Distance today 98km at 19km/hr average
TOTALS: Distance 6052km Donations $7965.09. Days remaining 55. Deserts: Sturt Stony, Strzelecki, Tirari, Gibson, Great Victorian, Little Sandy Desert. Tracks: Birdsville Development Road, Birdsville Track, Oodnadatta Track, Red Centre Way, Great Central Road, Goldfields Highway, Wiluna North Road, Marble Bar 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 7.30pm on Saturday the 24 July 2021
Oh my goodness what a beautiful day! I’ve just shared sunset over the Indian Ocean with my partner, Dawn and the full moon rising with Mum and Dad.
Now I’m sitting at my camp at Barnhill Station under the moon and stars listening to the ocean and crickets posting to you fine folk. The soul is still, grounded and very very happy indeedy.
I was talking with Dawn about how fortunate we are living in Brisbane. Saturdays are our family day out. We can go to the beach, or do a rainforest walk or swim under a waterfall. The places we love are a short ride away and we love spending our days doing the little things big in nature. What a blessing 🙏 it was so special to share today. It’s all in the sharing that makes the memories embed in my heart as keepsake moments. How precious to feel every bit of that gratefulness.
Today started early because we had our sights on getting salt air under our wings. I went for a wee walk and the moon was saying goodnight on the horizon. He was ready for a rest before his full moon showing tonight!! See you soon handsome man. The sun rose with the punk pigeons busy finding my noodle crumbs from last night’s dinner. The morning light was highlighting the purple and green colours under their wings. Handsome quirky birds!!
I packed up camp in time for a visit from Cathy again. She was keen to get a photo of us all ready to head off for the day. I later got a satellite message from her “Good luck Maree. Enjoy the journey and the birds. You’re amazing.” Thanks Cathy it was special you meet you at Stanley Rest Area. All the best with your travels too.
I also got a satellite message from Wanju, who I met on the morning we left Yulara. “Hi Maree, just thinking of you. It’s Wanju. We met at the Uluru campgrounds. Thanks for the touching and powerful conversation and things you do for beyondblue.”
How wonderful is it to hear from people who have touched my heart in our brief meetings. Although they’re brief conversations, they’re moments of connection that I treasure. Thanks or reconnecting Wanju 🙏 and I hope you’re travelling well.
It was a windy day today. The ride was challenging and it was particularly tricky with the gusts that hit us head on with the passing traffic. The road trains were the trickiest. We got out of the saddle and peddled hard to tackle the blast as the past.
We had our first break at 40kms. It was time for the blue face paint to bring some fun attitude to the ride. I was all set to go with blue tiger stripes and heart on my chest. Look our headwind, hear we come with our own gale force 🤣
We stopped a further 10kms on to share the Speedo clicking over to 6000kms. Wooohoooo!!!! We’re well and truly over the halfway mark now and it was a milestone to celebrate and share. There’s heaps to go I know but little wins along the way all count big!!!
Our next stop was at roadworks. We met Linton. His first comment was… ‘Nice war paint.’ He asked if we wanted a cold drink. ‘Oh yes please!!’ I parked Banjo against his car and filled my water bottle up with icy water, how delish. He was keen for a chat and gave us some good tips about where to stay in Fitzroy Crossing and Halls Creek. He suggested we’re better off staying in a motel in these towns as they’re a bit rough and Banjo will likely get pinched. Cars and bikes are targeted by locals in particular. Great heads up mate thank you!!! He also mentioned a great swimming hole at a spring 88k east of Fitzroy Crossing. It’s one to look out for!!! He gave us a Buff bandanna to keep the dust out of the nostrils along the Tanami. Linton said our story sound like a book that even would read 🤣 That’s the plan!! He was so keen to help out and we had a big hug before I headed off. You’re a gentleman Linton xx
We had our sights on Barnhill Station and were very excited when we passed the sign for the turn off. It was another 10kms offroad. Both Banjo and I enjoyed the sandy track. I let his tyres down and he had fun showing off his 4.8inch tyres. The conditions were perfect for the boy.
It was thrilling to catch our first glimpse of the Indian Ocean.
The folk at the campgrounds were welcoming and offered half price for our charity ride.
I was keen to savour the rest of the day on the beach. I quickly found a camp and set up. The boy was happy to chill in the shade.
What can I say!! The beach was an expanse of red tainted sand and rocky outcrops and cliffs. The tide was out and there was an abundance of shells and rocks to mooch through. I went for a swim. Salt water on warm skin. Yum!! The perfect bath for the day.
The sun slowly set over the Indian Ocean. I walked around the headland had the beach to myself to savour every moment of the setting sun and twilight. It was so special to share the with family.
It’s been the best breaking up our desert challenge with a hit of ocean. It’s a perspective unplanned and perfect to shake the sense and wake the soul.
Thank you for sharing this time with me. Time for dinner. Barnhill is known for its wood fire pizzas and I have a take away to devour in bliss. Banjo and I are all smiles and ready to tackle tomorrow whatever’s around the corner. Bring it on!!! Night and talk soon x