It’s 6pm on Friday the 21 May 2021
It’s been a really great couple of days enjoying lots of chats with my family and preparing for stage two of the challenge-The Birdsville Track.
I don’t imagine there’s going to be too much Telstra access over the next 9 days until we arrive in Marree. That’s where the Birdsville Track ends and stage three begins- the Oodnadatta Track. But one step at a time and the next 9 days are in my sights. I’ll be sending updates via satellite to Twitter and Facebook and of course be emailing with my family. Love my Inreach mini!!!!!!
It’s been a real privilege enjoying Birdsville by connecting to some of the locals and getting a feel of the place from that local perspective. They’re as colourful as the sunrises and sunsets in this part of the world
The locals all share this down to Earth tough love approach. There’s no room for anything other than common sense and getting on with what works to get the job done. If it makes sense then they’ll do it and do it well. If it doesn’t then they won’t waste their time.
Its seems a tougher way of life, and very community minded. The locals will do anything to help if you’re ‘fair dinkum.’ Once you earn their “she’s alright” status, there’s even room for a bit of fun and banter.
Everyone pitches in when needed. I spoke to the admin assistant, Sharon at the police station this morning who later served me at the roadhouse and next week will help out at the school as they’re a bit short.
There’s plenty of work out here, especially during the cooler months when it’s their busier season. Apparently, there’s not enough people wanting to work out this way and they’re all stretched to service the daily turnover of tourists.
Sharon used to work at North Coast Regional police Office and we remember each other well when I was a police officer at Caboolture. I also met Jerry at the local hardware who helped me sort out how I was going to be more visible on the track and keep those dingos away. Any noise will frighten them like stones in a water bottle or a whistle. They’re just scavenging for food and not otherwise a threat. I’ll prepare my food earlier and not give them reason or smells to investigate my campsite closer. Good plan! Thanks Jerry!!
The lady at the post office was a straight shooter 101 but we ended up having a mutual understanding once she explained the local way and I could communicate a respect for their ethic. She was very helpful and efficient and made it easy to pick up, sort out and send back my non essentials with good confidence in her service and the postal system.
The local police office, Stefan was amazing. He showed me spots along the route that may have water and will let the next roadhouse know when to expect me as part of a safety plan. Desert country has its own beauty which attracts the droves but the locals are very serious about communicating how quickly it can go bad and be dangerous. People have to be rescued every day and Stefan was more than happy to enable my safety plan. Thanks mate. He’s following our challenge on socials and it’s a comfort for me and my family to know he’s looking out for me!!!
I also popped into the Information Centre and again, just awesome!!! All the staff were great. They made contact with Peter Nunn, the manager at Clifton Hills station that’s about 197kms away. He’s happy for me use the station as a water point!!! I’ve notified him when I expect to arrive and again it’s a super comfort. Hopefully I get a chance to talk further with Peter about the track ahead. That’s part of the longest stretch without water so this has broken up the distance and made it more manageable. Thanks guys super team effort. I’m amazed at the generosity and very grateful!!! It’s experiences like thee that make this challenge so precious.
So I’ve been able to pick up my post packs of warmer gear, food, a flag for Banjo and other essentials. My Mum and Dad and my partner, Dawn have been amazing to make sure these packs are posted in time with essentials I need to best prepare for this next stage. What a language of love. I’m one lucky girl!!!. 😘😘😘
So tomorrow is the border crossing into SA. I need a border pass as a COVID measure and have been able to apply for that online. I also used the Information Centre Wifi to download SA’s offline maps on the Wiki Camps App. This App is a must if you’re travelling and wanting to consider the rest areas and campsites in your itinerary. That you can use it offline is so helpful!!! It tracks your location and shows you the location and distance to campsites and services!!!!
So that’s about it!!!! Banjo and I are as ready as we will be to take off tomorrow and lean into stage two with a fire of excitement in our belly. Let’s do this!!!!!!
Thanks Birdsville community- you’ve been a real eye opener and super super helpful!!!!!! See you on the 17th September when we arrive back in town at the finish line!!!!!!!! 10 deserts and 8363 kms to happen between now and then. One peddle at a time!!!!!
PS I’ve also loved Bird o’clock in the mornings and nighttime. The other locals are a colony of pink galahs and corellas that mix and mingle especially at morning and night
Talk very soon xxxx
Beautiful words from a follower Sebastian
Life is an awakening that keeps happening, and so the characters of are forced to open their eyes to reality. Sebastian