- Wilcannia (A) to Broken Hill (B)
We spent a little longer in bed this morning as we had to fill up the campervan with petrol before leaving Wilcannia and knew that the garages did not remain open around the clock. Also, it is my birthday and that alone was a good enough reason to lounge a little longer. Hey, this is day ten. It’s getting a lot easier to find good reason for staying in bed.
We had our usual breakfast and at about seven o’clock filled the campervan with petrol. In a final effort to endear itself to us, Wilcannia provided us with the most expensive petrol that we were to find throughout our trip. We bussed the bike the fifty kilometres towards Broken Hill that I had ridden the day before. It was still very cold when I started riding and the crisp headwind was quite a nuisance. The temperature climbed quickly and, although the wind never eased up, it had become extremely hot by the time the ride was completed.
But the day seemed long and slow. At 48 kilometres I got a puncture after passing a section of roadworks. I stopped and replaced the tube. One of the workmen drove over from the roadworks to find out if I needed any help, but I assured him that I would be on my way in a few minutes. Liar. The valve tore out of the replacement tube while I was pumping it up and I found myself stranded at the roadside. Eventually Jane came back to look for me and I swapped the offending wheel with the spare, which was a little easier than changing tubes. The spare wheel was also fitted with a new tyre and I felt that it was time to replace the tyre anyway.
We passed through no towns during the morning, only the roadhouse of Little Topar, which is probably not something that you would want to write home about. Lying in the arid countryside 118 kilometres from Wilcannia, Little Topar is even less impressive than Emmdale, if that is possible.
We are approaching South Australia now and have passed several roadside warnings about a “Fruit Fly Free Zone”, which sounds more like a tongue twister than a warning. But with spot fines of AU$200 and penalties of up to AU$11000 if you convey fruit or vegetables into this zone, the fly brigade take this matter very seriously indeed. Five kilometres before we reached Broken Hill we went through an inspection site where Jane was reminded of these penalties by one of the two fly police on duty. All very well to prevent travellers from moving fruit, possibly harbouring fruit-fly lavae or eggs or whatever, from one state to another, I thought, but how do they stop the adult flies from just flying over the border and laying their eggs right there?
- Entering South Australia
A short distance before reaching Broken Hill we crossed into another time zone, with a board at the side of the road instructing us to set our clocks back thirty minutes. Otherwise the ride over the last few kilometres was uneventful.