- Start: Taylor Creek rest area
- End: Devils Marbles Campground
- Day distance: 79.1km
- Total distance: 4237.01km
- Average speed: 22.3km/hr
- Pedalling time: 03:32
- Total time: 08:00
We stayed up for a while watching the sky. The moon didn’t rise until 9:30pm so it was perfect for stargazing. I have downloaded an app to my phone which tells you what everything in the sky is just by pointing your phone at it, you’ve got to love technology sometimes, so now I can point out more than the southern cross and Orion’s belt.We spotted Saturn and Jupiter, some satellites and a few shooting stars – unfortunately my wishes have not come true yet.
I felt like I hadn’t slept at all when morning came, although I probably got more sleep than I thought I did. The cows. Oh my god the cows were so noisy. All. Night. Long. I woke up so many times, and the air was so dry my mouth felt horrible. I was in a very light sleep and I was having some terrible dreams, more like nightmares. I woke up tired. Not a good start to a day.
We were all ready on time, desperate to get away from the noise of the cows. It was 50k to the next roadhouse and we did it in 2 hours! We had a bit of a tailwind so not only was it a bit easier to pedal it was thankfully a little bit cooler.
When we arrived at Wycliffe Well we found it was the ‘UFO capital of Australia’ and there was alien stuff everywhere. So much stuff! Apparently the guy who owns the campground, which appeared to be closed, has seen so many UFOs that he doesn’t bother looking for them anymore and relies on tourists to report sightings.
We stayed there for a while, I had a $2 ‘man’s can’ of soda – one of my favourite things is getting a reasonably priced soda – and a bowl of lovely salty chips. After filling up with water from a random tap which didn’t indicate whether it was suitable for drinking or not, we carried on to the next roadhouse only 17km away, the Devils Marbles hotel.
It was a quick but hot ride to get there, and it was definitely one of the more fancy roadhouses along the way. It was like a little tropical oasis in the desert, with a lovely swimming pool (the first one that actually looked appealing to swim in) and coconut palms. The boys were desperate for a ‘real’ coffee, which they got, and I treated myself to another soda.
It was 12:30pm and we only had 10k left for the day. Just up ahead is an area called the Devils Marbles and we wanted to spend some time there, have a look round and camp there. So we hung out at the roadhouse for a while, making use of the free wifi, there hasn’t been a lot of service since Alice Springs so I was able to catch up on getting the last three days of blogs published. We tossed around the idea of getting some food there but decided to save our money for pizza in Tenant Creek, the next town, and went outside to a picnic table to force down a tuna wrap instead.
We waited out the heat of the day and left at 3pm, but of course it was still boiling and I had sweat running down my face which was gross. The wind wasn’t quite as nice as it was this morning, but we still got to our campground in only half an hour.
The campground was packed with people, primarily grey nomads, all set up for hours already. Not our preferred type of campground, but it’s a tourist hot spot. We went immediately to find some shade. The devils marbles are a result of water erosion basically, 170 million years ago the ground was flat, but water found its way into the cracks and these boulders are what’s left. We had a little wonder around but it was too hot!
We got talking to a German family who offered us the use of their chairs while they went exploring and gave us a big bag of sweets to keep us going! We were sat minding our own business, semi falling asleep in the heat but unable to actually sleep because of the flies. So. Many. Flies. And the woman in the caravan next to us made some kind of loud comment about being stared at. Well there was no one else around so she must have been referencing us, she gave us no reason to want to stare at her, she was actually rather gross, but it pissed me off so I stomped off to pitch my tent.
After that was all sorted out I was hot and sweaty again, and the shade had moved so took the chairs and put them in the shade, away from the horrible woman, and read a book for a bit. Later on she came over and tried to casually chat to me about my journey. People are weird.
I had a little walk around the Devils marbles again once it was cooler, but unfortunately the flies were still unbelievably irritating, constantly landing in the ears and eyes. We had dinner just as the sun was setting and we got talking to a young couple travelling in a van, they told us the Grey Nomads don’t like vans and they refer to them as ‘WhizzBangs’ because of the noise they make when they open and close! They are pretty annoying!
The couple, Zan (American) & Piers (Australian), were so nice, and they gave us a cold beer each, something that Dominik had been wishing someone would do since we arrived! We sat chatting to them all evening which was nice, and the German family invited us over for some wine. We were already chatting to Zan & Piers so Simon went over to spend some time with the German family.
I continue to raise money for Just A Drop – they bring sustainable clean water, sanitation and hygiene projects to communities around the world.
663 million people across the globe are living without access to clean, safe water. That’s 1 in 10 people. A child dies every 90 seconds from a water related disease. One third of the worlds population – 2.4 billion people – don’t have access to adequate sanitation.
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