Heading to Birdsville -Expedition Dust day 102
I woke up to the sound of birdsong again this morning, there are all sorts of different sounds that my ears are so unfamiliar with. I got out of my Kathmandu sleeping bag and headed down to the river to check on the Yabbi pot, I clambered down the slippery bank to where it was tied up. I grabbed the rope and started to pull the pot, it was heavy, I was excited, maybe the worlds biggest yabbi was inside! Unfortunately there was nothing inside except for a small stick that made everything drag in the mud. I packed it up along with the rest of my gear and then sat down with dad to film an interview for the film I’m making. Just before we got on the bikes dad checked the air pressure and put a little more air in because they had started to get low. With tighter tires the bumps on the way from our camp spot in the bush to the road were very hard on the body.
As we turned onto the road the wind was blowing hard in our faces, today was going to be a big day as we were going to have a headwind for its entirety. Progress was slow over the morning and the road was busy, the road trains are absolutely terrifying, I get well off the road for them! Some of the divers on the road don’t slow down at all and are often towing big oversized camper trailers or campervans along the single lane road. There not all bad but the old retired travelers have actually gained themselves quite a bad reputation and are known by users of the road as Gray nomads. When anything except a truck is coming towards me I make sure I put myself in the middle of the road when there about 500m away so that they see me and it forces them to slow down to give me some more room.
At lunchtime we stopped under a big white gum tree, we ate Crackers with butter and of course the classic Pennut butter and date combo. The afternoon was so boring, we are in fenced cattle country and the roads are incredibly flat, it’s just so repetitive. Because I’m on the road I don’t even have to think about the bike and there’s no more dodging thorns or those terrible corrugations. With 20km left to hit our 80km mark for the day my knees were getting tingly and dad was starting feeling very sore. The wind added just enough resistance to mean even when the gradual gradient was going down we still had to peddle like it was flat! It definitely made for a tough day on the road. On the last section of the day I spotted 3 wild pigs 3 cows 2 sheep, 1 echidna, 4 lizards, 1 dingo, 9 kangaroo. Unfortunately they were all dead on the sides of the road, mumafied by the sun...
As the sun was setting I spotted the wider road ahead, it was two lanes and looked well maintained. My heart sank just a little as this was another reminder of reality. This trip is coming to an end and every day i ride I get closer to the citys and the mental stresses they create for me. It’s such a crazy contrast to the last 101 days in Australia’s wild outback. Since leaving Birdsville I had been keeping two Fray Bentos caned pies in the bottom of my trailer as a surprise for dad, so after we had stopped riding and had set up camp I pulled them out. I used my knife to open up the cans and cooked them in my pot like it was an oven. I put a few stones in the bottom of my pot so the metal on the can didn’t conduct with the pot itself, on the lid of my pot I placed a huge pile of embers and one at a time cooked them over the fire. The flakey puffy pastry went golden brown and the steak and gravy was hot and gooey, they were delicious! While I was waiting for the second pie to cook I made the mixture up for some dessert scones. flour, butter, water and dates. I cooked them on the grill plate, YUM!
Dad and I are getting along really well. Growing up he was my trigger person, he would wind me up just by being himself. As a child everything about him annoyed me, the way he ate, the way he talked, the way he worked. Even though he was the most kind understanding father I could have possibly been blessed with he, just made me mad all the time due to no fault of his own! Because of my struggles with ADHD we never had a good relationship, I didn’t/couldn‘t let it happen. I can’t even express how wonderful sharing this experience with him is