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Mawson Trail - Day 7 - Quorn to Hawker

Today the Mawson Trail took me deep into the Flinders Ranges, completely surrounded by the Flinders in any direction I looked, riding on a fast and undulating dirt road with no phone service, water of food anywhere close. This was my first real remote experience in the Mawson. Legs were feeling great and kms were getting done with relative ease. About 20kms away from Cradoock, I hit the wall… The temperature rose to mid 30’s and water supplies were running low. Had to stop on the side of the road and regroup myself. Cradoock was the only town between Quorn and Hawker, one that I hoped it had food and water available. Highly managing effort levels, I dragged my tired body to Cradoock where the only roadhouse in a town where maybe 5 people live was opened. After a big meal and lots of fluids, I jumped on the bike again with Hawker as objective for the day. A fast smooth dirt road took me all the way there, with refreshed power from the late lunch. Got to Hawker with 110kms done and still a few hours of daylight to spare. Instead of spending the night there, I decided to stock up on water and food and hit the road till as late as possible. At Hawker I asked about rain in the past few days and how the trails would be like. I was advised to skip the first section of the trails as it was red clay all the way, stick to the road for a few kms. I rode for a while on road and thought I was clear from the red clay when I turned into the trail again. Rode as long as possible till sunlight was no more. Pitched my tent in a field and settled in for the night. Had I had lights on my bike, I reckon I could’ve cycled for another few hours…

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