(written by Nancy)
Cold overnight but not as chilly this morning as it was yesterday. We did not get up and going until almost 7 as it was very dark in the campsite. We seemed to be moving slow but made oatmeal and coffee to warm us up. Steve was up and ready to go before we were so we told him we would see him along the road somewhere. We were both aiming for Barkly Homestead, about 125-130k down the road.
We finally left camp just before 9 and thank goodness the wind seemed to be a bit more in our favour. It certainly was not as cold riding as it was yesterday so that helped a lot. About 25k from camp Dave’s back wheel pinged a bit and we stopped to find that Dave had broken a spoke. Bummer… So we have to take all the bags on the back and dig into the right bag to find all of the tools and spokes, which of course are at the bottom. Knowing we have a long day ahead this is really not what we needed.
It actually only took about 30min for Dave to replace the spoke – not any easy task but it went well. When we were putting all of the bags back on he noticed that the bar on the Ortleib back bag had come off the bag – the screw had come loose. Okay, another slight delay while we took the stuff back out of the bag to find the screw back inside and then hook the bar back on. Nothing like standing in the wind in the middle of nowhere for close to an hour trying to do repairs like that!
By now we were feeling well behind a schedule to get us to Barkly Homestead any time very early. Slight pressure to make sure we got there, as we did not have any extra water to do a bush camp. Thankfully the winds were kind to us and we had several stretches of 30+kmh riding which made us feel a bit better. We stopped for sandwiches about 70k in and then stopped again at about 85k to eat some apples we have been carrying for ages.
We finally made it to Barkly Station about 3pm – not bad for all of the delays we had. This place is such a surprise – the caravan park is very nice and it has some really great camping areas with nice grass and picnic tables. Not at all what we expected out here in the middle of nowhere! There is also a restaurant so we will splurge and eat out tonight.
Tomorrow we plan to have another bush camp at a rest area about 117k from here. Then we will have about 95k or so to get to Tennant Creek, one of the larger towns around here where we can resupply. Looking forward to some days off soon, as I am getting quite tired from these long days, especially when we have to bush camp!
Dave’s wheel seems to be holding up well now and he has checked all the screws on the bags, so I guess the only thing to discuss now is how we get those dang water bladders on the back of the bikes…