I woke up overlooking the sandy landscape, the sun was already quite high in the sky and had started warming up the inside of the tent. The warmth had woken up the flys, I could hear them buzzing around. I crawled out of the tent and stretched my body, excitement levels were high because I had a treat for breakfast.
I pulled the extra damper I cooked last night out of my pot and covered it in peanut butter, it was so delicious and a very nice addition to my Radix freeze dried meal. I was sending some update photos on the satellite phone when Ruby asked if she could start cruising alone because she understood that she was slower than me and knew i would catch up pretty fast. I said “you sure can” and just like that she was off. I was probably ten minutes behind when I left. As I slowly started to catch up I could tell she was in her zone, she was powering along the firm sandy track like a boss!
At about 10am a car approached us, I flagged it down because I wanted some information on where we were going and how bad it was really going to get. The Aussie bloke leaned out the window looked the bike up and down before saying, mate do you know where you’re going? He shook his head as I confirmed that I was heading towards Finke. He told me the road is pretty good for about 30km but when you past the big water tank tank on the right it turns to absolute rubbish (he used a few more ahhhh colloquial terms)
Finding out it was going to get rugged was exciting for me but I knew that when Ruby found out it was going to be pretty tough in the mental strength department as she was already looking for a way to leave earlier than intended. I caught up with Ruby at the top of the hills we could see from our campsite . We rode together for a few hours stoping every now and again for a food and water break. At one pm I unlocked my GPS InReach device and realised I was about to hit my 3000th kilometre! I was so excited I had started doing zigzags all over the road. When the device flicked over to 3000 I started yelling and dancing and opened my bottle of rum to celebrate. It blows my mind that I have traveled this far in some of the most harsh landscape on earth. I am so proud of myself.
I ate some dates and peanut butter for lunch as usual, just before we left I made sure Ruby was doing ok and her body was holding together.
The afternoon seemed to be going quite fast, Ruby had slowed down in the hottest part of the day. The wind was still blowing relentlessly but it’s nothing we can’t both overcome if we work together. Later In the afternoon about 5 motorcycles came flying past followed by a support vehicle fully loaded for what looked like a Simpson Desert crossing. It looked so much easier, the motorbikes pretty much glide across the top of the corogations and fishtail their way through the sand. On a pushbike your bounce on corogations and sink in the sand. As we came over the crest of a sand hill I spotted the support vehicle stopped in the middle of the road with one guy standing around looking at the trailer and one underneath it with some straps, as I got closer it was clear it had broken, the rear axel was bent about 15 degrees to the right. It didn’t look good. Me and Ruby continued on because we wanted to get to camp before dark.
After a few more dunes the big water tank came into view. I climbed up the ladder on the side to check if there was any water but unfortunately there was none. I looked at my map and could see a bore marked 1.9km to the east so I set off on a mini adventure to get water from that. I started running, up the sand hill down the sand dune across the valley and repeat I feel as though it was a good little taste of what the Simpson Desert might be like. When I reached the well/ bore I was disappointed as it was dry as the dust that surrounded it. I ran back over the dunes and came back to a little note in the sand from Ruby saying thank you! It was a nice gesture even though I didn’t have any water with me. We left the watertank and found the old railroad track was fine, until we came around a bend in the track and spotted red dust, lots of red dust (very hard to ride in). I told ruby to not let that voice inside her head win that voice it wants to give up because it’s hard I told her to NEVER to give up.
The sun had started to set when I spotted a white van in the distance, as it got closer i realised it was a 2WD. The van stopped next to me and two lovely people got out and started offering us everything he had to offer. He said he had been praying praying that his car made it through and over all the bumps. They gave us oranges some chips and even some bread. The guy driving also had some good news for us! He said there are bikers 100m on the left back there, they have a fire and I’m sure they would have a cold beer for all your hard work We peddled into the camp to meet the bikers. They were drinking Expresso and lots of booze around a huge fire, as me and Ruby set up our tent I could hear them talking about pulling the pin on there trip because of the trailer. They were all pretty positive about it but I felt a bit bad for them. Once we were set up we wandered over to make our dinner over their massive fire. I was having a Mexican organic beef meal because it’s my absolute favourite. Out came that cold beer I had been dreaming about. One beer turned to two then three and I capped it at four as I still have to ride my bike tomorrow. We had some great campfire banter about adventures, ADHD, stars, bikes and motorbikes I even showed the Aussie blokes how to find north using the stars! It was a great evening I even got to land on of my favourite quotes. They asked why don’t you ride in a straight line. My reply was: “life’s to short to live in straight lines”