Day 108 Tilmouth Well

Distance Yesterday 45km at 12km/hr to Yuendumu

Distance today 20km at 12km/hr (Lift 83km)

TOTALS: Distance 7540. Donations $9240.09. Days remaining 32 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 4pm on Monday the 16 August 2021.

We had the best stay in Yuendumu last night. I have been craving to understand more about remote aboriginal communities. However I’ve not had the access to information or conversations not skewed by politics or opinions. Gratefully, I have spent time with Sabrina and her friends Frank and Wendy, who have been local residents in Yuendumu for over 45years.

I had a parcel package to pick up from Yuendumu. When it was apparent I was not going to make it by close of business Friday, Mum tracked down Sabrina (Sam), the contact from the local council who helped me to arrange water points in NT. Sabrina was happy to collect my parcel from the post office Friday, so it was available when I came through yesterday 🙏

We spent the afternoon talking about The Walpiri people of Yuendumu and about Sams experiences living part of the community for the most part of her adult life. It was a rich and insightful conversation. I also got to meet her fur babies including Bob, the camp dog.

I mentioned to Sam that she should write a book to share her experiences and insight. According to Sam, she’s a reader not a writer but said I should meet her friends, Frank and Wendy. Frank has written a book, “My Yuendumu Story,” thats been recently published. She called her friends and he came round to pick me up for a visit to their place.

Frank and Wendy were also very interesting people, with a love for Warlpiri people and their language. Warlpiri is taught in the schools as well as other neighbouring landguages. Frank understands the importance of being deeply grounded in your cross cultures. He has a Dutch heritage and grew up living in other countries including Germany and Argentina. He can speak 5 languages including Warlpiri and appreciates cultural heritage snd diversity. Oh my goodness what a wonderful afternoon and evening. Frank dropped me home after 9pm. It was a pleasure to buy a copy of his book to savour more detail.

By Frank Baarda

“…the people of Yuendumu refer to Aborigines as Yapa and to whitefellas as Kardiya. Yapa and Kardiya share a common humanity. We are more alike than we are different. Yet it is the differences between us, the diversity, that our Australian Nation ought to be celebrating. We sometimes brag about our multiculturalism but invariably omit First Australians and their descendants from this vision of an inclusive and fair society.”

Frank Baarda, 2021, p2.

Sam let me camp in her back yard and I set up the fly so I could enjoy the stars in my dreams. Thank you to Sam, Frank and Wendy for inviting me into your homes and sharing a part of your stories with me. I wish you wellbeing as your journeys continue.

I got underway this morning at 10am after saying my goodbyes to Sam and her fur babies. It’s sealed road now to Alice and I was happy to settle into to come what may without the corrugations. In hindsight I probably needed a rest day. There was a gusty southerly headwind and I was in slog mode all over again.

I passed a couple by the roadside and stopped for a chat to share our travels on the Tanami. Doug and Vicki asked if I wanted a lift. I was resigned to dealing with the conditions and thanked them for their tempting offer. About 20kms into the ride I was thinking, “Maree you goose!!!!”

A greater power must have intervened because soon after I saw them again pulled up at a ‘turkey nest’ bore by the side of the road. Turkey nest bores are built up off the ground. They had stopped to take a picture of the working windmill. However when you get closer to the bore it’s alive with thousands of green budgies and finches. It was a wow moment!!!! ‘Beep beeps’ everywhere. There were also eagles and goshawks swooping through the flocks for a feed. The bore was full of water and it was a haven for birdlife. They looked more like bats than birds. It was a real phenomenon and spectacle I’ve never seen before. The guys at the mains road facility mentioned about the bird life around the bores as you get closer to Alice. But I had no idea!!!! I wouldn’t have seen it if Doug and Vicki weren’t already parked there. We sat for over an hour in awe.

Is asked Doug if I could get a lift the rest of the way to Tilmouth Roadhouse. Soon Banjo was packed up on top of their camper trailer.

On our way here we shared our favourite travel moments. We all agreed that the nighttime sky was a constant wow!! Vicki a keen photographer and she shared her night shots that were insane. I was able to point out “Old Man Emu” and they’re keen to keep an eye out tonight. Thanks guys. You made a shit day into a rest day while still being able to move forward.

The folk here at Tilmouth Well Roadhouse have let us camp for free to support beyondblue. We found a spot in the camp kitchen tucked away from the wind. Its been relaxing to do an early post while watching the birds play under the sprinklers. The wind has eased up enough for me to set up camp now. I’m keen for an early diner and bed. Night and talk soon xx

Published by shecyclesolo

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.' H D Thoreau

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