Distance today 66km at 14km/hr average
TOTALS: Distance 8172km. Donations $10,145.09. Days remaining 13. 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 7.48pm on Sunday the 29 August 2021
Tobermorey Station Campgrounds!!!! Yayaya. For some reason this feels like a big tick destination and it is; with only 5km to the Qld border. But roads, as we know are built for journeys not destinations so it’s a quiet ✔️ 🤣 We’re chuffed all the same!!!!
It was a pretty good ride here despite the wind that was wicked and headwindy. It blew up overnight and I had to get up after midnight to put the fly on. Our sleep under the stars was short lived but delicious while it lasted. Old man emu snores anyway 🤣
I was later getting up with that slight debacle and enjoyed a cuppa in bed while I texted the family via satellite. Dawn and Dylan leave this Tuesday so they were enjoying a pre Father’s Day lunch with pops and mum. Mum and Dad have decided not to come to Birdsville due to Covid being so active in NSW. A Brisbane lockdown is imminent if covid crosses our borders so they feel it’s not the time for them to be travelling. I sent the family a text thanking them with all my heart for their love and support. We’ve done the peddling but my family have made it possible. A sky full of butterfly kisses and bear hugs was sent to share together over lunch.
We packed up slowly in the wind and got underway about 8.30am. Early into our ride, Mick and Teddy stopped to check in if we needed anything.
They were in Alice Springs for the Truck show and were now on their way to Winton to see the dinosaur museums. They’re retired truckies who know the desert tracks well and we’re full of praise for our efforts. Mick gave me a banana ice block and an apple.
They headed off with me still slurping my ice block. Thanks fellas!!!! I hope you enjoy Winton as much as we did on our family road trip this time last year. Banjo’s named after the Australian Raptor from Winton so he was very excited for the boys!!!
We had our first break at 25kms and found a shady tree to cool down for a bit. The arid countryside is still blowing me away. There’s a beauty here that’s raw and exposing and I love it. I took the chance to read up on our next stint to Boulia. It’s a 3 day ride at 253kms and 85km/day. I’ve heard that the road is sealed in sections but we will see.
While we were stopped a couple of road trains passed mustering cattle westwards. The noise and dust they create in their wake must be seen to be believed.
We put our head down and bottoms up to push through the next 40kms. The 10kms sign to the Qld border filled my heart with joy.
With each day we’re just a bit closer to seeing my family in Birdsville.
I loved picturing them together having lunch at our favourite cafe on the Sandgate waterfront. I texted Dawn to order me a cuppa and three Turkish delights!!! It was a day of celebration after all 🤣
Meanwhile, I’m focusing on making the most of our last weeks and savouring our day to day. I have grown to love desert country deeply. My sister, Janet refers to the tracks, especially the Tanami, as “beautiful beasts.” How perfectly captured Janny love!!!
The Turn off to Tobermorey was a welcomed sight!!!! We were very excited to turn left towards “cold drinks and hot showers!!!” Oh bliss.
…. and they were. The kind staff at the campground let us camp for free and we bought a zillion Coke zeros to hoover. Well not quite but delish nonetheless.
We had time to wash me and the gear and get ourselves prepped for the next 3 days. Sunset o’clock was a treat as always. There are more galahs here then I’ve seen all together over the last months. Sunset was like a happy hour for them and they continued to party over twilight.
So first up in the morning is our border crossing into Qld. But more of that tomorrow. For now it’s dinner and beddy byes. I’m going to try another night without the fly. Talk about living dangerously with the galahs roosting overhead 🤣 Night and talk soon xx