Day 24 35 km before Mungarannie Roadhouse

Distance today 84km at 13km/hr

It’s 637pm on Tuesday the 25 May 2021.

I set the alarm this morning for 530 in time to pack up and join the Clifton Hills team for breakfast at 6am – Coffee and Toast and great company all on to get into their day. What a perfect way to start the day and say thanks to the folk for letting me stay and making me feel so welcomed. I really loved the experience of seeing a cattle station in action and the diverse range of workers that it takes to get the job done. It was also very helpful to water up with 6L and charge the battery pack for an over night stop before Mungarannie Roadhouse. Two of the workers at the station made donations which is always appreciated. Cindy from Aurburn SA and Melinda from Georgetown QLD each donated $50 so I’ll pop that online in Marree. Thanks guys 🙏

We got under way about 8am after saying goodbye and thanking Peter for his generosity. Fiona, his wife described Peter as a man with a big hat and smile and he was certainly that with a big heart to boot. I admire their capacity and resilience to successfully run a station with a family ethic that resonates in very happy workers.

The road conditions were pretty good compared to what we have already travelled on. The road is undulating with thick sand at the bottom points where the rain has flowed and left sediment. There’s still quite a lot of water pooled in waterholes keeping the bird life and cows happy. Banjo handled the soft sand well as long as we hit it in a low gear to spin through and up the other side.

There was a side wind earlier but the riding conditions were pretty good for the first 20odd kms. We met some lovely people in this first stage. First a couple, Robin and Val travelling with their grandchildren Tully and Lola up to Darwin. The kids were fun and loved checking out Banjo. They were full of questions and good humour and are now keen to get their own fat tyre bike. Banjo of course was proud as punch and glowing 🤣 thanks for my can of lemonade fine folk. Have fun checking out the ‘Big Red’ sand hill at sunrise in Birdsville and safe travels to Darwin.

Shortly after, Gordon pulled up to make sure we had enough water and were travelling okay. He was a sweetie looking out for us and offered good tips about the road ahead and filled my water bottle x

The road swung round a bit after this and into a gale headwind for the rest of the day. We travelled between 7-10km per hour for the next hours and it was hard going. But I was happy to be moving forward and we slowly chipped away at the afternoon with a few stops to get a break out of the conditions.

We had thought it may be possible to get through to Mungarannie today but unfortunately I was done at about 4pm. I spotted a gravel area by the roadside where there was a concrete bollard to tuck ourselves away from the wind. good spot to call it a day and set up camp.

The moon is close to being full and mum has texted that it’s actually a blood moon tomorrow night. How delicious for our camp where’ve that may end up. The first leg will be to the roadhouse where we will water up and have something to eat and drink before tackling the afternoon. One step at a time and for now we’re safe and settling in for an early night and start in the morning. Time for dinner xxx talk soon

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