Distance today 55kms at 14km/hr average
TOTALS: Distance 7950km. Donations $10,125.09. Days remaining 16. 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, Tanami Road, Plenty Highway (current)
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 3pm on Thursday the 26 August 2021.
Jervois Station. Oh my goodness what a piece of paradise.
The galahs and corellas are already into bird o’clock. And why the hell not!!! The variety of eucalyptus have the best nooks for nesting. Happy birds. Under the trees are grassy patches where they’re beak down and tail feathers up filling their bellies.
There’s a great natural vibe here and the camp area is amongst it all.
The homestead is a bit further up. I met Cheryl, now living here with her daughter who’s married into the family. She recently retired and thought life on the station was going to be a step down in busyness. She now recons she needs to go back to work for a rest. 🤣 Cattle stations are a lifestyle not a job. There’s no clocking in/out. They run a small store and sell petrol to cater for campers and she runs that when she’s not being the runner for other work to be done!!!
I’ve found a great spot by a table and fireplace. I’ve already collected my wood for fire o’clock and enjoyed a hot shower. Nice!!!
It’s one of the most relaxing places I’ve stayed so I’m very happy to have arrived early to savour the afternoon.
I packed up this morning and said my goodbyes to Christine and Lynn over a cuppa. They had already started prepping for dinner so it was a quick visit before getting underway.
It was only 55kms to Jervois so we were able to take it steady over the bumps to look after the backside. It’s a bit sore as are the legs and shoulders from taking the weight off my bum. All good!!! The lessor kms mean the discomfort is short lived and places like this ease the aches every day and twice on Sunday!!!
A cattle road train has just moved out, mustering cattle to their other station further north.
There’s been more rain there so the feed is better this time of year. Cheryl said the station is over a million hectares and they have a number of trucks that do the mustering season. It’s a bit more heavy duty than quads and horseback!!!
We had our break at 45kms where the Plenty swings north east to Tobermorey and the Qld border. That should take the edge off the southerly when it blows up again.
It’s 212kms to Tobermorey; our next leg. It’ll be a 3day/2 night ride at 70km/day. I’ll check with the station people if there are any water points between here and there. Otherwise we’ll water up tomorrow with 3L+10L.
We crossed two main rivers; the Plenty and the Marshall. The river beds are impressive; very wide and dry. I can only imagine what they look like in the rainy season. What a spectacular sight it must be to see these major rivers flowing. Dira was saying when the Todd flows, all the locals gather along the banks and celebrate the season with a swim in the Todd.
I’ve already had a mooch round the station saying ‘hi’ to the resident donkeys, horses and Shetland pony. I suspect they’re members of the family as opposed to live stock and were happy to pose for a photo or two 🤣
It’s 7pm and twilight o’clock with the galahs still in full swing. They’ve been by the numbers grazing on the seed grasses and now they’re very busy roosting in the gums.
I have a cracker of a fire going as the nighttime stars find their place in the sky. It was a beautiful sunset and twilight is hanging in their on the horizon. I love this time of night.
Other campers arrived later this afternoon. John and Ross popped over for a chat. They’re travelling towards Alice and were able to give some tips about the road conditions to Boulia. There’s a large section of bull dust about 80-90km into Tobermorey. I’ve heard from other campers about this notorious section on the Plenty. However John and Ross said mains road are watering the middle road stretch of bull dust daily and it’s a lot more doable away from the shoulders. This is great news indeedy and great timing for us. It also means there’s a main road facility somewhere along this section of road that we may be able to use as a water point!!!
Ive allowed 3 days at 70km/day to Tobermorey. Perhaps tomorrow we might aim to do a bit more before the bull dust kicks in. It’s very different comparing a car to a bike. It may be harder/easier. We won’t know until we’re there. The good news is that it’s mostly sealed from the border to Boulia!!!
John and Ross were very excited about our challenge and full of compliments about what we have achieved so far. They asked for our web page so they can follow the last stage and donate online. That’s just a bit bloody awesome.
The donations have slowed now that we’ve hit the $10,000 which is understandable. However we still hope to make as much as we can for an amazing cause. So please share our challenge on your socials and follow us through to the finish line. There’s a way still to go and I need your support through to Birdsville. We’re not there yet and motivation is key, especially at this stage!!!!!!
John and Ross have offered me some fruit which is awesome. They’re slower to get going also in the mornings so I’ll catch up with them before we head off. I popped over before to get some more details about the bull dust section and we grabbed a selfie while there was still some light!!! See you in the morning kind folk!!
I visited the station people to ask about water points and spoke to Cheryl’s daughter. She doesn’t know that section of the Plenty very well. She’s going to check with her husband and the other station hands tonight and let us know in the morning. It’s an option just to water up for one night and try our luck with the mains road folk on the second day. Mmmm not sure, I’ll sleep on that and have a chat with the station folk in the morning!!
For now the night is still and the galahs have gone to bed. The sky is putting on a show through the branches and it’s bliss to be under the stars. The glow of the fire is warm and comforting and I’m feeling very cosy and happy with the day!! What an amazing campground and one to remember if you’re out this way. I’m so glad we got here early to make the most of our stay at Jervois. They let us camp for free by the way!! It’s only $5 otherwise but every bit helps along the way. Night and talk soon xx