Sunday, June 17, 2018

A Let Down! Oorindi Creek Rest Area to Cloncurry - 68kms

The wind dropped just in time for us to get the tent erected before nightfall.
Woke up to a flat mattress - on hard stony ground, too! Will check it out tonight.
Cycled out of the plains, into a roller coaster road and into the lower foothills of the Selwyn Ranges.

Beginning to see more termite mounds.
Had head wind, tail wind and side wind in equal measure!
Our bright, fluoro shirts worry the birds. All along our route, they send alarm calls to each other.
Saw two freshly killed wallabies on the road. Very little road kill considering the number of road trains that use this route.

Cloncurry is another small outback town, with a single main street with parking in the centre of the road. Everything's closed on Sunday except for one small supermarket.
It's famous for establishing the Flying Doctor Service.

Tomorrow we attack the hills of the Selwyn Ranges. Will be a challenging day- or maybe days!

➽ TO DONATE to our chosen charity, the Neurological Foundation of NZ via our GiveALittle Page  

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Blown Away! Julia Creek to Oorindi Rest Area - 70kms

A chilly night gave way to a crisp morning. Cycled most of the morning in thermals and rain jackets. Fingers and toes were quite numb for a while.

Scrubby trees are appearing more frequently now and the prairie grass is becoming  thinner and trodden down by grazers.
Had to get off the road for two oversized loads. Each one took up all of the road.

Arrived at the Rest Area around 12.30pm.
Blowing a hurricane and no protection from the wind. There are composting toilets and concrete picnic tables, but having difficulty finding a suitable spot for the tent. Ground is stony and uneven.
Will clear a patch the best we can and put up the tent later in the afternoon when the wind drops.

➽ TO DONATE to our chosen charity, the Neurological Foundation of NZ via our GiveALittle Page    

Friday, June 15, 2018

Magic! Corella Creek to Julia Creek - 52kms

Magical moments, when taking off at first light, the sun breaks over the horizon and gradually lights up the golden Prairie grasses as far as the eye can see.
Had a yummy salad dinner and spent a comfortable night in an unusual Farm stay last night. Hostess Georgie couldn't have been more considerate and attentive.
Young German campers arrived late in the afternoon and camped somewhere amongst the birdlife.
Another ideal cycling day today - straight, flat road and a tail wind!
Many loudly twittering "clouds" of small birds gathered above the fields and did aerobatics above our heads.
Found out later from Michelle at the "i" centre, that they are budgies!!!
Got to Julia Creek motel by 11.00am then headed off for some lunch.
Spent the afternoon surveying the difficult days ahead.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Pesky Flies! Richmond to Corella Creek Farm stay - 101kms

A perfect cycling day! Kept up a good average with a strong tail wind and  decided to miss the planned rest area, and instead head for the Corella Creek Country Farm stay at Nelia. 101kms between settlements!
Flies plagued us from the start, clinging to our backs in dozens, and buzzing in our ears and on our faces. Will soon wear our fly nets if this keeps up.
Saw grazing herds on the Prairie - cattle, sheep, horses and even camels.
The Farm stay is quirky to say the least!
We arrived to see three goats jumping merrily on the bonnet of an old car.
Ducks, geese, chickens and turkeys roam freely. Rooms in the old homestead are divided off with curtains in many cases and furnished with an eclectic mix of odds and sods.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Old Fossils! Rest Day in Richmond

A lazy, hot day in sleepy Richmond.
Planned our food requirements for the next three days then strolled to the SPAR supermarket, 500m away, to stock up.

Gold brought growth to Richmond in the 1800s. Has a fascinating history. Population was 50% Chinese at one stage. Like many outback towns, it's struggling to survive now. Buildings are old and unkempt.
We're riding the Overlanders Way - this is Fossil country. 
Australia's most intact fossil was discovered in the Richmond area. Visited Kronosaurus Korner (at the info centre)- an amazing collection of locally found Fossils, with an interesting, recorded commentary. 
Had coffees on the deck of an old house operating as a coffee shop.
Watched several flyovers of hundreds of squawking white cockatoos. Heard them long before they came into view.
Packing and relaxing this avo, before another hot couple of days on the road.

➽ TO DONATE to our chosen charity, the Neurological Foundation of NZ via our GiveALittle Page   

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Pedalling the Prairie! Marathon Rest Rea to Richmond - 48kms

Wind dropped last night. Six camper vans pulled in late afternoon. Didn't feel quite so remote!
A long road train also pulled in with a blown turbo. The mechanics arrived at 1.00am and got it going by 3.00am.
this morning.
Needless to say - another noisy night!
Packed trailers and tent by torchlight and enjoyed a beautiful sunrise.
Met Australian cyclist Greg Young heading for Townsville. Been touring for about a month. Had a yarn about "doing things while you can".
Herds of Brahman cattle appearing on the prairie more frequently now. Can see signs that the whole prairie would be flooded during the rainy season.
Reached Richmond by 11.30am and settled in to a handy, and very overpriced motel unit.
Temperature reached 31 degrees this afternoon. Glad to be indoors!
Looking forward to a rest day tomorrow and to discovering a little of the town's history. 

Monday, June 11, 2018

Another Corker! Hughenden to Marathon Rest Area - 67kms

Left at daybreak and into a great tail wind. Cycled a never-ending  ribbon of road, through 67kms of flat, prairie-like, treeless  landscape.

Flocks of noisy rosellas flew overhead and hundreds of small, yellow/green finch- like birds swooped and dived in twittering "clouds", searching for seeds in the long, dry grasses.
Grass hoppers leapt out of the grass and across the road in front of us as we rode by.

Reached Marathon Rest Area by midday and glad to get out of the heat. There are toilets but the only shade is provided by 2 picnic table areas. The whole area is very exposed, so we'll have to expect a windy night!

➽ TO DONATE to our chosen charity, the Neurological Foundation of NZ via our GiveALittle Page