Distance today 117km at 18km/hr
TOTALS: Distance 4687km Donations $6796.09. Days remaining 72. Deserts: Sturt Stony, Strzelecki, 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 9.15pm on Wednesday the 7 July 2021.
I apologise for the skinny upload of photos over the last days but the internet connection here at Gunbarrel Laager Travellers Rest is a bit slow. Hence the late post for today. Not that I’m complaining. Jasmine, the manager has let me stay here for free and has put me up in a room with dinner included. What a treat and so appreciated. Wiluna has been welcoming.
I arrived in the aboriginal township at about 3pm and stocked up on food for the next days while we do ours preps for stage 6 – Wiluna to Halls Creek (29 days). The roadhouse is also the local post office and I popped in to ask about my postal packs. The campgrounds are 12 km out of town and I wasn’t sure if I could carry them on Banjo. The lady at the post office offered to drop them off on her way home from work. Bonus!!!! This saved me riding into town in the morning before I could start changing the boy’s tubes and silicone and giving him a service. Sooo grateful!!!! I was in the shower when they arrived, so I missed saying thank you in person. But I’ll be going through town again on my way to Wiluna North Road and will pop into the post office to thank the ladies.
I’m very excited about sleeping in a bed and banjo is tucked safely outside my donger lap enjoying a well deserved rest.
It’s been hard going the last few days with a gusty headwind and lots of hills and gradient inclines. I’ve had little contact with folk except for exchanging waves which is important but it’s very easy to get too much in my head. Today we made an extra effort to stay open and take notice to see what we could spot along the way. A positive mindset makes all the difference to energy levels especially in a headwind that can take its toll on my mood after a few hours. Yesterday I felt the pinch in the last hour and today I was keen to pace myself well and enjoy the whole day to its full.
The day was blue skies fresh and inviting to hit the road early at 730am. I was keen to do most of our ride before the wind blew up later morning.
We crossed the range early in the ride and the colours in the rocky landscape were vivid in the morning light. The wind blew up early but we were often sheltered by hills and shrubbery close to the roadside. The road also meandered a lot giving some relief from the headwind.
We soon entered the Wiluna Shire. The road sign refers to the area as “The edge of the desert.” That’s very fitting!!!! It’s also the gateway to the famous desert tracks, The Gunbarrel Highway and the Canning Stock Route. The CSR was originally on our itinerary but it’s now closed due to COVID to protect the communities along the route. That’ll have fo wait until next time round 🤣
We passed a massive Nickle mine owned by BHP. At first I thought it was another range. However as I got closer I could see that Mt Keith had been cut into with layered excavations. The size of the project was overwhelming.
At our first wee break, I noticed a baby native with red bells like the one I saw yesterday. the ground was covered with crystals of all shapes and sizes. A heart shape one caught my attention
I also noticed a native shrub that had regenerated from what looked like a dead stick. Our desert plants are tested under the harshest conditions and it’s amazing to appreciate their resilience.
Wiluna is a real milestone for our challenge as it’s approximately at the half way. I felt very chuffed arriving into town and celebrated with a snake and thumbs up. Well done to the ‘10desertchallenge’ community. What a team effort that makes our effort on the road, all the more worthwhile.
Beds calling. It’s after 10pm and a big day of logistics tomorrow. Night and talk soon xx