Distance today 85km Ave 19km/hr
It’s 808pm Tuesday the 18 May 2021
It’s later o’clock than I usually do my post but I’ve been on patrol with a dingo howling and doing a wide birth around my campsite. Maree’s on alert mode. I’m the only camper here tonight and its a bit unnerving. I have every light on board shining a 360 degrees around the camp to let him know I’m here and not to get too curious. I haven’t heard him for the last half hour or so and have settled now to share the last couple of days with you.
Last night at Betoota pub was very social and not the time to be posting. Instead I had a fun night hanging out with the locals and visiting campers.
It was a bleary eyed and super chill bill start to the day yesterday with a wind that added an ice factor. I didn’t sleep that well with rats knocking on my tent. It was heads up not to leave open food in the tent as it will attract hungry critters. I haven’t made the same mistake tonight and may have some dry noodles once I finished the post. I definitely don’t want to cook anything and create smells with a dingo hanging around. Dave the manager at the Betoota hotel was telling me that dingos are a bit of a problem in the area and to have a fire when I can to keep them at bay. That’s not an option tonight so the lights are the next best thing. So far it’s doing the trick. Hopefully he’s well passed now with nothing keeping his interest. The toilet block was looking an option when he was closer earlier and I my head torch picked up his eyes. A bit creepy indeedy.
So it was 105km into Betoota population 0 just a pub and very friendly hosts and visitors to enjoy a great night by the campfire sharing everyone’s travel stories.
The ride into Betoota was fabulous. We said goodbye to sealed roads and Banjo is as happy as a pig in mud in the off road conditions.
We came across our second emergency airstrip that felt like a highway after the gravel.
Around lunch o’clock I spotted a tree lined patch with heaps of bird life perfect for a bit to eat by the dam and enjoy the activity.
The road is quite corrugated in parts making for a bumpy ride until a local farmer stopped and gave me heads up to use the recently graded side road. It was like my own bicycle path yay. Thanks Darren!
The landscape yesterday was varied with sections of higher sand hills and great descents to whoohooo down
I’m loving the arid countryside and there’s a lot to love so different do anything I’ve experienced.
I met Floss from Roma who stopped for a chat. She just spent the long weekend at the Betoota Hotel and raved about it being a must to stay. She took her garden gnome along to join the festivities. She seemed fun. One of the blokes at the hotel said he called the gnome Fairy. Very funny
Betoota was just around the corner!!
The Betoota pub was closed back in the 70s and bought by Darren the manager about 5 years ago. He’s done it up with an old school feel that invites people to put down their devices and be part of a local experience. COVID delayed the opening and it’s just been open for the last two months. It was definitely worth the 7 extra kms in and out. This morning I got some video of the building and phots with the hosts.
It was a later start this morning enjoying breakfast together in the hall. Once we got on the road I was stopped three times by people wanting to know our story and make a donation. Thanks to Sam and John for donating $40. They’re from Australian4x4.com.au who run 4WD experiences on the more remote tracks. They may be in Birdsville in September when I finish the challenge and will look out for us if they are. Also Raymon and his partner from Bundaberg donated $20. Dads a Bundy boy and we were able to share some local stories which was cool. The other couple I met last night and they’ll be in Birdsville when I arrive tomorrow so hopefully we’ll cross paths again. They were all so friendly and generous and a great way to start the day
I arrived at Cuppa Creek Rest Area about 4pm and dam no water. I was counting on the toilets having a tank like the other rest areas but unfortunately wrong call and again a good heads up not to count on that. Good lesson. So the first thing to do was grab a water bladder and wait by the roadside to flag down the next car. It wasn’t long before a group of campers came passed and they couldn’t be more willing to help out. I even scored some lollies and sultanas for snacks. Thanks guys for coming to my rescue
It’s exposed and windy at the rest area which made setting up camp a bit tricky. So the bag of bits and bobs came out to tie everything down and pop up the tarp for some wind protection.
I was set up in time to enjoy the sunset setting and twilight. It’s a stunning time of day and invite to a sky of stars that soon follows.
So I suppose it’s time to scoff down some dinner and get ready for bed. Hopefully the dingo and any of his mates will keep a distance. There’s still the occasional lone howl but I imagine that’s going to be a regular occurrence as the challenge continues. It’s definitely a new experience for this little traveller that’s for sure. Off to Birdsville tomorrow. Night and talk soon xx