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A cup of tea and cake- Expedition Dust day 17

When I woke I knew I was only 10km from Nookawarra station homestead (my first outback homestead). I was actually quite excited as I haven’t seen another human for three nights. I packed up all my gear leaving my satellite phone out and on. I was hoping I would get one last message from Ngaio before I put it in the Pelican case that’s strapped to the front of my bike. I was in luck, I received a lovely message from her wishing me the best day ever. That was a great start to my day!

I added water to my apple and cinnamon breakfast and put it in the Burley trailer for eating in an hour or two! I pushed my bike out to the road and got started.

In my head there were So many crazy thoughts drifting around... I was day dreaming about arriving at the homestead and someone coming out and saying “wow great timing I just made bacon and eggs on toast.” Then that I was riding down the drive and a big dog would come out and atack me. Then I thought, what if whoever lives there isn’t friendly...

By the time I rode the first ten kilometres and arrived at the entrance I was totally expecting some crazy redneck Australian to chase me away with a gun. I almost didn’t even go in, but I told myself to stop being silly and got off my bike and went and knocked on the door. A few moments went by, long enough for me to think, ‘you can run now‘. I herd the latch on the inside of the door clunk open and an old Australian cobba with a big toothless grin popped his head around the corner! I said “Kia Ora mate, I’m Brando. I’m riding my bike across Australia to empower people to take care of there own mental wellness by getting outside and learning about themselves!” He said “I’m Merv and you better come in and tell me all about it over a cup of tea and some cake! Exactly what happened at that moment in my brain (DID HE JUST SAY SOME CAKE!!!)

His homestead had big beautiful high ceilings and was made from sand from the creek next to the house and old hardwood trees! There was photos and rock collections, oil paintings and stuffed animals and it smelt like the range had been burning forever. It definitely felt like a home! We sat down at the table with our cake and tea and shared some stories. When it was time to go I took a photo with Merv at his front door and promised I would send him a copy in the post when I got to Meekatharra. He followed me down to my bike that was at his front gate to check out my gear and farewell me on my journey! As I rode back up the drive I couldn’t help but smile, what a lovely man.

With a dense slice of homemade fruit cake in my belly I was off down the road. I had decided that I wanted to cover lots of ground today so I was pushing myself hard. My goal for the day was to make it just past the Mileura Homestead which was just shy of 70km. The wind was still blowing hard in my face making the going tough, most of the day I was actually riding uphill, it’s so deceiving as it looks flat but almost always as a slight incline or decline. Every two hours I have to stop to put air in the trailer tyre as it leaks very slowly from one of my repair patches.

At the 42km point I had finally reached the top of the incline and was ready for the down. Unfortunately the wind had intensified further and I still had to peddle to get down this hill.

On the way down I spotted an Echidna, it crossed the road right in front of me! It was amazing, like an oversized hedgehog with a long nose and spikes that would definitely pop your car tyre.

When the clock hit 1600 hours my knees felt like they were going to explode. I managed to make my final push so I would be able to call into the homestead to let them know I’m crossing the land before the sun went down. As I turned onto the road I could see 3 big signs, the first one said no throughfare then Road Closed and finally Local traffic.

I nervously continued on past until I reached the homestead. A bloke came out to see what his jack Russels were barking at. Our interaction was brief, I just wanted some advice on the best way to go. He said the road is closed but you can still get though to the gate at the boundary of the property but he wouldn’t know past that because he hasn’t been that far.

I rode for about another 2km before making camp and stopping for the night!

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