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Long, long way into Winton – Longreach to Winton (180/3049km)

(Written by Dave)

Another icy night – the internet said 1.3 degrees when we got up at 5AM! We had everything packed the night before but still had to eat a mountain of brekkie. We were ready to ride about 6:15 but it was too dark. We finally left at about 6:45, with everything we own on, plus our rear red flashing lights. There was almost no wind but that’s pretty common in the early morning. It was very cold riding with lots of blowing on fingers to keep them warm.

Nancy in cold morning leaving Longreach

 

Sunrise at Longreach

It did not take long for the sun to come up and things gradually got warmer thereafter. By 8:00, we were stopping to take a layer off and remove the long finger gloves. As normal, the light in the morning was great. I could take a hundred photos but today I only stopped a few times. We had a long ways to ride and needed to keep moving. There were lots of kangaroos out and about and sadly many fresh dead ones on the road. We both were thinking “how could there be any left” with all the carcases.

There were no towns at all today. We stopped for morning tea and lunch at road side rest areas. Both rest areas had water tanks that had no warnings not to drink. We carried about 15 litres with us at the start of the day but probably could have had less. The last rest stop, 45k from Winton, where there was supposed to be water had a couple signs saying not to drink, validating our choice to carry water. We would have been out of water by then if we had not had our extra supply. We had one on-road repair after Nancy’s front pannier popped the screw so the hook that goes over the rack separated from the rack. Thankfully the screw was still there so it was an easy fix.

Lamingtons for first morning tea

 

Dave doing on-road repair on Nancy's pannier

The wind was our friend for a good part of the day. The calm morning turned into a tailwind about 8:30. We had a nice breeze pushing us until about 1PM. We still had to push pretty hard because of the distance but we rode 120k by noon and had our highest average daily speed for the trip, so, it must have been helping. The road turned a little to the west as we got closer to Winton. This made for more of a cross wind and a little harder finish. It never got hot during the day, I’m guessing it was no more than 23 tops.

Views today

 

Nancy with welcome egg and bacon roll in Winton

We are staying at a one of three caravan parks in town – not bad for a town with 900 people. Both of us were too tired to cook dinner so are celebrating the big day’s success with dinner at the famous Tattersails (Tatts) Hotel. Nice place, full of lots of grey nomads as there is no other place to eat in town. We’ve seen many of them previously so it’s fun to compare stories and make up lies. On the whole, they are all pretty amazed we rode 180k today – matter of fact I am as well! We are pretty dang tired so should sleep well tonight.

Tomorrow we are staying here. The next town is 170k, which we are not up to back to back. There are a number of interesting things to see in town. This town is purportedly the place where the famous ‘Waltzing Matilda’ was first performed and Banjo Patterson supposedly wrote the song on a station near here. There are also some dinosaur fossils relatively nearby – the Lark Quarry is the site of the world’s only recorded evidence of a dinosaur stampede. Not sure if we will make it out to the dinosaurs as it is about 110k south of here – a bit too far for a ride on a rest day. There are also lots of opals in the area and there is large visitor centre and many shops. We’ll check them out and rest our legs before another big day on Thursday. But first, a good night’s sleep…

Sunset in Winton

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14 responses to “Long, long way into Winton – Longreach to Winton (180/3049km)

  1. wow big Ks guys, good to see your bikes can handle it….well ok, if Dave didn’t pack all the heavy gear on your bike Nancy the pannier wouldn’t have popped a screw….. you have a good eye for pictures Dave keep them coming…

    • Thanks Ross. I had the exact same thought about my pannier – Dave’s been lurking around them in the mornings… Good luck to Jeanette in Hawaii and have fun with the Mai-tais!!

      Nancy

  2. Wow – what a ride. Beautiful pictures. We need some closeups of the egg and bacon rolls. Maybe a “special issue” devoted to those. A Google search of the subject gives way too many hits and variations – and even a youtube video of making an egg & bacon roll at an Australian McDonald’s – which looks no where as tasty as what I see you eating at your stops. Send a few recipes for the perfect outback egg & bacon roll “brekkie” my way. (Nancy – Does Dave really use words like “brekkie” when talking to you?)

    • It was a long day! Cold in the morning but getting up early does help you get the good sunrise pictures. Good to get a long one under our belts and made pretty good time. We will work on an egg and bacon roll special issue and will try to get a close-up of one. And no, they are not like the ones at McDonalds… Interestingly, since we’ve gotten to Queensland they offer egg and bacon burgers, which are basically egg and bacon rolls with lettuce, beetroot, tomato and often cheese. I prefer the more traditional egg and bacon rolls that just have the fried egg, copious amounts of bacon and bbq sauce. Hits the spot after a long day on the bike.

      And yes, I do say ‘brekkie’ when I talks to Nancy – it’s what breakfast is called around here…

  3. Way to go you two! That is one heck of a long way!!! Enjoy your day off.

  4. Enjoying your text and pics so much. Being at Winton sounds pretty good, we turned around at a sheep property halfway from Longreach when we were there several years ago. Went to Brisbane for the ‘Ekka’ then.

    Is that in fact a hamburger with egg and bacon, and hold the beef pattie?

    Cheers!

    • Hi Rose – I think that is an accurate description of a Queensland egg and bacon burger! Winton is a cute town – pretty small but interesting stuff, dinosaurs, opals, all kinds of things. Good bakery too – always an important asset for a town of any size!

      • Note that you like your coffee too! That’s what floats my boat.
        A journalist/ author by the name of Evan McHugh wrote about spending a year in Birdsville….he and his wife were thrilled to find coffee there. I got caught near Gladstone recently, the lady in a bakery agreed she had a ‘machine’, she just didn’t say it was a push button job.

      • Good coffee is getting harder to find as we go west – the bakery in Winton being a notable exception. I fear what we’ll find in the territory.

  5. I was inspired to do my first ride in quite awhile yesterday (I’ve been in NC and my bike was in OR). A whole 10 miles and I was ready to stop by the end. It but 180 km in perspective, that’s for sure.

    • Good on ya for getting back on the bike. We just think of 180 in 10k increments and it doesn’t sound so hard. Another ride of 170 for tomorrow does sound hard though… Oh well, we will just keep peddaling…!

  6. Nice pictures Dave. Great to see the top of continent at daybreak – just beautiful! Nice big day for you guys. Keep up the great effort – even in winter. Couple more weeks and winter solstice will be done and the days will start to get a bit longer, and perhaps a bit warmer. Enjoy the day off. You earned it.

    • Thanks Andy – we have been enjoying our day off. I think we have eaten something in every eating establishment in town and seen as much as we can by walking around. It was not so cold this morning and is supposed to be warmer tomorrow morning (7C) so hopefully will be easier to get up and going. Another 170k day tomorrow so we have to be on the road pretty early. Thankfully the local bakery is open at 6 for breakfast so we can pack up as much as possible tonight and watch the sunrise while having hot coffee and baked goods prepared by someone else!!

      We sent you a little birthday gift in the mail from Longreach – something everyone in the Outback should have. Hope you like it!

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