Theaussiechallenge Post # 11 Emerald
Day 13 157 days to go. Distance: today 81km total 1031km. It’s 6.30pm Thursday 19/7/2012 Emerald. I love the smell of mozzie coils buts there something extra cool with the scent in the air camping by the river in Emerald. What a beautiful rest spot location. The weather today has been just beautiful beautiful blue skies quite cool and great for cycling. Did I mention it was blue skies!!! Lordy Rube and I didn’t know ourselves today soaking up the rays like two bears out of hibernation. And it feels like that, like everything has woken up and fluffed out like a canary. The dew overnight was as if it had rained but with blues skies beaconing we packed up with smiles all round and singing, ‘I saw the sign’ by Ace of Base. It popped in my head in Pomona and has been our roady tune since.
The landscape between here and Blackwater has been stunning with grazing fields and rolling hills. The grasses are alive and bustling with birdlife. Ruby calls out her best tweet tweets when we pass. It seemed that everythng was glowing in the sunshine and against the blue skies. I found myself regularly stopping to take pickies to try capture the color across the fields. The grasses were shimmering silver. We passed this area of trees where there were hundreds of hawks soaring in the thermals. They must have been feeding on insects in the air or something as they weren’t swooping to the ground just gliding overhead and across the treetops. Ive never seen anything like this before and we watched for ages wanting to be gliding with them. The soil has changed to a vivid red and its color against the blue skies, particularly when the road cut into the hills, is fabulous.
We had our break at a tiny place called Comet that had a cafe and a park and thats pretty much it. I popped in for a $2 coffee and was given a second on the house which went down equally as well. The folk were crazy friendly like most people Im meeting. I’m loving the people contact and the colorful mix of characters. There was a huge road train stopped in the park and I had another tonker toy moment in awe of its size. It was a bright sky blue Kenworth with a mouth and teeth in the front. It sounds kinda corny but it really looked great and Rube and I were making ‘oooooahhh’ noises. The driver was sitting in the cabin and I stopped for a chat. He had only recently bought the new rig and was very chuffed we thought it was smick moo. His name was Wayne and jumped out to show me around his pride and joy and happily pose with us for a photo. When Rube saw the teeth she yelled,’see he has a mouth!!!!!’ Laugh out loud she’s very funny!!! Wayne said he would call ahead and let other truckies know we’re on the road and to give us a wave. So every roadtrain we’re now waving and flashing them big grins in exchange for good road safety karma. It’s a good feeling to feel they are on our side!!! Wierd timing as I got a text this arv from Thea and Graham suggesting we ask truckies to do just that. Great minds I say. So that will be our routine now as we come across the road train lads having a road side rest.
Ive been seeing a number of entrances to huge cattle stations usually with a grand archway of sorts. We stopped at a particularly cool one today called, ‘Destiny Downs’ hanging in cast iron with bull heads on either side. It looked awesome with the blue sky backdrop and another good picky. We also saw our first bottle shaped tree, standing all shapely and proud on its lonesome. I cant remember their name. Can anyone help me? They are apparently common now as we get into the outback and across NT to WA.
We arrived in sunny Emerald at about 2pm and stopped to wonder rounds the shops for a butterfly moment. I got chatting with two local fellas who’s first comment was ‘you’re nuts’ then after chatting a while they were totally supportive and admired our ‘tenacity.’ They suggested we buy portable CB radios to be able to call and isten to the truckies. You can get really expensive ones of course but you can also score ones that will do the job for around $60 which is pretty good considering the communication it opens up. I’ll have a look round when I get the next chance or else check it out in Darwin when we have a few days off.
So its 13 days now to the NT border and another 16 days to Darwin. No rest days in between for us wicked women but the kms are pretty reasonable averaging 96km per day to cover the 1240kms between here and there. I double checked the distances and days this arv and we’re on track which is super exciting. We’re just in the last couple of days starting to feel in the grove of peddling again and it feels pretty dam good!!! Rubes as happy as a pig in mud we both are yayayay. Its such a difference cycling in Aus in a number of ways obviously, but definately with respect to communication. I’m able to chat and keep regular contact with family and friends and this keeps us close to those who rock our world.
Its through to Bogantungan at 96km and just before the Drummond range which we cross then Saturday and onto Jerico. I met a lady here this arv who raved about Jerico and said it even has an old drive in theatre. She has been a camper vanner for the last 10 years traveling across the States and Australia. She’s traveling with her cat ‘Patch’ who’s 10 years old and as handsome as they come. She got him in the states and brought him to Australia to continue their incredible journey together. She was walking him on a lead by the river when we got to talking. Her name is Barbara and both she and Patch are very quirky and cool. I’ve also met ‘Tony’ traveling from Sydney who was checking out Rube and thought she looked pretty red hot which of course she does. We were airing out our gear in the sun when he came up all keen for a chat. He wanted to know about ‘White Ribbon’ and donated $10 and made an oath as he two daughters and reckons its a pretty good cause. Total $122.50 cash donations and 19 oaths in 13 days. Ive got the starvs so its time for dinner. PS the mozzie coils working a treat. Talk soon x