Today was a “rest” day with only 175km to ride!!
I went for a walk along the main shopping strip in Longreach. This must have been a very wealthy town, with a huge council building and elaborate water tower. I found a coffee shop and had my first cup in several days. It was already 25 degrees in the shade.
The water tower at Longreach
With time to do some sightseeing, I went to the Stockman’s’ Hall of Fame. This was well worth the visit. It gave a real insight into outback history and the people who were fundamental to exploring our country. What struck me was how hard it must have been. I have found it a long way to ride – it just goes on and on and on – but the original explorers did much of it on foot! And the Aboriginal people, who seemed to have the land worked out, were an invaluable part of the explorers’ successes. There was so much to see and I could have spent hours there. Unfortunately I only had a couple of hours and no time at all to visit the Qantas museum.
When I arrived at the Stockman’s’ Hall of Fame I secured my tank bag on the ground in the shade beside my bike, and put my helmet on top of it. When I came back there were ants crawling all over them... I didn’t fancy putting my helmet on and then feeling ants crawling on my face as I rode, so I spent some time making sure they were completely gone, all the while standing in the sun getting hotter and hotter. Wearing all the gear in the heat is very unpleasant. I wear Kevlar lined jeans, which are quite thick, and knee-high riding boots. Once I put on a jacket and helmet and gloves...
After a quick lunch in Longreach we set off on the short ride to Winton, with Doug sporting the bunny ears taped to his helmet.
Doug had to wear the bunny ears all day
Before long we could see storms in the distance. You could see areas where it was raining. We passed close to the edge of a storm but only had a few big splatters on our visors.
One of the groups that arrived in Winton a little later had to ride through drenching rain and a couple of inches of water on the road!
The rain storm we just missed
In Winton after setting up we had a camp dinner and entertainment by a bush poet named Gloria who told yarns and jokes. She was fantastic and very funny – Australiana type humour – none of which I can repeat here!
Now that’s a grasshopper!
Today’s distance: 186km