Distance today 72km at 13km/hr average
TOTALS: Distance 7195km. Donations $9040.09. Days remaining 38. Deserts: Sturt Stony, Strzelecki, Tirari, Pedirka, Gibson, Great Victorian, Little Sandy Desert, Great Sandy Desert, Tanami 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 6.30pm on Monday the 9 August 2021
We’ve clock over the $9000 for Beyondblue how amazing is that. Thank you to everyone who continue to support our challenge to promote mental health and raise money for an essential cause.
We started our day slow enjoying the local birds over a cuppa after I packed up camp. There was a flock of beep beeps which are the native finches. They were in numbers feeding on the ground and their chatter always makes me smile. There’s another bird that’s showing up frequently. They hang out in mated pairs and have a yellow breast, black head and curved beak like a honey eater. I’ve noticed them over the last days and they were joining the party for breakfast. Outside on the track, we disturbed a family of bastards also called plain turkeys. Mum and Dad kept a watchful eye on their baby and they checked us out before taking off. How wonderful!!!!
The Tanami Track is the next level in challenge. Obviously physically it’s demanding but mentally it’s really tricky. I’m loving getting to see how I rise to challenge. On top of everything else it’s very sandy so the going is slow and a slog. There is no roll so every km is worked hard for to spin through the sand. Banjos doing it tough. We’ve had plenty of spills today in deep sections that caught us unaware. His front panniers are weighted with water and detach whenever we come off. It makes it a real process to work through plus it’s like picky up a motorcycle when I drop him. His chain came off and got stuck around the front rotor when I tried to go down a gear. Oh dear!!! One of the many trials we worked through during what has been a big day for us both. I’m very mindful to look after the boy in the trying conditions that are hard on him. This keeps me in check when I start to get tired and loose patience. I’ve got an hour in me before I need a rest so we used that today to break up the day.
We both have our sights on staying safe through to Alice Springs where he can have a well deserved service. We’re staying with Dira who reached out through Facebook before I left. She has offered to host us during our rest days in Alice. What a generous offer that we’re both looking forward to. See you soon Dira and thank you for opening you’re home up to us.
My low mood was lifted heaps when two road trains came past carrying huuuuge mining trucks. They had a pilot driver travelling ahead of them. Jenny was driving the pilot car and she stopped first to say hi. She shared a coke and topped up my water while we waited for the trucks to catch up.
They’re travelling very slow in the conditions. It was a sight to behold when Billy and Barry arrived in tow.
We all hung out on the road sharing travel stories. They’re all from Brisbane as well so the Brissy contingency is well represented on the Tanami 🤣
Billy had me in stitches with a story about a dingo taking his boot from off the truck a couple of days ago. They ran after him and eventually got it back. One of them got stuck in a wire fence as the others were in pursuit. It was Laurel and Hardy shananaghans that I’m sure the dingo got a good laugh out of. How cheeky!! The boots got a tooth mark to notch the event. His nickname is now Billy Chamberlain, “the dingos got my boot!!!!” 🤣 The guys gave me their mentos stash before heading off.
I followed their tracks and caught up to them during the breaks. It gave me something to focus on and the next block of kms were easier to manage with the distraction. I was trying different ways up to then to manage my headspace; tracking the kms on the hour and taking pictures of animal tracks in the sand. A plan gives my head something to focus on and helps reset.
It was after 430pm when I clicked over the 70kms and started looking for a camp to set up before dark. We’re just off the road down an old track that’s quite overgrown but cleared to a great spot for me and the boy. Tomorrow we’re aiming for Granite Mine at 83km. I’ve arranged a water point there for the next few days and we’ll camp somewhere near for the night. All going well of course. I’m constantly blowing insects off my LCD screen as I text my post. Very tricky and a few have been squished in the process. So I may leave it there for tonight.
Saturn has made an appearance on the horizon with Neptune on his tail. It’s so bright and looks wonderful. The stary sky is magnificent and a blanket of comfort for me every night. Night and talk soon xx