Distance today 75.1km at 19km/hr
Total distance 2549km. Deserts 3/10 Donations $3771. Days remaining 105
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.
It’s 627pm on Friday the 4 June 2021.
It right on fire o’clock at Algebuckina Bridge.
I’ve taken to collecting fire wood when I first arrive at camp as a way to reset the brain and body after the days ride and settle in for the night. Today was particularly delish wondering with the birds and flowers along Neales River. It’s more a waterhole haven with rock pools and reeds and it was fun to rock hop and chill out by the waters edge.
The bridge is a point of interest and popular stopover along the Oodnadatta Track. It’s a grand gesture of the old Ghan railway spanning 100m with cast iron reds against the blue sky and salt pans – a great sight as we climbed up over a crest and
descended into the river plateau. There’s a walkway up to the bridge to enjoy the perspective and we cut check we it out the view before hunting and gathering firewood 🤣
We got up early this morning and enjoyed the daybreak and sunrise through the Coolabahs. The sky was clear and it was a beautiful time of day to take it all in over breakfast.
There were dingos howling further up the creek bed which was super cool and bizarre in daylight. Certainly a lot more comfortable than the last encounter at Cuppa Creek. It was about 9am when we finally got underway.
The road was much of the same bumpy riding until we came across a section being graded by workmen. We stopped and talked to ‘Kenny’ an aboriginal worker with the two man crew. He was genuine and great to chat with about the area. Apparently they’ve had 6inches of rain over the last months. This is their usual annual rainfall and the landscape is thriving with lots of fresh waterholes. The season is showing off with the grasses and shrubs in flower and a real treat for the bird life that’s also in numbers for this time of year. He spoke about green budgies and bush turkeys. The waterways are apparently full of shrimps and frogs that lays dormant for years waiting for the right conditions for the eggs to hatch. Kenny loves his work as he gets paid to camp out for days and enjoy the land. His love for nature was contagious and I loved listening to his passion and joy. I thanked him for his hard work maintaining the track and set off again to savour the next 10km of graded bliss 🤣
It felt like an airstrip compared to what we’ve been travelling on and with a tail wind we smashed out the rest of the kms averaging 19km/hr. We took the time to enjoy a few breaks and appreciate the scenery.
We were stopped by ‘Tim’ travelling on his motorcycle up to Alice Springs for the annual Finke Desert Race. It’s a two day motorcycle race from Alice Springs to Finke and back again on day two. They follow the Old Ghan Track. Apparently lots of bikers travel to Alice this time of year to support the event. This is Tim’s first year and he’s super excited. He was also very enthusiastic about our challenge and full of respect for what we’re taking on. He’s keen to follow our adventure and share it on his socials. Thanks Mate, safe travelaas to Alice.
After setting up camp I went for a wonder back along the river. The afternoon light was stunning against the bridge and rocky hills. We arrived a bit earlier this afternoon with better riding conditions and I loved having the time to enjoy the camp more. Sunset was beautiful and the evening star rose above the twilight colours on the horizon.
The bridge is creaking tonight as it cools from the day, and it’s a reminder how grand the Old Ghan must have been in its day. The railway ruins are a dominant feature along the track and it would be good to understand a bit more about its heritage. We will see what we can find out in Oodnadatta. It’s about 56km into town tomorrow so I hope to arrive early to do some have tos and chill a bit.
That’s probably me for tonight. I’ll aim for an early start tomorrow to get into town by lunchtime all going well. The bridge is silhouetted by a big sky night again. With no moon, it seems every star has its place to shine. It nice to see ourself as a star with a reason to shine when we’re open to living and growing everyday. Time for dinner. Talk soon xxx