The Boab to Stanley rest area
The Boab is a strange looking tree. Some people say it has been planted upside down. In the light of day we can see that The Boab is enormous. It’s trunk is the size of a small house. Yet unlike a forest tree it is not a tall tree. For this giant tree it’s branches spread wide providing ample shade.
Reid is doing it tough. He is suffering from the relentless heat and from fatigue. We can look forward to some cooler days as we start to head south, however, we still have a few more days in these trying conditions. Since we started heading west from Townsville, the temperature every day has been over 40c. That is almost two weeks of unrelenting heat. In addition the landscape these last couple of days has been featureless. Today we will only touch civilization twice with only two roadhouses, no towns. Reid has been toying with the idea of riding at night and sleeping during the day. How to make the change over and how to find somewhere cool to sleep during the day for the whole team is a complex question. Reid decides to cary on during the day. As he says he can manage the heat with his stops and with hydration. Whereas to make a mistake while riding tired at night could result in an accident. Today is Sunday and Reid’s family is sharing lunch with his church family. Graham H, though his wife at home, arranges a video phone call for Reid to talk to his wife and daughter. A great tonic. Please cheer Reid along the way by sending him personal messages on Facebook. As he rides closer to civilization he will agin be in phone coverage. Call him and talk to him while he is riding on the road. If you do not get through the first time, keep trying. Eventually he will be back in range.
Willare Bridge Roadhouse.
Our first contact with civilization for today. Laundry, some rest in the shade and as it is still early in the morning, a second breakfast from the hotbox.
I mentioned in an earlier blog that each of the team members are finding their niche. Dan has become our technical expert. He helps with the bike repairs. He is our statistician. Recording Reid’s daily ride stats and uploading them to the Strava website. You can follow Reid on www.strava.com and search for Aussie Challenge. He is also a good support for Reid as Dan is also a cyclist and has ridden across Africa with Reid
Roebuck Plains Roadhouse
Our only other contact with civilization today. This may be the last time for a couple of days so a shower while we have the opportunity. The roadhouse is only 30km from Broome this means we have hit the west coast and are now heading south. Our first change of scenery. The Roebuck Plains is a wetlands. There are vast paddocks full of cattle. As we cross the hills we can see in the distance, we are back to the same scrubby featureless landscape. When I say it is featureless, there are a lot of interesting things to see with the trees and the long grasses. However, this is all there is. The roads are straight and go for kilometers without a bend. the scenery remains the same. Dotted amongst the landscape are giant termite mounds. These are not the magnetic termite mounds we found in the Northern Territory, they are large and lumpy. For Star-wars fans they look like Jabba the Hut. They resemble grotesque gargoyles or giant gorillas standing sentinel, looking over the plains.
We camp again at a roadside camp site and contemplate the vastness of Australia. Are we insignificant or do we embrace this amazing country. Are we insignificant against the magnitude of poverty or do we embrace it and work step by step to make poverty history.