Distance today 83.1km Ave 16km/hr
Total distance 2695km. Donations $3971.80. Deserts 3/10. Days remaining 103.
It’s 7pm on Sunday the 6 June 2021
What a dramatic end to a day. Banjo got a flat 1 1/2 kms out from camp at Kathleen Creek. We did well to cover the kms here given we got talking and didn’t start until after 11am. We worked hard during the day and I was being a bit cranky at the red sandy corrugations and saying some choice words.
Mother Nature stepped in with the perspective stick and Banjo got a flat front tyre. I think she was being somewhat kind as it was only a short distance respectively to push him here. It’s a popular spot along a river bank with campers on both sides. We approached the first couple to ask for their compressor.
Sarah and Gordon from Wollongong were happy to lend a hand and we got his tyre pumped up. Nigels valve extension concept to the rescue again. I road him round the campgrounds a bit to activate the silicon and all going well he’ll be right as rain in the morning.
We set up camp by the river over twilight and are now all cosy and posting to you fine folk. So far his tyre’s still up so it’s a good sign it’s done the trick. Phew what an epic ending to the day. Thanks Mother Nature. It’s a bit tempting to overlook what matters when I start to get tired and cranky. We’re safe and travelled well and despite it being a taxing day, we both did awesome to almost get here in one piece. 🤣🙏
It’s a stunning spot here with water in the river and I’ve been told there’s lots of green budgies but they’re all roosted for the night so we’ll have to wait til morning for bird o’clock. It’s a stunning clear night with a sky of stars and very chill bill. I even have the gortex jacket over the down and am close to cosy with a buffer from the night air.
It was after 11am when we finally got underway. We were up early and packed up and then a couple who I had spoken to a few times during our stay invited me to have a coffee with them their shout. Couldn’t say no to that offer and we chatted over an hour about their travels. I can’t remember their names bugga but they had some really interesting stories about their stays at cattle stations.
I then met Anneshka and John who have travelled extensively in Australia and overseas in the Middle East, South America and worked for a time in China. They were so interesting and have travelled from the opposite direction across the Great Central highway where I head from Yulara NT to cross the WA border. They were able to give me a heads up on the road conditions and that was good insight about what’s round the corner for the next stage from Marla.
It’s 122km into Marla so we will head off about 8am in the morning all going well and see how we and the road travel. We met Jan this morning, Peters wife at the Pink Roadhouse, and she let us water up with the staff’s tank water for 3 days, so we’re all set for another night if we don’t manage the kms.
The first 20km were so different this morning. Instead of gibber stones it was green pastures of tufty shrubs, like an oasis treat for the gibber birds and dragons. We spotted lots of gibber birds darting amongst the shrubbery. They’re a ground bird and very industrious hopping round in mated pairs. Apparently there’s lots of camels and emus in this section but we’re yet to spot any.
Not 5kms further down the track the landscape changed again interment with gibber road and shrubs and rolling hills on the horizon. It was sunning.
I can’t wait to share this countryside with my partner Dawn and Dylan when we meet in Birdsville at the end of the challenge to do our own travel together for school holidays. The countryside is like nothing we’ve experienced before and I know the time will be extra special shared with people I love. We’ll concentrate more on the Red Centre but the feel of the land, I imagine will share many similarities. Thinking of you both everyday my darlings 😘 Dylan wants me to find a cactus plant for him but it still remains illusive for the time being. I had a great chat with the little man this morning about Gibber birds and dragons and Dawn was googling pictures do he could see what they looked like. Loved our chats mate xx
The second half of the ride changed yet again to red sandy conditions that were very hard going and super corrugated for the most part. It was a bit tricky to pick a smoother line. No wonder there’s camels 🤣 It was beautiful countryside despite being a bit frustrating and slower going.
Banjo was pretty heavy all watered up. The road edge was thicker with sand but less corrugated so we chanced it with the burr bushes to try get some relief rom the bumps. Unfortunately I took him over one too many spiked bushes and one found it’s way into his front tyre. I think we were very fortunate that we were only a km out from Kathleen Creek and it was an easy walk here with plenty of time before the sun went down. Otherwise it would have been a roadside camp and flag down a passing car in the morning so I’m blessed that didn’t eventuate.
Once we settled from that bit of drama and set up camp, I could enjoy what was left of the sunset for the day. It was a stunning reflection across the water that was still and mirrored the coolabahs. I can see why it’s such a popular spot and I’m very happy to have done the distance to enjoy Kathleen Creek for the stop ever. For now it’s dinner o’clock and an early night out of the very cold air. Night and talk soon xxxx