Distance today 138km at 24km/hr average
TOTALS: Distance 6429km. Donations $8060.09. Days remaining 50. 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 7.12pm on Wednesday the 28 July 2021
It’s fire o’clock at The Lake Ellendale. It’s a beautiful night with the stars shining through the eucalyptus lining the waters edge. The crickets are happy and popping into my campsite to say hi. There’s ‘plops’ coming from the water and I’m tucked cosy in front of the fire savouring the light and red embers. I found a bunch of gum branches over twilight and the burning oils in eucalyptus smell wonderful. I haven’t had a fire for so long and am appreciating the chance to enjoy this space again. There’s one bar of 3G reception here so I called Dawn to share the moment and our day. Happy girl!!!!
The Lake is a free rest area on Wiki camps. It’s on private land and campers are welcome to enjoy the lakeside. There’s a number of people here but there’s plenty of room to find your own space. The waters reflecting the dotted camps and fires and there’s a relaxed feeling as folk settle into their night. It’s every bit worth the 138km ride today.
I arrived just before sunset having left later this morning. I had lots of visitors as I packed up camp with people curious and wanting to chat about Banjo and our challenge. He’s such a crowd pleaser bless him. I really enjoyed the contact and genuine conversations about mental health. Mental health touches all of us and it seems that people are wanting to talk about their personal experiences. Our challenge may give folk permission to open up and share a part of their story. It’s a real honour to be part of these conversations and a positive way to start the day.
I woke this morning to the sound of birds in the gumtrees around camp. They were so busy and in numbers chatting away and darting between branches. They looked like a type of fig bird, grey in colour with a black nose. I made a cuppa and enjoyed their morning orchestra. Bird o’clock is my favourite wake up call. I had a little grasshopper pop in who was also keeping a watchful eye on the birds but perhaps for different reasons 🤣
We got underway about 10am. I’m loving the scenery of boabs, desert oaks and anthills.
This is cattle farming country and the properties are unfenced in sections. Unfortunately there’s a lot of cow roadkill. Whenever I see cows by the roadside I give them a holler to encourage them back into the fields. It’s been working a treat. But today I tried with a couple of bulls and they just stood there looking at me like ‘you’re kidding right!!!’ Their horns were too big to argue the point.
I pulled up further down the road under the huge boab and appreciated it up close. The trees have new shoots for the season and oval shaped fruit like gourds. There were beep beep nests in the branches. What a wonderful home tree for my feathered favourites.
We had our first break with Owen who I met at one of the recent roadhouses when he was refuelling. He’s on holidays riding his KTM motorcycle. It’s such a handsome bike. It was fun to stop and share lunchtime with him. He’s travelling the Gibb River Raod with a group in a few days and filling in time enjoying some of the neighbouring tracks. He then heads down the Tanami the same time I’ll be travelling so we had a lot to talk about. He’s in Fitzroy Crossing for the next couple of days so we exchanged phone numbers to arrange a coffee date tomorrow. Really looking forward to talking more. He shared his bananas and protein snacks. Thanks mate and I look forward to catching up tomorrow if it works.
We had our afternoon break down a roadside track away from the road. It was a beautiful spot that would have made a great camp. The grasses were flowering purple amongst the natives and brown anthills and the colours were contrasting. I enjoyed taking some pickies in the afternoon light. The native with the red seed pods were also along the track so I tried to capture the iridescent effect to share.
We arrived at The Lake Ellendale later this afternoon and set up camp over sunset. I can see why it’s such a popular spot and highly rated on Wiki I’ll take some more photos in the morning to capture a feel of the place to share with you. There’s a warning on Wiki to be ‘croc aware’ camping here. That’s a different experience camping!!! I spoke to a local who camps here regularly and he said it’s been years since a ‘freshy’ has been spotted. He swims every day when he camps. While I won’t be swimming, it’s better peace of mind. I’m camped well back from the bank regardless.
For now it’s time to think about dinner. I’m looking forward to enjoying the sounds when I crawl into bed. My head torch is picking up a wading bird fishing along the waters edge how cool to watch. I’ve really taken to bugs in recent times. They fascinate me, the extraordinary extra ordinary detail of them. I can easily miss their presence in my day to day unless they’re bothering me. It’s cool to take the time to look closer at all the critters I share space with. I have my fair share to amuse myself with over dinner 🤣 Night and talk soon xx