Distance today 0km. Rained in for 24hrs with the other campers staying at Warakurna Roadhouse
Total distance 3713km. Donations $5912.09. Deserts 3/10. Days remaining 87
Note to new readers: I am travelling with my bike who’s name is Banjo. I 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 626pm on Tuesday the 22 June 2021.
It rained all night and morning. Not torrential but steady and enough to create lots of surface water around and on the roads.
The road is apparently open but to travel with caution as the clay base is soft and slippery when wet. The sections of gravel and sand will also be sloppy as the road holds the water like a basin as opposed to allowing the water to run off.
The day has given me the chance to repack Banjo with water and make sure he’s as balanced as possible. I’ve also zip tied his panniers for extra stability and borrowed a compressor to inflate his tyres. He is as handsome as ever.
My food is sorted for the next three days and two nights and I’m generally feeling ready enough to get going early tomorrow.
I popped over to the roadhouse before they closed at 5pm to say thank you to the staff for their warm hospitality today and advice on weather/road conditions. They even said I could set my tent up in the camp kitchen to be cosier as the temperature has already dropped. It’s going to be a cold change for the next week after the rain. Nice offer but no. We have so appreciated being high and dry under the awning area.
The wet conditions have also held up the other campers. However we have all spent time together over the day and have genuinely enjoyed each others company. The two guys who visited last night are Ian and Justin. They are mates from high school. Justin is travelling with his wife Sandy and two children, Taila and Hunter. I also met Kathy and Ross.
The families are all from Perth and travelling the Great Central in the opposite direction. Is been really helpful to get an update on the road conditions and services from here to Laverton. It’s also been really fun just having the downtime to hang out and enjoy each other’s company. Taila and Hunter loved checking out the photos and video of the camel weeing on the side of the road. They have seen over 20 camels on the road ahead so there’s lots more camel experiences to look out for.
It’ll be 9 days to Laverton starting tomorrow in sets of 3 days/2 nights between campgrounds. The first mini stage is to Warburton.
I was talking to my family tonight about my experiencing the community lands so far. It’s very confronting. Its a feeling similar to what I felt when I travelled in India. Probably because it’s in our own backyard. It’s a front yard reality for many Australians. Our challenge for Beyond Blue does not seem noteworthy for the people living in these lands but mental health does.
Aboriginal people refer to issues with mental health as the ‘black dog.’ There’s a charitable organisation in Australia called ‘Black Dog’ and I’m interested to understand more about the cause.
All the shops and services including the petrol bowsers are within locked fencing. The area could be out of a third world country. The amount of security affirms my feeling vulnerable with personal safety a priority. My sadness is that we live in a ‘lucky country’ but lucky for whom? It feels war torn with complex and compounded generational issues for many of our First Nations People. We, colonial Australia, have inflicted the root cause of these issues, a level of discrimination against Aboriginal people that other countries call ‘apartheid.’ Are we in recovery? There is so much I don’t know and understand.
My bigger, stronger, wiser kinder self needs to be open and see as clearly as I can, knowing I have layers of white privileged lens. I hope to hold my personal pain and discomfort that is overwhelming and misplaced. But right now my priority is personal safety and allow as much room as I can to be open to all the experiences ahead. Onto Warburton safely in 3 days. Talk soon xx