I’m Brando Yelavich. I am 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.
I finished yesterdays blog post quite late. It was 2330 when I closed my laptop and fired the blog off into the sky on the satellite phone. An hour after I fell asleep I woke up to a loud noise and Dylan saying, BRANDO, BRANDO WAKE UP! A Wild dog was outside the tent howling and barking. I quietly unzipped the tent and poked my head out to see if I could catch a glimpse of this elusive creature of the night. The moon was high in the sky and I could see as if it was day. The shape of a medium size dog was silhouetted no more than ten meters from where we were. The voice inside my head was saying “what are you doing, get back in the tent” but my curiosity kept me out in the cold. I watched as the dog bent its head back and began to howl again. It was there for about 15 minutes before disappearing into the night. I was so excited by the encounter I could hardly sleep!
I woke up later than usual and the sun was already high in the sky. The wind had shifted to the south east and it was much colder than when it was blowing from the north. Both Dylan and I clambered out of the tent and got breakfast in our bellies, I had an apple and cinnamon Radix meal with fresh banana, it went down a treat! It was still so cold after we had packed the tent and saddled up so I decided to keep my warm jacket on. It didn't take long before I was roasting and much to Dylan's disproval had to stop to take it off (yep I was that guy that didn’t want to start off cold). The abandoned road/trail we were on as we left our rocky camp spot was rough as anything so there was alot of bouncing in our seats. We rode together for the first hour only stopping to take a few photos of some beautiful rock formations. As we rode Dylan was listening to a podcast with Russell Brand as the feature guest, it sounded interesting. I put my head phones in and started listening to an audio book called the untethered soul.
We left Prenti Downs station over the invisible northern boundary and entered into Carnegie station. Dylan was about 100m ahead of me at this point but had stoped at a bore site and was waiting for me. When I reached him I spotted a dead cow that had big looking horns, I diverted from the way we were going to have a quick look, Dylan wasn't interested and continued riding. I got off my bike to take a photo because the cows horns were massive but the moment my feet hit the ground I heard that unfortunate and all to familiar sound of my trailer tire deflating rapidly. I had hit a new milestone, my 30th flat tyre! After some cursing and a bit of dust kicking I pulled the tube out and fixed the hole. I worked out that this hole was caused by the Kevlar strip that I put in the tyre to stop the thorns from puncturing, it must have been rubbing in a funny way because the hole was more of a slice. The trailer is great but I’m pretty sick of fixing that darn tyre! Dylan hadn't realised I had broken down and quickly disappeared out of view, after 25 minutes he had come back to find out what was going on.
For the next hour before we stopped for lunch we kinda raced each other. We didn't say anything but we were both constantly trying to hold a faster speed than the other. My experience in the saddle led to my victory when we hit soft sand and Dylan lost control. We didn't have far to go after lunch to reach Carnegie homestead and the track was pretty much dead strait and had become much easier to ride along. When we hit the main road we could see our days endpoint in the distance, we cruised along and entered at the front gate. The first thing I spotted was a lemon tree, orange tree and tangerine tree, I shouted to Dylan I HOPE THE STATION MANAGERS ARE, NICE BECAUSE I WILL SELL YOU FOR ORANGES IF I HAVE TOO! He let out his wonderful laugh and we went to find them. We met Jim, Chris and their dog Patch out the front of the workshop and got chatting about where we had come from and how long it was going to take to get where we wanted to go. It was great to talk to them and find out where we could get water over the next 8 days. They told us this is the last spot for supplies but it was no supermarket and they didn't have everything. I asked if they had dates and much to my surprise they said yes. I’M GETTING DATES!
We had a kitchen to cook in tonight so I fried some spam in the pan and mixed it with potato flakes. A lovely lady whos staying here called Corinne gave us some carrot and celery, which we both added to our dinner. She then pulled out a bottle of Merlot and I can say for sure a glass of that went down a treat with dinner!
This is the real beginning of the famous gun-barrel highway, tomorrow we enter into the Gibson Desert.