06 April 2010


     Four days ago approximately 30 km west of Penong I caught sight of a traveller journeying in a most unique manner. I had been simply dawdling  in the pleasant warmth, when the sight of a lone woman and a placid dog caught my vision. I hurriedly jumped off my bike hollering: "do you want to have a yarn?" This was followed by my confused enquiry: "but where's your bike?" Noting the hiking gators and backpack I realised that this Swiss woman; Sarah, was an Outback hiker! Sarah's disposition was one of youthfull enthusiasm; probably 25 years old; and she greeted me very warmly as like minded travellers do. Her dog wore custom made saddlebags, having the job of carrying the water! With two ski poles, she had solo walked from Alice Springs via the dune and mallee country, navigating by GPS and holding a straight line across the desert. Having walked for 11 months her joy had been briefly shattered when the locals at Penong had refused her water! The general store owner  had informed me of the lack of rain for 4 months. Fortunately I didnt need water but they wouldn't make me a cuppa tea: the woman blandly saying: " I would but we've got no cups".
     Sarah's  comment about the railway town of Cook was that it wasn't worth going there: "It's full of fat lazy Aussie blokes". Ever since that meeting people have often asked me about her.  http://www.sarahmarquis.ch/

This chance meeting was part of my cycle crossing of the Nullabor Plain which was 3120 km over 28 days. Photo is of myself  somewhere east of Norseman. This was the moment I'd met two Canadians whose travel log is worth perusing.  photo by:  http://www.australia.beimers.com/

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