Distance today 70km at 13km/hr
Total distance 2470k. Deserts 3/10 Donations $3771. Days remaining 106.
Note to new readers: I am travelling with my bike who’s name is Banjo. I often refer to ‘we’ meaning Banjo and I. ‘We’ have an amazing support team of family, friends, sponsors and folk we meet each day. But it’s still up to ‘us’ to face the challenge and tackle each day one peddle at a time.
Its 741pm on Thursday the 3 June 2021.
I got a cracker of a fire going to enjoy my cuppa. It sounds awesome crackling with the dry gum wood I found when I first arrived at about 430. It’s warm and cosy and a stunning way to hang out with the evening star and share my post with you.
I set up camp over sunset with the galahs and green budgies squawking their hellos and welcome song to Duff Creek Bridge.
They’re still fluttering above me settling in for the night. The budgies are small and brilliant green and the first I’ve seen. Very pretty and lively. It’s a beautiful camp spot by a sandy creek bed and easy access from the road with the gum trees providing some shelter from the wind. I think they’re Coolabah Trees going by the photos I took of the local flora and fauna back at the Lake Eyre Information Board. Happy girl!!!
Banjos rear pannier was a bit off centre and hitting the tyres during today’s bumps and thumps so I adjusted him tonight and he’s more comfortable to tackle the corrugations and gibber stones again tomorrow. ‘Gibber’ is the name for desert stones which are hues of red and purple depending on the light.
We battled head winds and a rough track today with lots of hills but I was in a much better mind set despite the slow going and the kms were manageable. We even enjoyed a handful of descents later in the day to keep the momentum and happy hormones charged for the last couple of hours.
I got up reasonably early this morning and got talking again to Maree and her husband from Melbourne. Hey ere also camped at Williams Creek. Like many other Victorians travelling in SA, they have to self isolate before heading into NT and were planning their route for the next 14 days. Not a bad way to spend the two weeks. Maree is also in her early 50s and enjoying a change of lifestyle living on the road and working where they can. They have sold their home and said goodbye to domestic life and are excited to approach this next stage of life to the full. Their first plan is to travel their way to Cunnunarra on the WA/NT Border in the Kimberley’s. Their son works on a cattle station near there and her husband has already secured work. Maree’s happy to find what she can in town. We were both very likeminded and shared a passion for keeping life fresh through new challenges. We both enjoyed our connection and hope to see each other again when I’m up that way in Halls Creek.
I headed up to the hotel to water up where the fellas said they had good drinking water and popped in for a coffee and Minties to charge up for the day.
The sign out of town said “See ya and good luck with the roads.” Pretty good well wishes from William Creek and I was set to make the most of the day and approach it with positivity. We were watered up for three days and good to go into the headwind to chip away at the day.
The slow going made it easier to spot cool things and 8km into the ride I saw a pair of wedge tail eagles soaring at height level looking for food. I could see their nest nearby and it was an awesome sight. When I’m open as opposed to in my head, I see so much more and there is so much beauty to see.
Soon after Chris and Wendy came past and stopped their troopie for a chat. They were sat behind me at dinner last night and we spent a time talking and picked up the conversation again today out on the road. They’re from Melbourne and also isolating with one week to go. Beautiful people; very genuine and generous with their encouragement. They’re keen to now follow our challenge and support the cause online. Lovely to meet you ladies and safe travels to you both xx
We passed a sign saying “eggs in 1km” and came across a red box with an honour system and eggs to sell. I thought this may be a better option to keep the protein up for this little vegetarian. However other travellers had got in first and the box was empty so no eggs today but fuel for thought if I see them for sale down the track.
The countryside was a stunning contrast of colour with blue skies and open plains of red sand and low lying shrubs. The horizon was broken with distant rolling ranges and fluffy clouds softened the harsh corrugations. It all made the track just a bit more welcoming in the tricky conditions.
I can feel myself starting to warm to the Oodnadatta Track and appreciate its treasures. There is a variety of flowering flora amongst the sandhill cane grasses. It’s fun to try spot the more common varieties like saltbush, blue bush, samphire, frankenia and poached egg daisies. I stopped and took a photo of swainsona which has an intricate flower of purples that are precious.
The sky clouded over for a time during the day then cleared for the last couple of hours. The burst of afternoon sun lit up the grasses that glowed to let me know the days kms were nearly done.
At 70km, Duff Creek Bridge was the perfect option to camp for the night. It’s been a really good day with a different mindset and I’m pretty chuffed that I made the effort to get the most out of it. It has such an impact on the energy levels and a good heads up that I’ll get out of the day what I put into it. Time for dinner and beddy byes. It’s a big sky night this evening and it’s seems a time since we saw our last. The Milky Way is bold and brash and like a blanky of all good things to wrap myself up safe and sound. A positive approach to the day has a lasting quality that I can still feel. Despite being alone I never feel lonely and I appreciate the deep connection and sense of belonging that I have in the natural world. Sweet dreams to you too. Talk soon xx