Victoria River Roadhouse to Kununurra
What a spectacular sight to wake up to. We arrived at Victoria River Roadhouse in the dark. We found our way to our camp site by car headlamp. See the grass, see the tree, lay out our beds and go to sleep. After just three hours sleep we woke as the sun was rising and what a view beheld us. Lawn sweeping down to the river’s edge, shady trees dotted around the camp site. Not to close to the river, far enough away from the big saltwater crocodiles. We are in a valley and across the road, in the distance we can see a cliff face leading to an escarpment. As it catches the early morning sunlight, the deep ocher and the desert reds are highlighted. Not long after 6:00am Reid is off again on his bike. After only three hours sleep Reid is back chasing down his world record. Graham F and Dan are on the road with Reid today. We are away and Graham the photographer has not even had time to photograph this idyllic scene. The sights are now etched in his memory
As the sun rises, so does the heat. we are in for another day of 40c heat. You see on the weather report places with temperatures above 40c and cannot imagine what it would be like to live and work there. Here we are on our ninth day over 40c. Rather remarkable for a bunch of guys and girls from Brisbane. The manager of the Roadhouse passes Reid on the road as she drives to her work. When Graham H goes to settle out camping dues she asks about the crazy man on his bike. After telling her about Reid and Challenge for Change she offered the accommodation free of charge. A generous spirit and another contribution to Eagles Wings. Dan and Graham again travel with Reid supplying his nutrition and hydration. Along the way they try and catch some catnaps. Hard to do in the heat. Always looking to stop under some shade. We found a perfect spot under a strand of Boab trees. We set up the deck chairs and were soon nodding off. However, no sooner had we settled down, Reid turns up. have you been speeding Reid? It feels like we have only just got here. Reid is struggling today. With the heat and the small amount of sleep he is finding the going hard. He has a shorter distance to travel today so his average speed needs to be above 21kph. He is maintaining this while he is on the road, however, he asks us to push him along and not let him linger to long during his breaks. Reid’s endurance is improving. In the first week when we hit the hot weather he would break every 15km. Now as his body has become used to the long days in the saddle, he is taking breaks at 25km intervals and 20km during the evening.
Our crew are all on the road keeping company and trying to keep cool and rested. We are being hosted tonight in Kununurra and our crew once again split. Dan, Daun & Graham F drive onto town, Graham H and Lynda tag with Reid in Flo. The plan is that Dan and Daun get some rest to prepare them for the early morning shift with Reid the next day. Graham can spend some valuable time on-line updating our internet community. The best laid plans are good in theory. Dan heads off to the hospital to have his infected toe attended to. Graham and Daun shower and change. As Dan returns showers and changes it is time to meet our hosts. We meet with Brian, Fay and Barbara from the Uniting Church Frontier Services and are treated to a home cooked roast dinner. Country hospitality at its best. We anticipate that Reid will not be in for some time and that we will be taking doggie bags with dinner for Reid, Graham and Lynda. We receive a phone call saying that Reid has found a second wind and is powering home. He will be in town within thirty minutes. This is good news. The whole team is now showered and changed and are sitting around the dinner table with our Brian, Fay and Barbara. You can see the fatigue wash away as the team relax and enjoy the hospitality. Some valuable team time and some new friends for Eagles Wings.
We have been shouted accommodation at the Kununurra Croc Backpackers Resort. Comfy beds and air conditioned rooms. A good nights sleep and a recovery sleep, not just for Reid, for the whole team. Goodnight Kununurra.