Distance today 82km at 18.3km/hr average
Total distance 3893km. Donations $6162.09. Deserts 4/10. Days remaining 83.
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 Saturday the 26 June 2021.
The moon hasn’t risen as yet so the evening star and his early mates are shining pride of place in the night sky. It’s a beautiful night and I’m savouring the silence. This time of night is so quiet with a stillness that’s intoxicating. The wind stops and the birds have all tucked in for the night. So it’s just me, Banjo and the desert bush land hanging out on our first ninja camp to Tjukayirla.
I’m super pleased with the kms we did today after a late start waiting for the battery pack to recharge fully. Some of the mains power in the remote campgrounds is short of 240volts which the battery needs to charge overnight. I ended up trying the fridge plug and immediately the charging light was stronger.
It was 10.30am before we got underway but we spent the time with Rosemary and Tom who were having a chill morning cooking up a storm of buckwheat pancakes and tin pears. We had already devoured breakfast so respectfully declined their offer to join them. Instead we shared a few cuppas together and talked about mental health influences and the impact of family relationships. It was precious time spent and I loved their easy company. Tom got out his compressor to pump up his tyres for the day and we took advantage of the opportunity and topped up banjo as well. The bike valve adaptor is one of my favourite bits of kit these days. Thanks Mum and Dad. It continues to be a little silver thing big to make our day run smoother literally 🤣
The ride today was one of my favourites so far. It was much warmer and we had a slight tail wind which was so appreciated to get through the planned kms with the later start. The countryside was very different from what we have seen on the Great Central Road. It was an expanse of desert country, undulating, with long sections of straight red road reaching into the horizon. The blue skies made a stark contrast against the red desert dunes dotted with spinifex and native bush land.
10km into the ride we hit sealed road for about 25km which was big fun with the downhill sections of the undulations.
The road was a lot quieter being a Saturday, so we pretty much had the countryside to ourselves to enjoy.
The road became unsealed again just after the junction with the Heather Highway that links with the Gunbarrell Highway.
This is a remote desert track famous for part of the route that Robin Davidson took with her camels back in the 70s. Her book, ‘Tracks’ was made into an epic film. If you haven’t seen it consider checking it out. My partner, Dawn watched it recently and although it’s not her usual type of film, she raved about it too.
The moon has woken up later this evening and is stretching his handsome face over the horizon. Wild camps out here is about as remote as you can get and I truly love the experience. There’s no signs of dingos so far but there’s fresh camel tracks on the side road into our camp. I’ll keep an ear out for some camel stomps in the stillness.
We enjoyed some breaks on the roadside during the day and noticed lots of flowering bushes with intricate flowers. The birdlife was insane and we enjoyed riding alongside their ground level manoeuvres. Big fun!!!
We were getting close to doing our kms for the day when I spotted this side road and it was too good to pass by. It’s a great spot with no tire tracks. It tucks back behind road height for a perfect ninja camp.
During the day I found a fluorescent jacket by the roadside and stopped to cut a section off to tie to the back flag pole.
We did that and a few other choirs when we made camp and set up in time for a breathtaking sunset. What a spot!!!
Sunset lit up the natives including clumps of spinafex and honey grevillias that are seeding after flowering. I noticed red flowering upside down bushes along the side road and there’s clumps of a broad leaf ground plant with a spray of blue flowers. It amazes me how delicate the flowers are on many of the low lying shrubs in an area so arid and harsh. The intricate beauty is a tiny wonder amongst the vast desert plains. No wonder the beep beeps are happy.
I’ve just turned off my red head torch and am sitting in the moment. The moon is still low on the horizon and casting shadows on the natives and tent. I am so grounded in this environment and feel only love and appreciation. Even though I’m so far away in distance from my family they’re my gravity. I share every moment of this experience with them and the love is pure and limitless. Im so grateful for my family. You fuel a wellbeing that’s precious. Thinking of you my darlings 🙏🥰
It’s time for a hot cuppa and dinner of cheese sandwiches left over from Warburton. I’m looking forward to tucking cosy into bed from the night air. One of my favourite days and really lovely to share with you. Talk soon xxx