Distance today Nil – preparations
TOTALS: Distance 6817km. Donations $8670.09. Days remaining 43. Deserts: Sturt Stony, Strzelecki, Tirari, Pedirka, 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 6.35pm on Wednesday the 4 August 2021
It’s been a full couple of days in Halls Creek trying to gather accurate information and plan water points to tackle the Tanami.
Yesterday morning was spent pampering the boy. He’s so shiny and handsome with his clean chain rig and brand new tyres. He’s very excited as am I for this next stage. It’ll be the biggest challenge we’ve undertaken so far and we’re ready after a thumbs up day today!!!!!
We hit a few hurdles yesterday with inaccurate information and needed to reset to approach today. The challenge is water points. Aboriginal communities are closed along the WA part of the Tanami. This includes Billiluna. This put a spanner in water options along the first section of the track. The Road is otherwise open to tourists however you can’t enter WA from NT.
Yesterday I bumped into 2 police, Brendan and Josh from Balgo Police Station. Balgo is also an aboriginal community off the Tanami and closed to tourists. Brendan is the OIC and tasks a crew each day at the junction to stop non essential workers from entering. He offered to arrange the crew to have extra water on board so we could use the junction a a water point. We will be there by 3pm Saturday. How helpful is that!!!! The junction is half way on the WA part of the Tanami and this enables us to travel 3 days/2 nights either side to cross into NT.
I called Halls Creek Tourism this morning to clarify what restrictions are on persons travelling the track. They confirmed the border is open to enter NT from WA along the Tanami providing I complete a border entry form prior to arrival. I did this online yesterday so big ✔️and step forward. They suggested to contact the tourist information in Alice Springs to find out more about about water options after the border.
I was advised that the communities are open on the NT side which means I can pick up my next postal pack and supplies/water for the next 3 days at Yuendumu. They also suggested to contact the Council in Yuendumu to explore water options in NT.
Sarah from the council was amazing!!! She was creative and excited to help!! She suggested to contact the Granites/Tanami mine which again is about halfway. I spoke to Hamish who works for Newmont Security at the mine. Their 24/7 office is only 100m from the track. He offered to arrange for the security officer rostered on that day to have extra water for us to water up. OMG!!! Thanks Hamish. I sent him a text to confirm
The help from Balgo police and Newmont Security enables us to take on the track safely. It’s all about water and their help has made it doable. But it’s still up to ‘us’ to face the challenge and tackle each day one peddle at a time.
So the plan is 3 days/2 nights (80km/day) to Balgo junction, 3 days/2 nights (89km/day) to Granites Mine, 3 days/2 nights (83km/day) to Yuendumu and 3 days/2 nights (97km/day) into Alice Springs.
I hope you enjoy this stage as much a we’re excited to take on the challenge. For now it’s time for dinner and some time to chill the mind watching the olympics. Let’s see what the next 12 days bring!!!! Watch this space as we attempt to cross the Tanami desert 🌵👍🌵 Night and talk soon xx