Day 29 141 days to go. Distance: today 122km total 2783km. It’s 7.30pm Saturday 4/8/12 41 mile bore rest area. I’m sitting by our campfire in a cool tucked away camp spot and happy happy day and evening. The sunset was exquisite and now the stars are bold and growing by the numbers as the night sets in. And no brazen critters so far so very good. We haven’t had a campfire since Jerico and there’s just something about it isn’t there?Cosy, comfy, dreamy and smells so delish. There’s a bore water tank here as there was at the rest area where we had our lunch break today. It’s such a helpful facility. At luchtime I met a couple of families touring in their buses and they invited me for a sit and coffee and ginger nut cookie, One of the lads Bob was telling me about the history behind the bores. Apparently in the days when they drove cattle, the bores were a critical refuge to water up the cattle every two days. They originally were powered by wind mills that have now been disconnected and the dams dried up. Bore water tanks are still available and many of the bores are now rest area sites like this one. Interesting stuff. They don’t drove nowadays opting for the huge transports to move cattle distances but many properties still use horses to muster. This is also a dying craft being replaced by motor cycles and helicopters. I can see why it’s more efficient to this way but it was very cool yesterday to see the cattle being mustered by horseback. Time to stoke the fire I’ll be back……These folk at lunchtime are tripping to Katherine then across to WA but they only do about 50-70km per day. It’s likely I’ll see them again. Yesterday they stayed overnight at the rest area where I stopped for lunch and met Lionel and Joy. Near the rest area they noticed a melted pile of engine and pulled out a piece that looked like a transformer. He’s been nicknamed ‘Molten Man’ and was propped up in front of their campsite. I love it!!! He’s now going to join them for their travels. They were telling me about their German Shepherd that had passed away some years ago. She was clearly Daddy’s pride and Joy and each day he’d brush her. He had no idea but for some reason he started to keep her hair that shedded when she got brushed. Then when the shep died his wife spun the dog hair and knitted a beanie and scarf from the wool. It’s kinda bizarre but she showed me them and they were beautiful, soft like cashmere and a keepsake they carry with them always. These folk were the ones who gave me a solo lemon when I arrived at Sudan rest area. It’s cool seeing familiar folk. Robin, Terry and Sam passed us on the road today and pulled up ahead to get a photo of us coming along ‘in action.’ Robin took a photo of our blog site so she can encourage her network on friends to get onboard and donate online yay. They’re turning left at three ways to have the car serviced at Tenant Creek so it’s likely I’ll see them again on route to Darwin.
Before leaving Barkley Homestead this morning, I was topping up Rube’s air in her tyres when a couple came up who I have seen a couple of times now and who gave me water along the way at a rest area that didn’t have any water supply. Her name is Tiss and they’re from the sunshine coast. She said ‘hey Maree go check out the back of the caravan.’ Tiss had put a ‘Hi Maree’ sign on the back of the van for the next time they pass us on the road. How cool’s that. I just squashed a wee moth on the apostrophe key opps sorry mate. Talk about extreme blogging by the campfire. Another woman, Heather came up and wanted to know what we were doing. She was very excited and thought how brave we were and donated $20 yet another generous donation.
We arrived here at about 4.30pm and set up camp. The ground was so hard I couldn’t hit the pegs in which is saying something as they’re titanium and have gone into some seriously hard ground. I borrowed a hammer from Gordon and Margaret from Albury. Lovely lovely kind as they come folk and they shared their stories of Aussie travel and their favorite spots. So many folk mention the Nullabor as a highlight and these guys too love that stretch, especially where you access the Bight and can camp with ocean views. At the right time this is where you see the wales migrating. They also raved about the western Australia bottom corner which sounds so beautiful as it’s showing off this time of year with it wildflowers. Their favorite this trip has been the ‘horizontal falls’ which you can only access by boat from Broome. It costs a fair bit but it’s a 12 hour day by boat and Margaret said the network of islands off Derby are a ‘something else’ treasure and something she has always wanted to see, It’s so cool to listen to folk seeing and doing the things that add to their list of life adventures. I could listen to this genuine enthusiasm and color for ages and I did.
We peddle to Banka Banka tomorrow at about 150km so Im keen for an early night and start in the morn. Break time will be at three ways for the start of the Stuart Highway. It’ll be a change heading north as opposed to west and I’m excited about this next leg to Darwin yay. As you can probably tell Rube and I have having a pretty amazing experience and loving every day’s treats and folk we meet. I’m so getting hooked into the fundraising challenge concept and know already, health permitting, this won’t be our last challenge. For now however we’re into the moment of every day as part of ‘Theaussiechallenge’ and loving the ride. Time for dinner and beddy byes. Total for cash donations are $574.35 with 31 oaths in 29 days. Talk soon x Ps the moon’s coming up on the horizon all orange and handsome.