It’s funny how the emotions hit you all of a sudden as if you have just woken up and realised what is happening.
I have a big smile and a giggle as It dawns on me that I have covered 20,000 miles over 2 contents on my little CRF250L. It’s hard to believe that we have made it to the other side of the world together.
My first few days in Darwin were easy thanks to some fellow bikers. Tim and his family put me up for the first two nights and then I moved over to stay with Elizabeth and Sam in their rural home about 40k out of town. What a great place. A lovely 1930s wooden house surrounded my 6 acres of woodland and full of wildlife.
|One night on Mitchel St|
It was very lucky I had the trailer as I found the agents in Bali had stripped Rhonda down quite a bit since I had left her despite assuring me they wouldn't! That evening Sam and Elizabeth put on a barbi and helped me service her and put her back together. She was good as new again in no time.
With Rhonda ready it was time to relax and hit the town. I found out last week that an old off roading buddy of mine was now living in Darwin and so I put on my best t shirt and flip flops and set off to Mitchel St to meet him.
Stevey was just like I remembered him. A typical geordie lad. Full of laughs and easy going. It was so good to see him! We spent the evening catching up over a few beers and a pizza on Mitchel St. This is where it all happens! Darwin has a surprising amount of young people considering its rural location. In fact more so than anywhere else in Australia. It's smaller than I expected too and it really is absolutely MILES from anywhere! Those miles were what I was about to face.
Having sufficiently recovered from the night before I said my goodbyes and by lunchtime I was on the road and heading South with a couple of locations in mind.
|My new friend|
I was looking forward to getting out in to the bush and setting up my first camp. I made it to Mataranka just before nightfall and found a good spot near the spring. It was perfect. I would go for a run in the morning and then have a dip in the spring before getting back on the road.
As I was setting up, a little Wallaby came over to investigate. He was surprisingly friendly and didn't shy away from me at all. I guessed he was used to campers and had possibly been fed by many before me.
That night I made a mental note to myself to make my earplugs accessible for the next camp! Small noises can become very amplified in a tent on your own and Australia has many nocturnal creatures. In my wisdom, I had also set up on a bed of dry leaves. This would give me extra comfort. Unfortunately it also made anything that moved VERY audible.
|Feeling free on Stuart Highway|
|Loving the solitude|
Every road house I stopped at was being manned by a Brit! The Australian government have got it well sussed out. They insist that if you want to extend your stay in the country then you have to work rurally for at least 3 months. Clearly the Ozzies don't want to be here so they send the Brits out. 100's of miles from anywhere and out of trouble! Good move! You have to like their thinking!
People get bored along this route and so you have to find ways of keeping yourself entertained. There is evidence of this all the way along the roads where you will find several of the termite hills dressed up to look like people! It's lovely. Some are really good as the shapes lend themselves perfectly! Some even wore bras!
Sleeping next to a Wallaby and seeing bra wearing termite hills is not really what I had expected of the Australian outback - but I like it!
I have covered 1600km in 3 days with just 2 junctions and 3 very slight bends in between. The road trains are pretty much my only company and very little shade from the searing heat. It would not be much fun to break down out here. However, I have shade in the form of a tent and I carry plenty of water should the worst happen and so I am just enjoying the ride. I really am! It's just so different to what I have been doing recently and I am finding ways to keep myself entertained. Dancing on the bike, singing, stopping for pictures and waving at the road trains. It's all good fun and I feel free in my solitude! I can even pee on the side of the road with no worries about being seen! Heaven!
Today I leave Mount Isa and work my way further east. I'm not sure how far I will go today but I will stock up on supplies and see how it goes.