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.
Both Dylan and I woke up at sunrise today, the tent was glowing in the beautiful orange morning light. It was cold, like so so cold. Dylans drink bottle was frozen solid and as I poured the water from my water bladder into my metal pot it turned into a frozen slushy instantly. We are normally quite slow in the mornings but today we must have both been on the same wavelength because we were straight into packing up our gear onto the bikes. I was half expecting to find a flat back tyre but the rubber plug I pushed into the hole last night was still holding (well mostly). We had gotten up early to make the most of the cooler part of the day and to utilise the limited hours the sun is actually in the sky!
After eating our breakfast we pushed the bikes over to the road and jumped on. It’s kinda a double edged sword because on the track is almost impossible to ride along and off the track it’s like a bloody mine field of sharp, broken and burnt sticks waiting to put big holes in your tyres. In the end we mostly pushed our bikes off track in the sand.
An hour after we left a truck and it’s camper trailer came bouncing along the sandy track in front of us.The Toyota land cruiser came to a stop next to me and the occupants introduced themselves as Michael and Stephanie. They offered us a coffee and a vegemite sandwich, we both said yes please and the two of them got set up with the pull out kitchen on their trailer. We probably spent about an hour stopped in the desert with Michael and Stephanie sharing stories of adventure and the odd one of miss adventure. It was such a pleasant interaction with some wonderful strangers in the middle of everywhere.
The roads shouldn’t even be called roads as they are so bloody shit. Just after our new friends left the sand got so deep we could hardly push. Dylan pushed off the track and into the bush. I followed along but once I was riding I started making my own choice of direction traveled because Dylan was heading to far to the left for my liking. Before I knew it he was gone, I didn’t really think too much about it until I popped back out onto the road and stopped. I could hear Dylan calling out my name I called back but got no reply, I called again and then listened. I heard crashing in the Bush and just expected him to pop out up ahead so I kept riding for another 300m but still no Dylan. My brain switched from riding mode to search mode. I grabbed my tracker, knife and bag filled with enough water for 2 days and began walking back down the track to start my search where I had heard him last. It had been 25 minutes by the time I got back to where I had come out of the bush. Just as I set my GPS watch to track he popped out down the track about 200m from me. He had managed to find his way back! When he had become lost he remembered he had a VSSL strapped to the front of his bike and it had a compass on the top of it! He used it to find south and eventually led him back to the track.
As I lifted my bike back up I heard a sound from the trailer. I looked back and realized the top part of the trailer arm was beginning to brake. Len Beadells tree and water pump was only 2.4km away so I said to Dylan I’m going to fix it when I get there. We arrived at 1520 and I got down in the dirt and began to temporarily fix it with wire and a strap. As I worked on the trailer Dylan filled his water bladders and tipped out the dirty water from the day before. Galah birds were sharing the space and when we were done they flocked over to the bucket onto get a drink. We didn’t go far today, our total distance was only 23km but I think it was worth stopping to fix the trailer because if that top support breaks it’s all over for the trailer. We set up camp and made a Fire.
The campfire conversations were about childhood and life, I will share that with you another day. It’s time to sleep..
In the end only kindness matters.