Distance today 131km at 21km/hr average
TOTALS: Distance 6290km. Donations $8060.09. Days remaining 51. Deserts: Sturt Stony, Strzelecki, Tirari, Gibson, Great Victorian, Little Sandy Desert, Great Sandy Desert. Tracks: Birdsville Development Road, Birdsville Track, Oodnadatta Track, Red Centre Way, Great Central Road, Goldfields Highway, Wiluna North Road, Marble Bar Road, Great Northern Highway.
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 7pm on Monday the 26 July 2021
Today started early to pick up my soup and bread from Val and Graham. They were already well underway packing up and we shared a big hug and handshake for our dinner tonight. They’re off to Broome now and Vals got my Internet address for the challenge to make a donation and follow our story. What a beautiful couple.
We woke to a foggy morning and everything was super damp. I ended up putting my clothes through the dryer to avoid them getting musty. I was doing the last of our packing up when I heard “hey you!!!!’ Oh my goodness I was so happy to see Justin and his family and Ian who I met in Warakurna at the start of the Great Central Road. We shared special time there at the roadhouse and it’s Ian who lent me his Leatherman to have a pair of pliers on board to remove Banjos core valve. We shared lots of hugs and stories about each other’s travels over the last month. That seems like such a long time ago but our connection is still genuine. What a great way to start the day reconnecting. They’ve been following our story and tracking us on Map share. So they knew we were at the campgrounds and made the effort to find us before getting underway. They’re on their way home now to Perth and a bit bottom lipped that their trip is ending. Be safe on the roads my dear friends and enjoy the homestretch stage in your travels. I’m very grateful to have met you all.
We got underway after thanking the staff at the roadhouse for our stay. It was great to have charged the battery packs and washed the gear for the next week to Halls Creek.
Today’s ride was varied and interesting. The vegetation has changed from desert reds to outback browns and cassia trees lined the road flowering yellow. Happy birds kept me company all day during the ride and on breaks.
I passed a team of workers painting lines on the road. I met Diesel who was stopped by the roadside. ‘Want a cold drink!!!!’ ‘Oh yes please.’ We got chatting about accomodation options in Fitzroy Crossing and Halls Creek. They’re on the way home now to Perth for a few days break so he was in high spirits and full of cheek. He shared two bottles of blue electrolyte and a tub of potato salad that’s also on the menu. Enjoy your days off mate. Thanks for your generosity and fun banter.
Further on I met two other cyclists travelling towards Broome. Kerrie and Scott are cycle touring around Australia. They call themselves, ‘Too old to die young’ and have a Facebook page to share their travels. Their set up was impressive and we exchanged cycling tips and tricks. They’re from NZ and have little kiwis swinging from their bike flags. They told me about a cycling site called ‘Warm Showers.’ It lists hosts around the country where cyclists can stay for free. They stayed with Indigo in Fitzroy Crossing and recommended him. I later sent him a text asking if I could stay. I now have a place to overnight in FC where Banjo will be safe. How good is that!!! Thanks Kerrie and Scott for your help and all the best as your journey continues.
The landscape changed to open floodways dotted with boabs and anthills. There was also a native that’s in seed. The seedpods are iridescent red in the sunlight and hang like Christmas decorations.
The next change of scenery was marked with a croc sign warning travellers about venturing too close to the rivers .
We’re in river country now and crossed a handful of single lane bridges in the last 5kms to Willare roadhouse.
What a day of contrasting countryside. I arrived at the roadhouse and met Kate and Anna doing research with the Nulungu Institute. They’re studying the impact of government COVID regulations on the aboriginal communities. How interesting. They were very helpful with ideas about accommodation in Halls Creek and contact persons on the Tanami. They have given me their numbers and will make some further enquires over the next days. I’ll speak to them further when I’m in Halls Creek. Looking forward to touching base with these ladies again.
While we were talking a police car pulled up with officers from the road crash investigation unit. One of the officers took an interest in our conversation and suggested to visit the local police station. He said it may be an option to house Banjo at the Police Station. Otherwise the campgrounds at Halls Creek are pretty safe to stay. It’s vehicles and bikes that draw the wrong attention. He said to mention his name when I’m speaking with the officers. Thanks Jeremy for taking the time to provide quality advice about safety options.
The roadhouse has let me stay for free and I set up camp in time to call the family over sunset. Tomorrow we head to ‘The Lake Ellendale’ which is on WikiCamps and been recommended by Linton, the roadworks fella I met the other day and also Kerrie and Scott today. It’s about 122km on route to Fitzroy Crossing.
Now it’s time to enjoy my soup and salad. Night and talk soon. Xx