Notes: Day 22- 23

Day 22 Monday August One
Territory day today, so Peter and I walked all the way up to the BP service station at the top end of town, to buy coffee and breakfast. A good long conversation covering all sorts of topics and I finally left town at 10:30. I met the bikers who heped me at Barrow Creek at the BP, and saw 2 Canadians heading south, loaded front and rear with panniers.

I took a gentle ride out to Three Ways, arriving at 12 noon, bought one and a half litres of water which I strapped on top of the trailer, aand headed east, with occasional moments of disbelief that I was riding the Barkly Tablelands. This is heavy growth country; how the first white explorers made their way through here is beyond me.

I met John who is walking from Cape York to Perth on a charity walk. He was taking the Sandover Highwy, but got caught up in the rain and gave up, bogged one time too often! He will do the Great Western Highway.

John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness...

I am now camped at 41 Mile Bore. I've only done 96 kilometres, so I'm 61 kilometres down on my daily ration, but will make up some kilometres to Barkly Homestead tomorrow. The bike is all good.

I had tea with a retired couple who have been on the road for years. Lots of people are camped here.

The expected wind did not appear today, and the road surface was mostly excellent, so I had a good ride.

I met a papa inura propped up on one elbow in the shade of a tree. When I stopped, he got up and circled me in typical dingo fashion. I got the camera out, and he immediately turned and showed me his best side.

Tennant Creek was still hopping this morning and the BP was full of life. The place gave me some interesting insights into the likes of Pauline Hanson. It is full of Aborigines, Fijians, Zimbabweans, and they are all doing fine and are empowered people. Sure there are the black folk begging at the tables in the pub (unless you use the safe dining room for the tourists) but these other people are running the show as much as the whites It isn't proper! No wonder she's worried.

It got to 37 degrees on the road today; I licked my chocolate out of the packet for afternoon tea .

I've never before seen a shrink wrapped helicopter before, now I've seen two.

Day 23 - Tuesday August Two
There was a great roaring in the trees at 12:30 last night as the wind came in. A bit like a rainstorm moving across the tin roofs in an old suburb. I was woken up by the tent flapping and snapping at 3:30. Sand was blowing in through the mesh. I took out 3 teaspoons full this morning, but there is plenty left.
It was a long day. 40 kilometre an hour winds, 20 kilometres of wind on my forearm at 2 o'clock, and then 25 kilometres at full head on, often barely holding 10 kilometres an hour. It eased off a tiny bit in the late afternoon, but not much.
I got here at Barkly Homestead too late for a room. I now expect to take about 3 days to Camooweal. I spent $26 on water, and will get more tomorrow. It was a very hard job staying focused today, also physically very hard, but just keeping going was hard on the mind. They say at BOM that there should be only 25 to 30 kilometre hour winds tomorrow. We'll see.

You takes your water where you can get it! Barkly Homestead.


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