Distance today Nil. Prep day
TOTALS: Distance 7560. Donations $10,125.09. Days remaining 26. 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 7pm on Saturday the 21 August 2021
I’ve just finished having a FaceTime chat with Claudia and Lothar. My goodness I adore these two beautiful souls. They are gifts from this challenge whom I will cherish always. Sharing our experiences over the last 2 1/2 months is fuel for the soul. They have just made application to extend their visas for another 12 months. I do hope this process is successful for you both to continue your journeys in Australia. Selfishly, This may also mean I can open my home and share my family with my new old friends. Lothar spoke about the experience of his iceberg turning and his inside world now part of his present existence. I relate to this representation of growth. May you both continue your travels with love and care. Be safe until we speak again my dear friends.
The near full moon is rising over the rocky outcrops in Dira’s backyard. Two micro bats we’re swooping amongst the rocks in the twilight. What a special moment to witness. I sat outside with a cuppa this afternoon when we got back from the West MacDonald Ranges. Dira filled her water bucket and within moments ‘Mr Big’ came down for a drink. He’s a grand boy!!! I didn’t have my phone so I just enjoyed the moment as his drank his belly full. He has a large piece of his ear missing; battle scars from his wildlife story. I loved sharing space with him.
Today was awesome. I got a text from Rory who lives in Alice and whom I met on the Tanami outside of Granite Mine. It’s a great introduction to our day trip.
Aw Marree it was lovely to cross paths with you as well! Ah the ever changing plans of this kind of travelling. Have fun out in the ranges! You’ll absolutely love them! I’ll tell you something interesting about them. These ranges are olllld! All that sand you’ve ridden across over the tanami was once part of the ranges before the weather eroded it away. If you could bring back all that erosion and rebuild the mountain range, they would stand taller than the Himalayas, which means there’s about 10kms of erosion! All this eroding has formed the deserts to the north and south. I wish you all the best for your final crossing! And stay hydrated! 🚲🚲Rory from Alice
This part of country is remarkable and I’m so grateful that Dira gave me a chance to feel their magicalness. What a gift!!! Thank you darling lady for sharing this experience.
We first drove to Heavy Tree Gap outside of Alice, where the East and West MacDonald Ranges meet
We then followed Larapinta Drive that runs in a westerly direction traversing the range.
The countryside is breathtaking
We enjoyed a number of landmarks out to 100km before the community of Hermannsburg. We then turned home and experienced the display of colours with the sun behind us.
This is the country of Albert Namatjira. Albert Namatjira was an Aboriginal artist from the MacDonnell Ranges. As a pioneer of contemporary Indigenous Australian art, he was the most famous Indigenous Australian of his generation.
We stopped at Standley Chasm (Angkerle Atwatye) a significant cultural icon of Central Australia. It’s located in a private reserve owned by descendants of the Arrernte Aboriginal people, that have lived in this area for tens of thousands of years. Walking access to the dramatic 80m sheer rock-face of the chasm is along a trail following the natural creek bed. Angkerle Atwatye “the Gap of Water” is a striking geological formation and an important cultural site for Arrernte women.
We then headed out to Ellery Big Hole via the most amazing overnight rest area for campers.
I tested the water and it was icy brrrr.
Next stop was Orminston Gorge via another cracker of a rest area.
We stopped at Ormiston Gorge for lunch. There was time to dry off and warm up so I braved a swim. Next level cold for this drama queen who was quick to apologise to the other folk otherwise enjoying the serenity 🤣
After lunch we headed to Mt Sonder lookout on the Finke River. They’re both significant landmarks.
What a wonderful taste of many adventures to come with my family. Can’t wait till we’re back to share the Red Centre Way and experience this country together. To be continued!!!!
The last couple of days have also been productive getting ready for our next stage ✔️
We picked up Banjo who is now all shiny and ready to go hard again. The bike mechanic, Chris, at Ultimate Ride, pampered the boy and filled his spare tubes with sealant to donate to our cause.
I gave him a test ride up Anzac Hill; a high point in town with an awesome panorama.
There was a plaque that provided a chronological history of Alice. There were interesting points including the ‘Ghan’ train line named after the Afghan Cameleers who preceded the railway.
The folk at IGear weren’t able to repair my phone but they were able to retrieve the 2000+ photos and videos from Brisbane to Wiluna. What a relief. What an understatement. I’ve also spent my $50 voucher stocking up on essentials for the next 10 days. Yay!!! Thanks to Pankaj at Woolworths Alice Springs for your help to cover costs. I managed to post home the extra gear and spotted an amazing bike parked outside. It was geared up for cycle touring with a load. I’m more experienced these days to appreciate what a functional set up it is.
I got back from town yesterday in time to spot a kangaroo coming down the hill to drink from Dira’s water bucket. What a darling little female with her arms hanging; head down drinking her fill.
Last night we went to dinner at friends of Dira’s, Jude and Daff. The ladies cooked an amazing green curry with sides of spinach rice, coconut banana, yogurt cucumber, and roti. This was followed by desert of baked pear, whipped ricotta, crumbed walnuts and fresh dates. Oh my goodness. I’ll be rolling out of Alice with Banjo at this rate. I can already feel the love handles taking shape again 🤣 At least I’ll have lots of reserves for the next 3 weeks ahead. It was a fun night. The woman were great company, very interesting and full of dry humour and cheekiness. My kind of company!!!
Tomorrow morning I’ll finish packing the boy before enjoying an afternoon of chill. Dira’s out for the afternoon so I can start getting my head in the space for tackling our last 20days. It’s full moon tomorrow so a fire over twilight sounds like a dam fine way to enjoy our last evening. Let’s see what tomorrow brings. Night and talk soon xx