Today started out cold but nowhere near as cold as yesterday. From Bourke there is no fuel for 250km until Cunnamulla, so we filled up and set off. More long, straight roads. There was hardly any traffic.
We crossed the Queensland border at Barringun and, after a brief stop, continued on to Cunnamulla. It was hot now and I was finally down to the minimum layers – T-shirt, jacket with the liners removed allowing air to flow through the mesh, and summer gloves.
Crossing the Queensland border
Cunnamulla is not a very happening place... There was hardly anyone around other than tourists, but I did have a great burger at the local takeaway.
Own chair provided!
The Cunnamulla Man
The last leg to Charleville was 200km. The scenery was very pretty. Everything is very green and lush after recent rain – apparently I’m not seeing the Outback as it usually is – dry and bare.
After only 50km I was really struggling to stay awake. As pretty as it is the view is all the same, and because it’s so straight you tend to just focus on a point ahead. Between the heat, and the vibration of the bike it was hard to fight off and it becomes quite hypnotic. There was nowhere to stop – the road had no shoulder and the edges fell away quickly. So I started playing around. I cranked my iPod up (I have a remote control on my handlebars) and sang loudly inside my helmet. I tried riding on the white lines in the centre of the road, and then weaving in and out of them, even riding on the wrong side of the road (which feels really weird!) Moving around and wriggling on the bike helped too, but it was really difficult.
I arrived safely in Charleville and set up in the camp grounds. Now the Sydney and Brisbane riders have joined and there was a huge group camping.
The camp kitchen, Charleville
There was a fundraiser event organised. They had a camp oven dinner, which was delicious, and then yabbie races after auctioning off 20 yabbies to the highest bidder.
Yabbie racing teams
They invited people to tell stories from the ride so far and then awarded “prizes” for the dumbest thing anyone had done. The recipient had to wear bunny ears for the next 24 hrs.
The first bunny award
At this point $160,000 has been raised by the Long Ride.
Today’s distance: 462km