I woke up to the sound of a dingo howling, I had slept under a big knotted gum tree. It was actually one of the first nights l just slept in my sleeping bag open and exposed to the potential crawlys and slitherers. As i lay in my bed looking at the sky, a flock of pelican swooped overheard. The area surrounding the river was alive with life. I got up and stoked up the fire for breakfast, before long I had a nice big pile of embers. Mark and my father Todd were awake and had started packing up. Mark brought the last of the bacon eggs and sausages out of this fridge and we cooked it all up on a grill over the fire. It’s been such a treat having delicious and fatty food for breakfast.
I headed over to the bike to pack up my sleeping gear. My front tire had gone flat overnight so before I loaded my bags I pumped that up again. I was ready to go but dad had the same problem with his back tire, I gave him the pump to put some air inside and we set off planing to meet with Mark in 20km time. We rode up the river bed towards the road, as we turned onto the road we were both hit by the strong south eastern headwind, I turned to dad and told him to be prepared for a very long day. It took 40min to travel 5.7km to the turn off back onto the Birdsville developmental road. Dads tire had gone flat again, I let out a huge sigh and asked him to pull up at the next sign so I could fix it. I pulled the cap of the wheel off and pumped about 200ml of new self sealing sealant inside. After air was added we were good to go again!
The little stoney desert reminds me of Greenland’s flat isolated landscape but a lot more like what Mars might look like, no trees, no plants, lots of red rocks and the odd sand dune. We rode across the open desert still with that horrendous headwind blasting us. Deep in my thoughts i caught myself out of the moment beginning to wonder what was going to happen when I reached Byron Bay in 35 days time...
I’m so excited to see my soon to be wife Ngaio but I know I get post expedition blues really bad after each of these huge trips. This is the second longest trip I have ever been on, this trip has become my entire existence. The routine with riding, the Radix meals, the blog and the total emersion in nature. As I get closer to the end it’s going to get more difficult for me to accept the fact that this journey is coming to an end. I know one thing for sure, there will definitely be more.
At the 20km point Mark got on the bike and we rode alongside each other. We chatted for almost the whole time, Mark is a long hall truck train driver who normally drives between adalade and Sydney so we talked about trucking, family and his Harley Davidson motorcycle! Today was the last day Mark would be out here, after this he had to make the long drive back to his home. It’s been so wonderful hanging out with Mark and getting to know him! Once Mark had done his last leg on the bike dad got back on and rode for the rest of the day.
One of the reasons I started living my life the way I am is because I wanted to learn more about life than my father could teach. I wanted to have hundreds of stories to tell my own future children and others children, stories that have powerful messages. This opportunity to spend time with my father is an opportunity to teach him about what the meaning of life is to me, and to repair the inner trauma I have been living with because of my wild emotional adhd childhood. Sometimes I get frustrated that he can’t hear me but that’s ok...
when we arrived at camp that evening I asked dad to create me a camera holder! My dad is really good at making things like that, it’s something he has always helped me out with. Mark had done the same as yesterday and driven ahead to get dinner cooking, we were having a leftover Stew. (Beef and everything else left in the food box) it was absolutely delicious! I had a surprise of my own for Mark and dad. I mixed it up in a container behind the truck so they didn’t know. I poured the mix into my pot, put the lid on and did the clip up to keep the heat in. 25 minutes in the fire and I produced a Chocolate cake with fresh banana and cream (thick milk powder) they were very impressed with that! After a bit of time around the fire we all headed of to bed. I looked up at the stars in the night sky, I smiled because I had made it through another day and was still living.