May 25 & 26, 2019
The last two days have been some of the most pleasant of rides for the group. The scenery has changed from flat desert to a landscape with more trees, more greenery and undulating hills. The winds have been softer and even favourable at times. Even the flies have backed off a bit but NEVER entirely. It has been a pleasure to be riding with every rider able to finish the days ride without feeling drained of all strength.
On the way out of Boulia I stopped to take a picture of the town’s primary attraction, an information centre dedicated to the mysterious Min Min Lights. These unexplained lights can be seen doing strange things in the distance a short ways out of town. My guess is that they are like the Marfa Lights in Texas or the Deacon Lights near home in Ontario. Most likely car lights or farm equipment lights that folks convince themselves as being some unexplained phenomenon. Imagination and suggestion are the primary ingredients. Either that or swamp gas.
We left Boulia making an early start heading for a roadside bush camp site about 100 kilometres distant. This would be primitive camping with sanitary facilities being a hole dug into the cement hard earth. What the location lacked in amenities it made up for with a spectacular sunset view. Breakfast was the usual fight with the flies to see if I could eat my porridge before they got into my mouth.
Sunday the 26th of May was another early start with everything apparently in our favour. Winds we expected to be at our back, the road reasonably smooth and our distance a reasonable 100 kilometres. Along the way we would be treated to a rare mid-ride town. In the Outback the distances between settlements can be a lot further than a day’s ride so having the prospect of a place to buy a cold drink along the way was a real treat for us. Dajarra did not disappoint. Even through it was a Sunday the local motel and roadhouse was open with an ice cold sarsaparilla to cool my throat. Dajarra is a largely Aborigional community that was once a major centre for the cattle industry. Cattle still play abig role today as they do across the Outback with jobs tending, hauling, rounding up and generally getting them to the table of hungry Australians. We met some local children enjoying a Sunday treat from the roadhouse. They were interested in our bicycles and where we were going.
Our lunch stop was at a location that I think I can sum up by paraphrasing Paul Simon’s words from the song, Dangling Conversations: A real life watercolour on an idyllic afternoon. A cool, green clear water pond restfully shaded. Major Mitchell parrots swooped and soared over the water while we rested our legs and ate our sandwiches. It was the best lunch stop so far on the trip.
With the landscape more varied now the kilometres seemed to drift by as we peddled our way over the last 40 kilometres to another rustic, roadside camping site. Break out the shovels and the TP for tonight; tomorrow we camp at Mount Isa.