Day 19: Wycliffe Well

Friday July 29th. The day got better. It began with a head wind, rough bitumun, and then had the trailer yoke pin begin to work loose. This meant unpacking the trailer to get a shifter to hold the lock nut on the base of the pin. While working, the wind blew the bike over on top of me. Fortunately, it mostly missed me. I finally made Barrow Creek for lunch, and think it was physically the hardest part of the whole trip so far. 

A couple of bikers at Barrow Creek helped me unhitch the trailer as I again tightened the rear skewer.

Barrow Creek is sad and primitive. The store has clothes for sale hanging in old glass front refrigeraters. Aboriginal people hang around, dispossessed, on the periphery.

I had a slightly better run to Taylor Creek, which is a favourite stopping place for the Migratory Grey Nomad, but had only done 76 kilometres, and headed on again after second lunch. The road was slowly improving, and the wind dropping. I stopped at 100 kilometres, but couldn't get tent pegs into the ground anywhere, so decided to try my luck at Wycliffe Well, another 30 kilometres on, where I now have a room. A budget room here costs $90 with no ensuite, but does include free mice, and, possibly, a rat too. 

It is the most bizarre place:  a mix of The 100 Foot Journey, Best Marigold Hotel, and the Ernabella store during a long weekend football carnival. There are also alien statues etc everywhere, because it's the UFO capital of Australia. 

The Indian Papa running the place clearly has big plans, although the place is still a dump. (Locals in Tennant Creek tell me it's been cleaned up a lot.)The sons scurry around and seem to be doing a fair job of managing the crowd of patrons. Weird whitefellas were wandering in the gloom of the caravan park. And yet, twice, a line of young men dashed across the lawns with food that smelled glorious, taking feasts to one caravan or another! 

I am within riding distance of Tennant Creek, so I'll see how I am feeling at Wauchope, and try to book a room from there.

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