Well, last night I had the idea of sleeping out under the stars. Warm and dry. Perfect conditions. My Capricious God had other ideas. As Capricious Gods do.
As the sun dipped lower the number of flies decreased and a number of mozzies appeared. Am not particularly troubled by mozzies, though there are limits. The number I was dealing with were well within limits. But then came … midges! I kid you not! Midges! I didn’t even know Australia had midges. But I am getting eaten by very tiny flying bugs. It is most unpleasant and well beyond my tolerance levels.
The Soulo gets a rapid erecting.
When the morning comes, however, I must exit the safety and protection of the Soulo and break camp. There are hundreds of mosquitos. Hundreds. The inside of the fly of the tent is covered in hundreds of mozzies, waaay over my ‘limit’. I become the beneficiary of an impromptu and somewhat unwanted acupuncture session on my back and shoulders as the mozzies’ proboscis effortlessly penetrate my Icebreaker merino wool t-shirt. A neat orderly line runs along the exposed skin of my upper arm and onto my shoulder inadequately covered by the merino. Not only are each one courteously evenly spaced from the other presumably to avoid depleting blood flow, they all face the same direction. It looks like a well-trained and well executed manoeuver. On my upper leg the mozzies make a somewhat abstract tribal tattoo. Whilst on my lower leg they form a primitive mosaic.
Facing this onslaught I realise how gracious my Capricious God can be. Interesting strategy my Capricious God had to help me avoid being eaten alive by mozzies in what would have been a most torturous night, send in the midges. Certainly worked.
Coulta arrives pretty quick and with it a lovely old stone house from the early 1900s, according to the owner.
Pretty views begin, as do some trees. Strangely, it’s also not quite so windy today.
Fifty kilometres from Port Lincoln I pull into a rest area for a break. A rather unusual ‘monument’ resides here. A large one-eyed blue teddy-bear holding open a large book. On the tree behind the large one-eyed blue teddy-bear are a number of teddy-bears strung up along some lengths of rope.
It is a monument to those who suffer from depression with the key message being:
“You don’t have to be alone.
Everyone needs support and to feel loved.
Just like you loved your Teddy Bear”
As written in the book the “one eyed, not so perfect Teddy Bear” holds.
Next to the “one eyed, not so perfect Teddy Bear” stands a box. In the box are pens and bits of material on which to write a message of support, if you “haven’t brought a Teddy Bear” to hang on the lines.
I open it. Sure enough there are pens and some bits of material. There’s also a huge hairy spider who tries its best to look like it is not there by hiding in the corner and not moving. It’s a bit too big to pull this off, but I decide to leave it in peace and it leaves me alone.
Interestingly the box is full of money. Coins of various denominations. A lot of coins. There is no charity or request for financial support from some organisation. Only a heart-felt message from the “one eyed, not so perfect Teddy Bear”. Yet people have felt compelled to offer financial support. Perhaps the “one eyed, not so perfect Teddy Bear”’s message is so compelling that people felt they should reward it with the one unequivocal indicator of support: money.
Even more interesting is that the money is still there, which is perhaps even more indicative of the power of the message.
I use the pen and bit of material, write my own message and pin it to one of the hanging bears.
A lot of the messages were from people who know someone with depression, demonstrating their support and their love and reiterating the “one eyed, not so perfect Teddy Bear” key message. Other messages were from depression sufferers thanking people for their love and support.
A touching monument, guarded by a large hairy spider.
I know I am getting closer to a major urban area. Traffic is picking up and after the Coffin Bay turn-off traffic is almost busy. Fifteen kilometres from Port Lincoln I know I am in the catchment area of a major urban area because my phone has connection again. Whatever frequencies are used in rural Australia are not in my genuine Nokia from Finland phone. So it doesn’t work outside of major urban areas.
Then, finally, I crest a hill and look out over Port Lincoln.
Here I will rest and chill for a couple of days before making my way to Adelaide. By buss. I need to pick up some time. Riding to Adelaide will take another three weeks at current rates. Add another two for Adelaide itself and I am likely to head north towards the middle of November and Summer Is Coming. Riding a bike in summer in the deserts of Australia where temperatures can exceed 40C may exceed my temperature tolerances. Bussing it to Adelaide is the best way I know to pick up some time.
Other than that, I aim to chill for a couple of days.
I end up in the only place one can end up in Port Lincoln Tourist Park. Soulo goes neatly under one of the few shady trees in the unpowered sites area. Not bad to sit in my tent and look out over Boston Bay but 60 m away.
Port Lincoln 11 Oct 2015