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The kindness of strangers-Expedition Dust day 26

It was freezing again this morning, I actually woke up a few times in the night because I was cold. I checked the temperature at 0500 and it was -3. ( I think I'm going to wear more clothes from now on). As I unzipped the tent the frozen condensation cracked and crumbled off onto the ground outside, because it was so cold I decided to light the fire for a hot breakfast. In Meekathara I picked up a few different packets of dried fruit to add to my radix breakfasts to change it up a bit, I mixed mango and apricots into my apple and cinnamon meal and it was a tasty treat.

Dylan and I packed away the tent, filled our bottles from our 10L water bladders and then set off.

Dylan hasn't quite got the idea of touring just yet, when we set off he always leaves me in the dust. He rides much faster than I do, until the afternoons when he starts to run out of energy and struggles to keep up! It's only his third day on the bike so I'm sure he will get into the grove in the next few days. About 8km into the ride we reached Mount Russell, it stands at 583m above sea level and about 80m from where Dylan and I stood looking up at it. I said to Dylan "we’re going up." We both turned off the road and rode our bikes over to the shade of a small gum tree. I grabbed my Kathmandu backpack off the trailer and we started heading up the hill that's called a mountain.

On the way up i spotted lots of big ants with gold bums and a few small lizards that were chasing them around. The view from the top was unreal, 3 black eagles started to circle overhead occasionally flying low to get a good look at us before riding the thermals as high as they could and zooming off to the north.

After a rest at the top, we made our way back down to the spot where we stashed the bikeS. To get back onto the road there was roughly 100m of what I would class as moderately difficult mountain bike terrain. I just charged through it bouncing my way to the road, but Dylan, who has never been mountain biking before decided the long way that was flatter was a better option for him.

Once on the road again we started clocking up the kms, only stopping under a grove of gum trees to eat some food and slightly later to take some funny photos in a truck that had been left on the side of the road.

We arrived in Wiluna at 1500 and headed to the Wiluna traders, . Before our friend Aaron left the other day he told us we need to talk to Peter at the traders as he might have a bed for us! I walked into the shop and spotted a guy that fit the description of Peter. I told him what I was doing and he said he knew about me and that he had read about me in an article and wondered when I would be coming through. He did indeed have a room for us but not only that he invited us out to dinner at a nearby mining village.

we were able to do a load of washing and get some things on the chargers before Pete came to get us for dinner. We drove out to the miner's village, had something to drink and talked about adventures before entering the mess hall of the village. It was an all you can eat style setup with multiple trays of hot food. I had three plates and a bowl of custard with sticky rice. Dylan and I felt pretty damn good after that and so incredibly grateful to have been looked after by Pete.

We dodged roos as we drove back into town with full bellies and warm hearts! Tomorrow we leave cell reception and the comfort of Wiluna and set off into the desert.

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