I have packing up down to a fine art now. We set up as soon as we arrive at a campsite and usually get up around 5:30am with the intention of departing around 7am. If you don’t pack things in the right order you end up going backwards a few times.
There was a beautiful sunrise this morning, and as we left at about 6:40am we saw it from the road.
I was shivering by the first stop again, but soon afterwards it got really hot. We stopped in Mataranka and eventually found some food. There was no fuel. Not overly impressed with this stop though it apparently has a good camping area.
It is getting more humid now and this makes the heat harder to bear. We followed the same process of sharing the lead today but a 4th rider joined in. We have encountered a lot of road trains on this trip. They can be up to 53.5 metres long. When they are coming towards you, you often get a blast of wind pressure which can be disconcerting. Overtaking them requires a bit more planning than usual. Lucky the roads are so long and straight, and visibility is very good.
The next stop was the Daly Waters pub which has an amazing collection of, well, everything – cards, photos, currency, stickers, clothing items, hats, flags, bottles, number plates, tools.... bric a brac left by people passing through, covering every inch of the walls. We spent ages looking through it. Quite an amazing place!
Inside the Daly Waters pub
Riders who have gone before us
Sleepiness is still a big problem. As soon as the heat sets in it starts. I’ve found several ways to fight it off. The best is to get thinking about something interesting. If I let myself zone out, which is easy to do when the roads are straight and nothing around me changes, it becomes rather dangerous. When I am riding behind someone it is easy to just focus on them. I have followed Doug a lot and the image of his red fuel container on the back of his bike will now be etched in my memory forever...
Tonight at Katherine the riders from all states have met up. There was an official dinner and a meeting where everyone was welcomed and the details of tomorrow’s ride into Darwin were conveyed. Everyone is staying at Knott’s Crossing Resort, whether camping or hard walls. There must be about 300 bikes here.
Today’s distance: 660km