Day 15 155 days to go. Distance: today 138km total 1274km. It’s 7pm Saturday 21/7/2012 Jericho. Rube and I are by our first campfire on the banks of the river in Jericho. Bliss!!!!! What an incredibly beautifully delishly awesome way to end a long day’s ride. We’re feeling pretty chuffed with ourselves having crossed the Drummond Range and done a whole bunch of kms in what’s now the start of the Queensland outback. I love love love it!!!! Overnight was clear and cold and we had a chorus of dingos serenading us to sleep. Their echoes were eerie but very cool. Rube’s been out of control all day singing ‘aaarrrrooooooo dingos of Bogantungan.’ This is to the tune of ‘Werewolves of London’ if you hadn’t figured it out. She’s taken the wolf theme to a whole new level by wolf whistling at all the cows. The outback don’t yet realize what they’re in for. Look out I say!!! Well what’s girls to do on those long stretches hey? And there were plenty of those today but the road was kind in most parts after the range crossing. Even then it wasn’t as tricky as we had anticipated and we happily spun our way over in low gear and enjoyed the scenery. Between Rubes wolf whistles and my ‘Ace of Base’ singing we’re pretty much a traveling circus and keeping each other in good spirits. Being a total novice of the outback I loving every peddle and stopped for heaps of pickies along the way. We met a couple Maureen and Michael at a rest stop during our first break. They are from Taree north of Sydney and have driven the highway 1 up the coast and across to Normanton and onto Darwin. They’re now making their way to the coast to enjoy the good weather and coastal route back home. They offered me a coffee and a Monte Carlo and we chatted for ages about travels and the Australian primary industry and trades with China. Totally interesting. They have taken photos of us with Rube and said they will make a donation online when they get home. Very cool!!!
The fire’s burnt down and there’s enough of a slight breeze in the night air to keep the embers alive and dancing. What’s an outback adventure without a smokey grape!!! I have all the warm gear on as the nights are chill bill getting down to zero. This morning it was so cold I couldn’t get the metho to light for the cooker. I looked the right idiot rubbing the burner until it lit much like enticing a jennie from a bottle. The breaky coffee tasted extra yum after that effort.
We were cycling through the Great dividing range today and passed a sign that said alt 444m. Nothing to cause a nose bleed but a cool landmark. It’s also one of the catchments for the Lake Eyre Basin. Another signpost said ‘Major Mitchell explored this area in 1846.’ Does anyone know more about Major Mitchell. In answer to the name of the bottle trees which we saw lots more of today, they’re Boab trees (Thanks Nicole and Poppy xx). We also saw above ground ants nests, only short ones no more than 1 meter tall. They’re an engineering feet and dotted the landscape for the most part of the day. Cactus plants are also prolific some the size of trees.
And then we arrived at Jericho. What a very cool place indeeedy. The pride of the town is a drive in theatre dating back to 1968. There are boxed hessian seating at the back and the parking area’s grassed taking up to 50 cars at a guess. It still shows double feature flicks once a month on a Saturday night. When we rode in we were checking out the ‘one very small street’ town, when I came across the ol’ fella I met again yesterday, who’s name is Geoff. We walked through the drive-in chatting about sites to see between here and Darwin. He’s such a good heart and full of cheek. His first word were ‘you must have hitched!!!’ I bit much to his pleasure…bugga!!! He’s invited me to breaky in the morning which is lovely and a great way to start the day. To end today the sun set over the river and glowed through its tree line how stunning and a photo treat!!!
We’re off to Balcadine tomorrow at a very sociable 83km away. There’s enough fire to space out watching while I devour dinner which will taste particularly good tonight after today’s effort. ‘Aaaaaarrrrroooooo from Rube!!!! PS How’s your thinking about joining in on the spell-a-thon idea of sponsoring us a cent per km. If its a bit too much for one wallet, maybe you can grab some other folk in the office or family or friends or neighborhood etc to join forces and do the group supporty thingy. Just a thought!!! Talk soon x