Friday, 16 November 2007

The 90 mile straight

Why do I feel that we've been here before? It looks much like yesterday and, I guess, much like what we'll see tomorrow .... and the day after! But this is the outback - the Nullarbor and that's what we have to expect. However, even within this apparently featureless 1000 mile wide plain, I am finding that there is plenty of interest when you start raking around...

Last night Mark overnighted at the Balladonia Roadhouse ...... If you follow the link, there is an amazing amount of information about this tiny settlement in the middle of a vast desert. There is even a hotel motel which advertises itself as 'the only four star rated establishment in 1500kms'. An intriguing bit of trivia associated with Balladonia is that back in 1979 Skylab, after re-entering the earth's atmosphere, made an unscheduled landing nearby, depositing parts of itself over a wide area. Rumour has it that NASA was issued with a $400 fine for littering and that president Jimmy Carter phoned the roadhouse to apologise!

These are some of the newspaper reports from the time which form part of a little 'museum at Balladonia' .

However, it is doubtful if Mark would have been giving much thought to Skylab as his sights would almost certainly have been set on the route ahead today which will have seen him cycle the longest, straightest road in Australia ...

...across a landscape which looks ever more arid as even the gum trees give way to scrubland I don't know how long it took Mark to cycle the 90 mile straight today but you can do it in 3 minutes and 49 seconds. Fasten your seat belts and turn on your speakers!

1 comment:

Geoff said...

he he, me thinks Mark probably could have outrun the 2CV on the 90 mile straight...LOL