I’m Brando Yelavich, I’m currently riding a pushbike from west to east across the centre of Australia to lead by example and empower others to take care of their own mental wellbeing. Along the way I’m stopping at schools and sharing my message with as many people as I can. The best way to live a happy life is to learn about yourself and to do the things that make you happy. For us all nature is fundamentally important to our wellbeing, make sure you get up, out and into nature because the way I see it, it's just as important as food, water and air. Treat yourself like someone you love and live today as though tomorrow will never come.
Waking up in a room was much warmer than the last two mornings in the tent. Dylan was still asleep when I went to fetch our clean washing. It was so flithy before we washed it, especially because a lot of my clothes were covered in blood from the poor kangaroo. By the time I got back he was up, so we packed our gear onto the bikes and headed off back to the traders to get a few things and say thank you and goodbye to Pete. I got a bag of flour and some oil to make camp bread! I had the biggest grin on my face when I walked outside and told Dylan, I was already imagining pulling a hot flat bread off the fire and coating it with peanut butter. I had the most kiwi breakfast you could imagine (two steak and cheese pies) that was going to get me through the day!
As I was writing a post card to my soon to be wife, a big bunch of kids gathered around. They were all fascinated with my bike and all the bits and bobs attached to it, the most asked about item with the kids was my VSSL. I tole then it’s the one thing I never travel without as it contains everything I would need to survive in most situations. I showed the kids my gear and told them about how some of it works.
Dylan and I waved goodbye and headed off to the discovery centre to find out a bit of local history about where we are and where we are going. The old Aboriginal way of life is fascinating to me and I really enjoyed reading all about it in the centre, I also found a bit of info on the route I have chosen to ride, the gun barrel highway. Apparently Len Beadell, the man who created the Highway had a a sense of humour because the enduring joke is in the name, on maps the gun barrel is named a highway despite the fact its roughly 1400km on a unmaintained desert track. After reading that it made me nothing but more excited for what was to come. As I keep saying, if wanted to use highways I would have just bought a car!
We rode out of town at about 11:30. This is truly where the desert begins, almost immediately the landscape and plant life changed. The red dirt was really red now and it was everywhere. We followed the tar sealed road for roughly 5km and after that the bumps began. The road was quite busy as there are lots of mine sites out this way, the gun-barrel is also a real favourite for 4 wheel drivers. Every time a vehicle zooms past it completely covers us in dust, if we don't cover our eyes fast it really hurts. Lots of the vehicle's stop, (probably because they think we are absolutely crazy heading off onto the gun barrel with pushbikes) all the people are very friendly and only want to make sure we are ok, I guess its not every day you see bikers out here!
Dylan got his first taste of a corrugated road, he was bouncing all over the place it was brilliant to watch, I can tell he’s having the time of his life already. The best thing about this adventure is that it isn’t about pushing until we are tired and sore, it’s about enjoying the process because the journey is what matters and when its over its over. Today I hit a big milestone of my own, I have ridden my bike from the most western tip of Australia 1000km into the red centre, I did a little victory dance in the middle of the road to celebrate.
After a short day on the bikes (mainly due to me uploading lots of stuff to the internet for my sponsors) we pulled off the road. I got Dylan to set the tent up while I lit the fire and made the first batch of breads. I picked up a bbq wire plate a few days ago off the side of the road, it is perfect for cooking on. I’m starting to think it might be the best road side junk I have picked up on an expedition. As a celebration of hitting 1000km I made myself mash potatoes and spam to eat with my bread. It was a very tasty dinner, I don't think it was very heathy though!
The temperature had dropped by 8pm, and we could tell it was going to be another chilly night.