Distance today 65km average 12km/hr
Total distance 2762km. Deserts 3/10. Fundraising $4021. Days remaining 102
It’s 710pm on Monday the 7 June 2021
We have the best fire going and very toasty tucked behind the banks of dry waterhole at our wild camp for the night.
We found this spot down a side track to what looks like a drovers camp.
It’s so quiet except for the crackling fire and wind blowing through the ‘beep beep’ tree behind me. I needed some kindling from under their tree and disturbed their roosting for the evening. Oops sorry buddies. They were still busy settling when we first arrived at bird o’clock and gave us a big ‘beep beep’ hello and welcome. It’s nice to have their company for the evening even though they’re well and truly snoring by now.
It was good to stop finally this afternoon at about 430pm. I had thought we may have been able to push through to Marla and surprise the family with a phone call but it wasn’t to be. Sorry my darlings. Despite the good intentions there are elements that I can’t control and that’s always a good lesson in nature.
It was a strong head wind today and the track continues to be very rocky and corrugated. The land is also a long slow ascent which I imagine is the natural shape of the land channeling rains towards Lake Eyre behind us. That all adds up to a slogathon for the 6hrs ish today. After yesterday’s effort getting all too cranky and careless riding over a burr bush, I was focused on staying in as good a head space as I could to make sure both banjo and I travelled safe albeit slow.
It’s very tricky to sustain energy when it’s slow, bumpy going for hours. I’m constantly manoeuvring back and forth across the track to find a path of least resistance. A fella, Vaughan from Brisbane travelling up to Darwin for a cycle race, stopped to have a chat. He was laughing at our track marks saying we probably travel twice the distance by weaving all over the road. He was a really cool guy, retired these days and enjoys travelling to cycling events still when he can. He had a couple of very handsome bikes on top his 4WD. He shared a pink lady apple and we chatted for over an hour. He was easy company and just what I needed to boost the mood. He will share our challenge on his cycling forums and donated $50 to the cause before heading off.
We had our first break at midday along a dry river bed out of the wind. It was cuppa o’clock and I took the time to set up the stove and enjoy the rest.
There was a meter sign showing the depth of water that can run through the floodways after rain. It’s hard to imagine what that must look like given the creeks are mostly sandy dry. It must be a real sight seeing it torrent down the creek up to 2metres at times. No wonder the road conditions change so quickly after just a few inches.
The landscape was quite barren in sections today with areas of red rock expanse. The wind alongs these floodways is incredibly gusty and can blow you sideways without any warning. It’s amazing to experience a taste of how wild it can be. It was time for another break at Olarina Creek.
This was a marked camping area on the WikiCamps app and it was beautiful. We had only done 45km by that stage otherwise I probably would have stopped for the night there.
I was taking some photos when a pair of emus appeared. They were just mooching along unaware we were there.
Oh my goodness what a treat. They’re one of my favourite birds; so handsome with their tail feathers and long legs. I couldn’t believe how close they were. I tried to move a bit closer when they spotted me and headed off crossing the road just ahead and disappearing into the trees.
A few moments later I heard a noise behind me and they had double back to check me out closer. They were so curious and content to hang out together, at a safe distance of course. I kept my squealing on the inside and instead just enjoyed he moment.
What a treat!!! The experience was a wow moment and I have loved checking out the photos and footage tonight. Great to share. “I can see your bottoms!!!!” Very quietly of course 🤣
I’ve just stoked the fire and it’s going strong. I found some descent pieces of wood this afternoon so it’s still burning away cosy. There’s no chance of setting alight any vegetation because there is none 🤣 It’s a peace of mind to enjoy and savour. time for dinner. Talk soon from Marla all going well tomorrow. I can’t wait to talk with my family again and enjoy a couple days break. It’s needed. As much as the countryside on the Oodnadatta Track has been stunning and it has been, it’s been super tricky to cycle and a break is just what we need to reenergise for the next stage. Banjo needs some attention and I’ll enjoy doing that for him to say thank you for keeping us safe and travelling well. He’s one handsome beast and I appreciate him immensely xx
2 thoughts on “Day 37 Wild Camp 65km East of Marla”
looking great – just how rough is the Oodnadatta track?
It’s a real mixed bag and very depending on when and where it’s being graded. Sections that are recently graded are awesome but that’s a big track and grading takes time. The relief is that it’s not the same and if it’s good/not good you can be assured it will change soon enough. It’s a different experience for cars than on a bike of course. In saying this the scenery is breathtaking and worth the challenge of navigating the road conditions x