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Surprise!!!-Expedition Dust day 92

I had checked the weather before I went to sleep and the satellite forecast for my location said high winds but when I woke up the morning was very still. I packed up about an hour earlier than normal so that I could get on the bike before the sun heated up. I smashed back my apple and cinnamon Radix breakfast, today I added a huge spoon of Peanut butter and a handful of sultanas. The mornings are always a struggle out here in the desert, starting with a dune in the morning is less than ideal but it is what is it so I just get it done.


I pushed my bike up to the top of the first hill, as I looked out over the ever growing dunes I felt the first of the wind swish in from the south west. As I dropped in and began making my way across the clay pan, the wind started coming in hard, it was picking up the dust and blowing it along the ground. The prospect of a dust storm made me quite excited, I actually got off my bike and started dancing to the song I was listening to at the time. Alive with energy I rode up and over the next dune, the dust had filled the sky by this point. I started yelling “woooooooohooooo THIS IS LIVING” I had the biggest smile on my face. When nature starts getting wild I’m in my element, I feel electric, this Sand storm was epic! The sand relentlessly blasted me over the next few hours, then the wind slowly subsided until it was just a light breeze blowing from the rear.




The first shaded spot I found i sat down to eat my lunch. The afternoon wasn’t nearly as hot as the past few days as the wind had cooled everything down, it made riding into the afternoon an option. The plan was to head to Eyer creak and camp there for the night. Ben cycled with me during the afternoon. He gets so bored in the vehicle and enjoys spending a bit of time on the other bike in the afternoons. He joined me from my lunch spot and together we rode. It’s been really nice having Ben out here filming and capturing the journey in a way that I struggle to do when I’m alone. As we made our way over the dunes in the afternoon sun I spotted a large sign in between two large dunes. It was facing west,so I had to ride past it before I could read it. It said 'welcome to the Simpson Desert' I had done it! I had crossed the Simpson. I high fived Ben and gave myself a pat on the back. As I was getting my photo taken under the sign a vehicle pulled up that had been out in the desert for a few days. Inside was a lovely couple from Brisbane, they gave us some cookies and beer, it couldn't have been at a more perfect moment. We cracked the ice cold beers and celebrated, then set off towards the creek.



Over the top of the next dune the clay pan was lush and green, I could smell flowers and moisture in the air. The birds and bugs reminded me of how important water is for life. Ben and I rode over the last of the dunes for the day arriving on the edge of the Eyer creek just as the sun was setting. I walked down to the edge of the creek and splashed my face, washing off all the dust from the desert storm. I made my way back up to the campsite and set up my bed for the night. Peter and Lou were making dinner and Ben was editing the photos from the day.

By now it was dark, as I was settling in a white ute pulled up and a familiar face popped out the window, It was my uncle Mark from Mildura, South Australia, he had come out to say hello! Suddenly out of the darkness another familiar face appeared, it was my dad Todd. I couldn’t believe it, I was so excited I ran up to him and gave him a huge hug. We all gathered around the campfire and shared some stories over a delicious feast Peter had created. My Dad and uncle are going to take turns at riding the bike over the next two days into Birdsville then if Dads up for it he will join me for the next two weeks into Charleville. All up it’s been a fantastic day.

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What an exciting day! Congrats on getting that desert out of the way😀 Todd and Mark - wow, you guys are amazing in making the effort to do what you did! 😍😍

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Phillipa Newton
Phillipa Newton
Aug 20, 2019

What a great reunion. You must be over the moon.

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Congratulations on your Simpson crossing. It was great to be able to surprise you and bring your Dad out too. It was a massive push and your Dad and I had a fun couple of days. We left Cardross (Mildura) Saturday and head north through Broken Hill, Tibooburra then to Cameron's Corner (The intersection of the states of Qld, NSW and South Australia) via the Strut National Park. Then on towards Merty Merty and up the Old Strzelecke track to Innamincka, before taking Walkers Crossing to the Birdsville track. We saw on the tracker that Brando was on the west side of Eyers Creek, out passed Q7 so pushed on into the sand to get there by Sunday night…

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First up CONGRATULATIONS on making it across the Simpson Desert, what a bloody champion!


After the suggestion from your super amazing mum two weeks ago that I should go meet you, with plenty of last minute organization and planning including a little help from your sponsor Kathmandu and from trackme.nz setting up and supplying me a GPS tracker to add to your tracker map, so people could follow the surprise, followed by three non stop days of travel with two flights and then a 1500km Drive on virtually all sand and heavily concentrated red dirt tracks from Mildura thanks to your uncle Mark we made it to you in the desert to wonderful happy embrace.


Hopefully I’ve got what it…

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Howard Berry
Howard Berry
Aug 20, 2019

Hey Brando - what a fantastic surprise. Your dad had been teasing us all with what the surprise was going to be. Just remember he is an old fella these days like me so take it easy on him. I can imagine how wonderful it will be for him to spend some time with you and share in part of the experience.

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