Sad start to the morning with Mark having announced he was leaving the tour today and flying home due to personal issues. Mark had hesitated about riding this leg, as he had ridden it just 2 years ago. His decision was last minute and he was in two minds from the very start of the leg. With the escalation of personal issues he decided his best choice would be to go home. He flew out of Learmouth airport today. He will be missed.
This brings our little team down to 8 riders on this leg. This will hopefully bring us all closer together and working as a well oiled team. It was sad to leave Coral Bay again today as it is one of my favorite places in this country. It has become much more expensive since we were here last but the beach is still very spectacular although the coral was not as colorful as our last visit. Still lots of colorful fish around though.
Woody has requested that we make the morning tea breaks later in the morning due to the weather getting cooler in the mornings. He and Joan are struggling with the cold due to the fact they live in a warmer climate (Sth Carolina). We have put it to the group and they have agreed to trial it on the shorter days. So today is the first trial. We also had the briefing this morning at 7.15 instead of last night and this seemed to work well.
The winds were variable today with mostly side or head winds. Annie says the road surface was absolutely awful until they turned onto the Coastal Highway. Everyone was into camp by 3 pm and we once again had green grass to sleep on.
Chris sat down on one of the picnic tables in the caravan park when it tipped over with her and Theo landing on their backs. Theo was OK but Chris had caught her calf on the back of the chair and ripped a large piece of skin from her calf. Chris is a nurse and knew to place pressure on her calf but had to use her hat until I arrived with the first aid kit. It was pretty difficult to see the wound as we wanted to keep the pressure on as much as possible but I was unable to see a skin flap before we applied a pressure bandage.
The caravan park owner was very apologetic and provided us with 2 single rooms although Chris didn't get to use hers as she spent the night in hospital. So Annie, who was still coughing, and I both got a room each and Collis came home around 10 pm and he slept in the back of the van. It was a cold night and Annie and I both felt it in the rooms so it must have been freezing in the tents. A taste of things to come.