Theaussiechallenge Post # 111 75km south of Gundawindi

Day 135 6 days to go. Distance today 125km total 12815km. It’s 8.30pm Monday 20/11/2012 75km south of Gundawindi. For our last night in NSW we have found ourselves the most beautiful bush camp. It’s seriously tucked away about a km down a freshly cut dirt road then I spotted a kangaroo who lead us into a clearing which is perfect thanks mate. He hopped off and left us to set up camp over sunset. The night is totally clear with just me, Rubes, Buddy and BD Boy with noone or nothing about except for wheat farms and low lying Australian bushland with all its delights. The highways a fair way off and the trucks are a distant rumble to the crickets, gecko squeaks and evening tweets as they settle in for the night. So it’s just us under the evening sky with the crescent moon smiling on his side like in a kid’s picture book. The stars are growing in numbers and the sensation of our bush camp is beautiful. Ive really discovered the treat of this style of camping and it always reminds me of Igor the fellow cyclist I met way back along the Stuart Highway in the Northern Territory. I think allot about him still and he must be home now back on Sydney. I hope your travels went well mate and that we get to reconnect again in the future as I loved our time spent over those days. There’s fresh emu and roo footprints on the dirt road and scat about on the ground so it would be awesome to spot a few more critters tonight or in the morn. While looking for our camp for the night there were eagles low flying along the roadside chasing prey in the grasses. They were so busy and focused they didn’t hear us peddle alongside and we got up up close and personal before they’d take off to find a feed elsewhere. It was fabulous to watch them head height in hunting action. I woke this morning to a party of Gallahs woddling and chatting past buddy and feeding in the grass. Pretty soon I heard Johnathon the farmer outside seeing if I was awake with a cuppa for him and me to share a morning chat. What a darling man and a coffee brought to bed what a spoiling. He was telling me about his wheat farm and family farming lifestyle. They are second generation wheat farmers. His brother sold out a few years back and as a lifestyle choice they decided not to buy his share but work his half making do. He reckons it was the best decision he made knowing his health has benefitted from the slower pace. They still get good return for their wheat as it’s high in protein and sold for export. He can still well support his family of 2 girls, 16 and 17, 3 cats, a dog, 2 horses and and wife Katherine. Mostly he can manage the farm by himself but needs help during harvest time when all the family chip in. Emma the eldest has been operating the ‘header’ harvester for a couple of years now and I was laughing as he was telling me about their latest harvest. She was getting ready for her formal and had to have breaks from harvesting to get her nails and hair done in the last week. He ws showing me photos of her all glammed up but back on the header finishing the last of the harvest farm business as usual. Johnathon invited me in to have breaky with the fam so I packed up camp and joined him, Emma, and Katherine for more cool chats over toast and coffee. The other daughter had already left for school and the rest of the family were in monday morning ‘slow mo’ so we took our time over breaky sharing more farm, pet and travel stories and an awesome way to start the day. It was so special to hear snippets of a farming family’s everyday life so totally different to city life. Emma’s alrady been accepted into Paramedics at the Bathurst university and is now looking into accomodation and preparations for the move. They introduced me to their horses on the way out and I got to pat and cuddle them yay I love the smell of horses. We got some group photos and Rube was in her prime getting fussed over in the centre. They waved us off wishing us safe travels for our last days and have our details to keep in touch. I invited them to stay in Maleny if ever they’re in Qld but Jonathan and Katherine aren’t much into traveling apart from the beloved family waterskiing holidays to a a lake in nearby Wee Waa National Park. They were telling me stories from their last family holiday there and it so reminded me of “bonnydoon’ from the movie “The Castle.’ They are such contented, happy and fun folk. Emma was telling me how her dad bought her a bunch of roses for her graduation and that he’s always doing this sort of stuff and how lucky she is to have such a great bloke as a dad. It was really cool to share space with them and an awesome local family to meet for what is our last full day in central country NSW. We should be crossing the border at Gundawindi early afternoon tomorrow and ‘BACK INTO QLD!!!!!!’ yayayayayayaya. Needless to say the spirits were soaring as we peddled the 80kms to Moree. It’s a pretty big dot country town set on the river with a very big Indigenous population by all accounts. I parked Rube outaide the local Woolies and we were swomped by local folk checking her out and wanting to know more about our travels and white ribbon. I met Shaun, an Aboriginal man who has worked there collecting trollies for years. He was calling over the local kids riding their bikes around the carpark and showing them Rube and the map of where we’ve been. It was very nice indeedy being treated like visiting celebreties by the kids full of ‘cools’ and ‘sweet’ approvals !!!! It was an easy 45km ride further on this arv in the afternoon light and stretching shadows over the wheat feilds. It’s a beautiful time to cycle and the conditions are delish for now and being savored. We’ll see what the next days bring as we get ever so closer to home and the 25th. I think about peddling into Sandgate so much during the day and seeing my family and friends again. It’s such a great distraction and literally just around the corner bigtime yay. Time for dinner and to enjoy the rest of our bush camp evening. Talk soon x


About shecyclesolo

If you could dream up the most wildest adventure imaginable what would it be? Between jobs and craving new experience, I decided to indulge the challenge. This is what I conjoured with a promise to come home safe and smiling. I hope you enjoy the 1080 days of stories as much as I will sharing them. "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.' H D Thoreau

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