Distance today 121km ave 20km/hr
It’s 730pm on Thursday the 13th May 2021.
I was all keen to start super early this morning but didn’t quite get there 🤣 I was invited to have a cuppa and toast with Neil and Maree from Tamworth. They were also camped along the banks at Cooladdi. What beautiful people and so interesting and gracious. They own a farm in Tamworth and were very impacted by the drought loosing all their cattle. But they also run horses and that kept them afloat during the tough couple of years. They’re slowly building their cattle numbers up now with healthier grazing yards since the rain this year. Neils right into his horses. He spoke about another country sport where you have to round up cattle on horseback and manoeuvre them through three points and back into the yards. At 70 he still competes and loves the sport. Maree showed me her camp it out cooking set up which I can only imagine creates some epic dinners. It was a very chilly night and early morning and it was easy time spent around the fire chatting.
It was 10am when I finally got going on the 121km ride into Quilpie. That meant 6hours in the saddle so it was head down bottoms up to get through the kms before dark with a few breaks where I devoured the banana and mandarin treats from Maree.
The road was straight and long cutting through stunning countryside. It was a lot more quiet on the road with only the occasional road train and caravaners. The road is still sealed and good condition.
Neil and Maree mentioned the road remains sealed through to Windorah but then changes to gravel once you hit the Birdsville development road. That’s still a couple of days away.
I spotted my first emu today yay 😀 so excited. I first noticed him slowly crossing the road 100m ahead and let out the biggest squeal “eeeeeeemuu” I grabbed the camera and tried to video him when I got closer to where he went into the bush land but he was all camera shy. As soon as I put the phone away he ran out and crossed the road right in front of me oh my goodness how wonderful. Later in Quilpie I was sharing the story with the lady at the local Foodworks and she said that Emus have been coming into town during the drought just wandering the streets and grassed areas in search of food and water. They’re apparently quite revered by the local folk who let them come and go as they need. It’s nesting time and with the rain they can have up to 12 babies. Let’s see if I’m lucky enough to spot a family over the next days.
I arrived into Quilpie at about 430-500pm this arv and after topping up some supplies found the local campsite. The owner, Anne let me stay for free so I’ve been able to clean me and the gear ready for the next couple of days into Windorah. They use bore water here and it has a very pungent smell of sulphur but does the job all the same. I’m feeling squeaky clean happy.
The next twos day ride will be longer again with a stop at Thylungra midway ish. It’s 239km from here to Windorah so with a couple of good rides I’ll be in Windorah later Saturday. I’ll carry 10litres of water tomorrow for the two days as a gentle intro to carrying the extra weight. For now it’s dinner time. Chilly night!!!! Talk soon xxxx