I left Yunta in the now familiar cool calm and cloudless conditions, but it got hot fairly quickly and I had my long sleeved top off by fifty kilometres. The temperature climbed throughout the morning and it was very, very hot by lunchtime, with not a cloud to be seen.
Not long after leaving Yunta we entered the Flinders Range of hills, which provided a number of climbs, some of them quite long, but none of them really taxing. As far as wildlife is concerned, we saw a few emus and an absolutely stunning pair of wedgetail eagles, but little else.
We passed through a fruit-fly inspection point at a place called Oodla Wirra (can you believe these names?), where the fly cop on duty waved me through with a friendly wave. He obviously thought there were no flies on me and didn’t ask me to stop.
Shortly before Peterborough we turned off the Barrier Highway. At the entrance to Peterborough I was brought up short by the display of a model train emblazoner with an “SAR” logo. It took a moment to recall that we were in South Australia and that SAR did not signify South African Railways! Peterborough appeared a very pleasant spot and was quite busy on this Saturday morning. Well, busier than some of the other towns we had been through recently.
I had done about one hundred kilometres when I passed an Italian cyclist heading east, pulling a little trailer carrying his camping gear and personal effects. Jane stopped him for a chat and he explained that he had been on the road for thirty-nine days and had travelled south from Darwin to Adelaide. He was now making his way to finish in Sydney. Judging by his deep tan he had had a lot of sunny weather on his way through central Australia.
I rode on to Orroroo, lying in the foothills of the Flinders Ranges, where Jane had booked into a rather forlorn caravan park. A proper park, though, serving this community of about 800 souls, and as such quite an improvement on the previous night. There was no resident caretaker at the park, the previous caretaker having gone walkabout, and Jane went off to find a phone to call the caretaker and arrange a site for the night. That arranged, we took a stroll on the Orroroo golf course, on which there was not a soul to be seen although it was a Saturday afternoon. There was also not a soul was to be seen at the clubhouse. The course itself was a nightmare of mowed bush for fairways and black oily sand for greens. Greens? Black greens? Little wonder that there were no takers.