(Written by Dave)
We had a very low key rest day in Mt Isa, slept late, had a big brekkie, did some laundry and then rode to town to shop for supplies for the coming wide open stretches of outback. In addition, we started to cull our gear for a shipment home (wherever that is). We have to carry lots of food and extra water over the coming weeks and need to make some room.
In town today we also purchased a 20 litre/5 gallon collapsible water carrier. We have 2 10 litre Ortlieb water bags but I’m just not happy with how they attach to the bikes when full. Imagine 10 litres of liquid in a bag with strap handles on both ends. They are great if you have a flat spot to sit them and aren’t riding over bumps. Unfortunately, we don’t have a flat spot and not many roads are bump free. No matter how I secured them, they ended up moving completely to one side of bike after a few k’s of Queensland bitumen. So… we’ll try this new carrier, which makes a big box shape when full. Bonus, there is only one carrier with this new method. No prizes for guessing who’s bike it will go on.
Tomorrow we plan on cleaning the bikes, completing the package to mail home and of course eating a lot.
Tonight when I went to pay the camp office for the site for tomorrow night I was told that there was another “push biker” in the caravan park tonight, staying in one of the cabins. Not meeting many like minded people in Mt Isa, I decided to knock on his door. Out comes Steve from Melbourne. He’s been on the road a little longer than us and made it to Mt Isa today, staying for a few nights himself. We caught up later in the camp kitchen and agreed to meet to swap more stories in over the coming days. Depending on schedules we may even see each other on the road as we are all heading for Darwin….
And now you’ll ask again, why Darwin. Time for another list. Top 10 reasons for going to Darwin by bicycle:
1. We have never been to Darwin.
2. Darwin makes a nice north point for our trip around Australia, before we head off into the wilds of WA.
3. It’s warm in Darwin but not too warm right now (we think).
4. Katrina, of the famous Cooking for Katrina Youtube videos (see link), lives in Darwin and she has kindly agreed to accept delivery of a package from our tent manufacturer. Katrina used to live in Sydney and we spent many hours riding with her and Jeanette and Ross. I am stretching the friendship a bit and have ordered a few more replacement items to be sent to her.
5. Maybe we can find a place to swim in Darwin without fear of crocodiles.
6. Darwin has an international airport, if the Aussie dollar gets any stronger we can fly to Asia from there.
7. I am sure we can get a good coffee in Darwin.
8. I’ll bet we can get a decent beer in Darwin.
9. I am sure we can get some good food in Darwin.
10. Cane toads (introduced species – really bad) are working their way across Australia and we need to see Kakadu and Darwin before all the native animals are gone.
Seriously, Darwin feels like it will be a completely different part of Australia than we have seen so far and it feels right to include it as part of our trip. We plan to divert a bit on the way and go through Kakadu National Park, a World Heritage listed park in the Northern Territory. It is supposed to be quite beautiful and I am sure will be a nice change from the wide open outback.
Tomorrow, the full Egg and Bacon roll recipe. Stay tuned.