, time to get out to the lighthouse at the eastern end of the island.
So at 7am I was up and going. Packing up in the record time of 1hr so that I was on the road at 8am. It was a cold (15 degrees C) and still morning so my early progress was very good, but as I rode a north easterly wind picked up encouraging my belief that the gods don’t like cyclists.
Anyway I pushed on and by 10am had made it to the Cape Borda turnoff where I took a rest stop by the side of the road and stretched a little. 25km in and I knew it was going to be hard to get through the day.
As I rode on I realised just how empty the centre of the island is. I didn’t pass a single cafe all day and it was only near Parndana I saw anything noteworthy. I hadn’t planned on going into Parndana, but the thought of the general store and a hamburger and chips for lunch seemed to justify the 12km extra it would add to the day. The general store was more useful than the one at Vivonne Bay, but I still wouldn’t rely on it for too much beyond the real basics, on and the hamburger was good.
Doubling back towards the Stokes Bay turnoff I could feel my legs complaining, and felt a great sense of relief knowing the road into the Bay had been sealed in the past year, as this was the road that had got the better of Clare and I had 70km in my legs already.
It turns out the road has some seriously steep sections which well and truly required the smallest gear I have. Arriving in Stokes Bay (for anyone who hasn’t been there) i a massive disappointment as you get to a small coastal village with a rocky, bouldery beach that isn’t at all appealing. Don’t despair though because through the tunnel in the headland is an idyllic beach of white sand and crystal clear water that is truly welcome after a long day in the saddle.
To top it all off the cafe by the bay does good coffees and my Swiss friends from the previous night arrived in time for a chat. Now to stretch out the legs and watch the sun go down over the water and enjoy a campsite to myself.