Cycling in the Outback of Australia required a bit more planning than we were used to. We had decided to cycle towards Kings Canyon and Uluru using primarily 4WD tracks. Since there are not that many options to restock on food, we had to buy a lot of supplies in Alice, where we could find supermarkets with down to earth prices.
We purchased almost 30 kilograms of food! We knew, that for the next month or more we would spend cycling through a very dry and demanding environment. We had to get rid of all the stuff that we would not need in the Outback and send it to Melbourne (we have friends living there). We ended up sending almost 16 kilograms of junk! that was the only way we could make space for the food and water we would have to carry on our bikes with us. On top of that, we shipped 20 kilograms of food to Finke, an Aboriginal community in the geographical center of Australia, from where we planned to cycle South on one of the famous 4WD tracks (more about it in the future posts).
We had a great time staying with Christa and Hans Gerd from warmshowers.org, we could fully recover and get back to good shape.
Some nice water holes to swim in on the Red Center Way (former Mereenie Loop)
With slightly lighter bikes we were sure, that we could survive our longest, unpaved stretch of a road without any source of water – 220km from Redbank Gorge to Kings Canyon.
We carry a water filter with us that allows us to drink water from most sources – it filters out all the dirt, protozoa and bacteria that could harm us. Unfortunately it does not clean the bore water from its awful taste of minerals and salts.
We had to carry over 40 liters on our bikes!
On one occasion, we asked some Canadian tourists travelling in a 4WD to drop some water for us in the bushes half the way to Kings Canyon, just to be sure, that we have enough water.
With so much water and food cycling on tarmac was not that difficult, but as soon as we entered the gravel stretch, we had to be very careful.
We enjoyed the landscapes of the center! There were not that many cars passing us by, only us, the nature and wildlife!
Some unexpected road conditions:
We love gravel roads!
Ochra pits on the way – Aboriginal people used to trade with this rare kind of soil.
Colours of Australia!
Have we mentioned about the flies yet?
It was our first such long stretch of uninhabited, dry land. We loved it!