Distance today 86kms at 14km/hr average
TOTALS: Distance 8035km. Donations $10,145.09. Days remaining 15. 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 7.30pm on Friday the 27 August 2021
I’m camped amongst the Mitchell Downs grasslands. It’s fascinating countryside much like prairies in the states and savanna in Africa. The area hasn’t been cleared. This is the biodiversity of the land. It’s an expanse of flat horizon with low lying Mitchell grass and few variety of sparse tress able to be dormant during the harsh times of drought. The area is named after the Mitchell grass which is edible for the native fauna like kangaroo and emu as well as cattle. Hence it’s station country with huge properties operating.
The vastness of flat horizon also means an amazing night sky. We’ve enjoyed some beautiful nights but tonight is an exception. Old man emu is having a party up in the Milky Way. I managed to capture an image using the SkyView app. You can see his head under the southern cross and his neck, body and legs following.
Saturn and Jupiter are also crashing the party with Jupiter the main attraction. What an amazing blanky to sit cosy under while I do my post and share with you our day.
We woke this morning to the glowing light of sunrise and started packing up camp.
I had a visit from the resident Shetland pony. He also visited last night and got growled at when he tried to kiss banjo. He got a warmer welcome this morning and enjoyed a scratch in between packing up.
I think he was more interested in the selection of fruit that Ross and John shared for our travels.
We hit the track in time for a road train passing. It was mustering cattle and leaving a wake of dust that was impressive.
The track was tricky this morning with alternating sections of bull dust and hard rocky base. It was a tough on Banjo and I and the mood was a bit low with the slogathon.
We stopped at the turn off to Bonya community to get rid of some layers and have a wee break.
We passed through a warmer up of bull dust that wasn’t very nice. Banjo called it terrible names. Or maybe that was me? 🤣
Lots of breaks later, we finally reached our lunch time stop at a massive roadside termite mound. It was time for a cuppa sitting under its shade and to toast our 8000kms milestone. Big yay !!
I got a satellite message from Dawn ….
This was the perfect injection of perspective and positivity that I needed to ground myself and focus for the afternoon. What a difference!!! I can’t wait to see you both too my darlings 💋
With a lilt in our peddle, we chipped away at the afternoon enjoying some cool points of interest.
We crossed Arthur River which was really interesting to see it in the dry season. Like many other rivers we have crossed, it was wide and shallow with metre high debris and sand in the river bed. There were piles of sand that had been excavated after the wet; an indication of the amount of silt that moves with the water.
Later we came to a high point with a 360 degree view of the Mitchell Downs Grasslands and ranges in the distance. There was an information plaque to help orientate and appreciate the unique countryside. It’s worth zooming in on the information to read more about the area.
It’s very different landscape to what we have seen so far in our travels and the high point gave us an awesome outlook.
I checked out the area for a camp but the ground was covered with spiked grasses no good for the boy.
We headed a bit further on and found a spot behind a bore tank on the edge of a cattle station. It’s a fabulous spot with a dirt track leading off the road. Banjos safe and sound leaning up against a barbed wire fence and we’re tucked behind the tank out of sight. I’m sure the farmer won’t mind. The cattle are visiting the trough in the neighbouring paddock and very curious about the guests on their property 🤣
Is so still tonight and the sky is clear and magnificent. Perfect for a dinner under the stars. Tomorrow we hit the notorious section of bull dust which will be interesting to say the least. We did an extra 15kms today as I imagine it’ll be slower going albeit lots of pushing. Hopefully the watering of the track will take the edge off. Let’s see what tomorrow brings. Time for noodles. Night and talk soon xx