Distance today 102km at 12km/hr average. Lift 80km
Total distance 3612km Donations $4621.00 Deserts 3/10. Days remaining 90
It’s 920pm on Saturday the 19 June 2021
What a bizarre day!!!! It started super early so I could pack up and be on the road before anyone spotted my camp. It was a relief to be underway.
I always knew this section was going to be tricky. I have a permit for 3 days but am not allowed to camp. Not sure how that was ever going to work. It really bothered me camping unauthorised, probably more than I realised. But I don’t like doing the wrong thing and especially if it communicates disrespect for national Parks and Aboriginal Community.
The road became unsealed early on and it was a reality check that the next stage was about to begin. I had been told by other travellers that the road to the WA border was the hardest section of the Great Central . And it was tricky; super sandy and corrugations that made the Oodnadatta Track look like an airstrip. 🤣
I chipped away at the first 20km and was trying to settle in. I was a bit in my head missing family and a sad residual after spending so much quality time with Claudia and Lothar. The transition was always going to be felt deeply. However I soon came across my first wild camel, back legs spread eagled and doing a wee by the roadside. I think he was more in shock when he turned his head a saw me and Banjo checking him out!!! Very cool. This encounter woke up the senses and they were smiling warmer into the next kms.
I stopped at about 11am for some breaky and a cuppa. There was a very strong NE wind blowing a chill bill breeze. It was a tail wind thank goodness and made the intro to the road conditions more manageable. We managed to find a great spot out of the wind in a dry creek bed behind a high bank. I was feeling a bit more human with some calories on board. The gum tree next to where we sat had a flock of green budgies in it. They were busy darting amongst the branches and were great company during the break.
Back on the road, I was feeling better and the energy had lifted heaps. We came across two cars travelling in the opposite direction; Anne and Dennis from Durian Bay and Lyn and Kim From Geraldton. They were very supportive and shared some of their oranges and apples. They also let me use their compressor to pump up Banjos back tyre which wasn’t enjoying the bumpy ride.
A short time later I met Bill and Russell from Perth travelling in the same direction. These fellas were also super encouraging and showered me in treats of liquorice, dried apricots and muslei bars.
Immediately the gear went up a few notches with these beautiful connections and the spirits were high to chip away at the kms for the rest of the day. We stopped to have a break by the roadside next to natives that were in full red bloom and stunning. It was definitely wee o’clock and I was much more comfortable to continue the bumpy road for the next few hours 🤣
I had done 103km and was starting to think about where I could discreetly camp again when I came across Kirsty and Deb from Brisbane. They had stopped to give a guy their spare diesel as he had run out of fuel. We got talking and I shared my struggle with camping along this stretch of the challenge. The girls offered to give me a lift to Docker River the same place they were headed. I hesitated but honestly was so relieved that I didn’t have to deal with that experience again. So over the next minutes Banjo was dismantled and tied on top the back of their Ute.
He also appreciated the break from the bumps. We had fun chatting over the 80km and enjoying the sunset scenery and close mouton ranges.
We arrived after dark here to set up camp. There’s a small community up the road and nothing much else except a rest are with no facilities. Not really what I was expecting but we will head into town in the morning and see what they have. The girls are already in bed as it’s a super chill bill night and I’m shovelling down noodles while I do today’s post. It’ll be nice to crawl into bed knowing I am safe and sound and legitimate 🤣
Time to finish dinner and get snug as a bug. The local camp dogs are howling a treat. Talk soon xxx