My name is Brando Yelavich. I’m currently cycling self supported from the most western point to the most eastern cape across the centre of Australia to lead by example and empower others to take care of their own mental wellbeing. The big day yesterday resulted in a late night, so this morning we both felt a little rusty and agreed on a late start. I was so happy when I got up and found the wind was blowing from hard from the northwest, that was going to be a tail wind! I could hardly believe it. Dylan has been carrying two instant cappuccinos and they came out today, it was all foamy and sweet because I added a tube of condensed milk too! With the morning light I could see the bore and hand pump across from our tent. It was so nice to not have to worry at all about water just for the day. While I cooked my breakfast I set up the satellite phone and sent a few emails, the first was to dad to find out if Burley my trailer sponsor is going to send me a spare trailer part. He told me they are already on the way! I felt so relieved and grateful. The army guys from yesterday actually patched the crack with some putty that’s ment to be as strong as metal (bloody witchcraft) so hopefully it will hold together a few more days. The only problem with it in its current condition, is it’s bent and it pulls the bike to the right constantly. The only way to fix it properly is to replace it. I also made a call to Ngaio. We chatted about when Ain and Ben the cinematographers are going to meet up with me. They are coming to the desert to capture extra content for the film that we are creating about this adventure! I can’t wait for them to get here they are awesome guys and great at what they do.
It was 11:30 when we set off, we rode back onto the track and straight into sand and corrugations. Bumb, bumb, bumb, bumb, bumb, the only way to escape them was to stop riding or to ride as fast as physically possible. That’s not the most sustainable practice if we wanted to ride the whole day. The track started getting really bad and the bike would jump and bounce all over the show the only way forward was to push. An hour in and we had only covered 7km and both felt absolutely smashed. All our late start had achieved was more time riding in the hottest part of the day. Dylan wasn’t impressed about the flies that come out in full force when it’s hot. Like me, he dosent deal with the heat very well! When I first started the expedition it was much hotter than it is now so I have acclimatized to this part of the day and have no problem riding in it, so I have that advantage. We stopped under the shade of a large sandalwood trees and let our tyres down so they were running at a 17Psi, it made the world of difference on the comfort of the ride but also was dramatically easier to stay upright in the sand.
The landscape is rolling sand dunes covered in spinafex which is a medium size grassy plant that has tiny needle like blades of grass that break off in your skin if you brush up against them. It looks really beautiful but there is currently more of it stuck in my feet, legs and hands than I know what to do about! We stopped to eat and have a short rest at 1500 hours. In the distance I could see the red rock of Mount Everard, I said to Dylan I wanted to camp there so we could get up ontop for sunrise.
After lunch we rode through some sections with absolutely no trees. The track had corogated deep tyre ruts. At one stage I felt a bit like a bowling ball or pin ball bouncing off the sides. I was so over the bumpy track so I gave riding off track through the spinafex a go, but with such low pressure tyres I increase the risk of a stick punching a big hole in the tyre sidewallls so didn’t do it for long before getting away from all the sharp sticks! The day had been relentlessy tough but as the sun started to set we decided because we had a late start we would push on into the night to get to the mountain. Just as the last bit of light was fading we arrived at Everard junction were a plaque has been created to commemorate Len Beadell and his hard work when he forged the gunbarrall with his tractor. There’s a visitor book that Dylan and I signed before pushing our bikes in deep sand into the night. When we could we rode along next to each other, the last 9 kilometers required us to both dig deep but eventually we got it done and arrived at Mount Everard, our camping spot for the night. I got the fire going straight away and then convinced Dylan to climb up the top of The big rock to look at the stars. From up there we could see a beautiful lightning show to the west and a Milky Way stretching across our full vision.
Dylan crashed out almost straight after dinner but I was up late as usual. The only way I get my writing done is by putting headphones on and blasting my music really loud so I don’t fall asleep. It has become a bit of a ritual, this is the first time in my life I have written nearly 1000 words every day for more than a month and I’m going to let you all know I am so proud of myself!
Have a wonderful day and always treat yourself like someone you love because nobody knows you better than you!