Distance today 68km at 16km/hr average
TOTALS: Distance 8106km. Donations $10,145.09. Days remaining 14. 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 Saturday the 28 August 2021
We woke this morning to the sound of birds tap dancing on top of the bore tank. There was a hard plastic rim around the top that amplified their little steps. I watched them bob for water with the bottoms up over our morning cuppa; so cute and a beautiful way to start the day. Dad’s a bit partial to a latte or two and I sent him a satellite message about the birds having a Saturday morning latte at the Bore Tank Cafe 🤣
We got underway after 9am and eased into our day. The countryside is so arid; probably one of the most we have cycled through so far. This is surprising given we’re far from a desert; the closest being the Simpson further south. The land is a vast expanse of red sand, dotted with low lying trees and Mitchell grasses. There’s a remote feel that’s interesting and intoxicating.
We had our fist break at 15kms stopping at Rocky Hill, a landmark on WikiCamps. It was a small pinnacle shape mound close to the roadside.
Our first car stopped during the break to check we were okay. We met two friendly young guys on a road trip along the Plenty. One guy had been in and out of hospital with mental health issues. He spoke about the space in this countryside being so good for his head. I can also vouch for that one mate!!! He’s looking forward to getting back into mountain biking and was very impressed with Banjo. The boy was glowing red dust and all smiles with the compliments.
We passed another bore tank with a drinking trough out from a smaller tank alongside. We spotted two brolgas high stepping to the trough to get their belly full of water. My next mission from Dylan was to spot a brolga so that’s a big tick for you mate ✔️. I got some footage to share with the little man and sent him a satellite message to give him an update. My next message is to spot a cockatoo. Major Mitchell’s look out we’re on our last mission for The10desertchallenge.
Cattle thrive in the Mitchell grasslands. At the same bore there were a number of poddies, yearlings and mummy cows, some very fat with calves on the way. They too seemed happy to hang out around the tank.
It’s all about water for the grazing animals and the bores are an amazing source for all critters, including us humans. My tummy is well adjusted to bore water now. There’s a lot of calcium in the water so the bones will be happy 😃
We had our cuppa break before tackling our first haul of bull dust for the day. Mains road workers had watered and rolled the middle road so it was okay to navigate. Very dusty but, and I was a right red mess at the end of the day 🤣
We had a second car stop which was wonderful. I met Anita and a friend travelling in convoy with a guy who had just retired from policing. They were so impressed about our challenge. “Woman can do anything” said Anita. I don’t know about that, but it was fun to talk with the folk who were all full of positivity. It’s so contagious. They’re excited about their road trip linking the plenty with the Tanami. They said the Tanami border into WA opened two days ago!! I find that surprising. Have a great trip fine folk!! Anita took a photo of our web page to share on her socials and donated $20 before getting underway again 🙏
There was a northerly blowing hot today which made for a sweaty ride. The hydrolyte was dug out to top up on the good stuff during our next break. It gave us a chance to have a closer look at the trees in this area. They’re low lying and stunted with gnarly trunks. They seem very old with lots of age lines and stories to tell. I can’t imagine what tough conditions they’ve weathered over the years.
With 68kms done I was feeling weary and ready to stop. We came across Limestone Rise on WikiCamps and checked it out. It‘a on top of a ridge line with views out over distant ranges and grasslands. What an amazing spot.
Although it’s a rest area we’re the only ones camped here which is delish!! The ground is paved with limestone rocks and the same old trees are dotted around camp. There’s lots of dried timber so we collected a supply of wood for fire o’clock.
It’s great to feel elevated with a stunning view and it made sunset a dream.
The dried timber makes for a crackling fire that’s been blazing while I’ve posted my day.
It’s another 68kms to Tobermorey tomorrow and I’m keen to get up early and be there by lunchtime to enjoy the campsite. The boys were saying today that the campgrounds at Tobermorey Station are awesome; even better that Jervois and that’s saying something. The sky is again stunning tonight with old man emu right about us. The planets are also showing off with Venus and Mercury to the west and Saturn, Jupiter and Neptune to the east. I love the SkyView App.
Time for dinner and beddy byes. I’ve pitched the tent tonight without the fly to fall asleep under the stars. Oh bliss!!! Night and talk soon xx