Distance today 93.6km at 16km/hr
TOTALS: Distance 4153km Donations $6562.09. Days remaining 80. Deserts: Sturt Stony, Streztlecki, Tirari, Gibson, Great Victorian. Tracks: Birdsville, Oodnadatta, Red Centre Way, Great Central Road.
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 6pm on Tuesday the 29 June 2021.
I hear Brisbane’s going into a 3 day lockdown starting 6pm tonight. Hang in there everyone, Australia’s a bit hectic wide with COVID lockdowns, event cancellations and border closures. My family have been directly effected like many other folk. But I’m grateful our health authorities take strong action until we can contain the clusters. Here’s hoping this wave settles with minimal cases. The roll out of vaccinations gives some peace of mind.
An ambulance stopped today to check I was okay and they all had masks on in the car. I apologised for not having a mask on and they said it was just because they had multiple people in the car. I’ll have mine close at hand over the next days to put on if cars stop. Not that there’s much traffic on the road. It’s very quiet which is good in some ways, but I miss that contact during the day. But that’s just a slight hiccup given the state of the nation currently so all good to manage 👍
We woke today to a pink sunrise and was spoilt to be able to just pop over to the communal demountable to make a cuppa.
I admired our campsite through the window and again appreciated the opportunity we had to stay at Tjukayirla Roadhouse.
I spotted the lady manager in the grounds and again thanked her for their understanding and making such a huge positive difference in preparation for Laverton. It was very bizarre staying at an otherwise empty campground with just the beep beeps for company. And they were in numbers busy in the trees around he water tower and tanks. What a great place for nests. I love their positive busy energy!!!
We said our goodbyes to the campgrounds and the road to Laverton was open for day 1 of 3.
The weather was much warmer so I opted to wear my light thermal and pants with the legs taped up so they didn’t rub on the chain. I was still way over dressed as it turned out, so the sleeves were up and the legs were rolled into shorts for the most part of the day. The seam on the back pockets rub on the pressure sores on my bum so they’re not the best for riding in. The bottom cream made another appearance today along with some Panadol and ibuprofen to take the edge of with the bumpy ride. I’ll reassess depending on the weather in the morning. It might be time for shorts, singlet and shoulder wraps again which will be nice and lighter for a change. I’ve been rugged up riding for what seems like ages now.
The first 40km of the day went well. It was red sandy soft and corrugated but we were able to find a less bumpy path on the road shoulders. The red sandy conditions were a real change.
I stopped on our first break to orientate ourselves on the map. We are passing the Great Victorian Desert to the South East which is very cool. That makes 5/10 of our desert challenge to date. Thumbs up milestone. 👍
The next stage was tougher going and we just no options but to bump along slowly over the corrugations that were a constant. The wind changed to a warm southwesterly headwind and the road was an incline gradient. A lot tougher indeedy. We’re also missing our minties as I didn’t think to ask for a packet of lollies back at Tjukyirla. But I’m just happy to have basic meals covered under the circumstances. So we just slogged through each 5km set and rewarded ourselves by getting safely through our kms for the day. It makes me appreciate the lollie stash a bit more that’s for sure 🤣
It’s been a warmer day today but a wind chill has just kicked in so it’s time for the down jacket to be a bit more cosier while I post and have dinner. Clouds came across this afternoon with a bit of attitude and wind behind them and we cycled through our first shower. Nothing too menancing but the wind was pretty gusty and kept the speed low for the last couple of hours. We enjoyed a glimmer of a rainbow when it started to clear.
It was a bit of a slogathon for the last 15km and I was happy to click over the 90km given the conditions and kept an eye out for a camp. At 93km I spotted a promising side track and checked it out for our first ninja camp to Laverton.
The spot is perfect to tuck ourselves away safely and banjo is strapped between two bushes all sturdy and away from the clumps of spinifex that are around the camp. The ground is red dust like bull dust and it gets into everything 🤣 We’re definitely camping in different desert conditions tonight. There’s ants about that you could put a saddle on. So we have layed out the tarp and sprayed it with insect repellent to keep them at bay. Not enough noodles to go round.
We were able to set up quickly before a shower hit around 4pm. I tucked myself under the tarp and enjoyed the rainbow that came out with the sun. It was a double full half circle and a stunning sight in the afternoon light. The camp looked amazing in the scenery and sky.
We savoured sunset and twilight with a cuppa over texting the family to share our days.
A covid case has directly effected the Sandgate community with Woolworths and the local gym being places the person visited over the last days. What a reality check how quickly we can be impacted during lockdown. The close community must be unsettled and my heart goes out to everyone to stay close and connected during this time. Sandgate still has a village feel for an outer suburb of Brisbane and the community will be feeling the impact of the cluster being on their doorstep. Love to everyone as always and especially during these anxious times.
The road’s quite close but we’re well tucked behind the shrubbery and out of sight from passing cars. I can hear the occasional car coming from such a long instance away. They initially sound like planes passing overhead then gradually get closer. It’s so loud as they pass like a road train in the stillness of the night.
Time for dinner and an early night. I plan to get underway early tomorrow to try and knock over as many Kms as we can for the day. We’ll aim for well over 100kms, conditions permitting, to make it an earlier finish into Laverton. One day at a time but and me and the boy have to travel safe and well to make that happen. The road apparently gets better on the second half which should be about 50km into tomorrow’s ride. Apparently it’s been recently graded and in good condition. Then the last 100kms are sealed from what I’ve been told. Here’s hoping!!!! Night and talk soon xxxx The double serve of corn noodles are delish by the way. Thx Tjukayarlia.