First glimpse of the Flinders Ranges - 3 old blokes tackle the Mawson Trail - CycleBlaze

April 16, 2021

First glimpse of the Flinders Ranges

Clare Valley to Mt Bryant East schoolhouse

After a restful day in the Clare Valley it was time to get back on the bike and head further north. 40 k’s away is Burra, a historic touristy village and then we are really out in proper remote South Australia.

After a thorough check of the house we headed off for a coffee in Clare with Cherie. She was heading back to Adelaide and then flying to Hobart to see her niece. Our first task was to check the maps to see where we were meeting up, but there were no maps to be seen. They’d been left back at the house. Cherie gave us a real dressing down, saying it was ridiculous that we didn’t have a list and it was a wonder that we’d made it this far. I was taking everything she said seriously, whilst I could see the other 2 smirking in the background. Don’t they know that ex English teachers can see everything and hear everything. I feared for their lives.

Anyway, we retrieved the maps sheepishly and were on our way. It was a classic Clare morning. Clear and crisp and thankfully no wind. The 40k’s to Burra was largely through farmland and rolling hills on decent gravel roads. We made good time and we’re in Burra by late morning for possibly our last decent coffee for a while.

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Steve and Pete on a classic rock wall
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Tucking in to morning tea
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After Burra farmland gave way to mallee scub and saltbush. The roads noticeably deteriorated and we got our first glimpse of the Southern Flinders Ranges. 

My attempt at the classic Tour de France shot. Thistles instead of daffodils.
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It’s big sky country now.
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Our destination is the Mt Bryant East schoolhouse. There are a number of old buildings that are left open for walkers and bikers to use along along the trail. Following roughly the same route as the Mawson Trail is the Heysen Trail, a walking track that goes even further than the one we’re doing.

The schoolhouse is amazing. There’s 3 open fires with wood neatly stacked, a rudimentary kitchen and 2 rooms with massive bunk beds. We’re the only ones here, so we can really spread out. Steve’s cooked up a Burmese chicken curry that was sensational, and it was washed down with a cheeky Clare riesling.

The Mt Bryant East schoolhouse
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George, the farmer next door disappointed that we weren’t Swedish backpackers.
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Our first fire of the trip.
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All in all a classic day of riding.

Today's ride: 93 km (58 miles)
Total: 334 km (207 miles)

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