June 3, 2019
After many kilometres, rough gravel roads and winds both favourable and malicious we mounted our bikes for the final leg of our cross continent journey. What remained was a mere 70 kilometres of surfaced road and a mix of side and tail winds. We took advantage of a leisurely morning in Normantown to visit their railway station and to see the replica of Krys, the largest crocodile ever captured. This 8.3 metre (28′-4”) monster was shot by Krystina Pawlowski in 1957 on the Norman River near the town. It was estimated to weigh over two tons. Now you know why folks don’t go skinny dipping in the Norman River or any other river around these parts.
Our ride to Karumba on the coast was a pleasant one. We are crossing savanna lands but grasses seem to be in short supply. We passed a massive collection point for cattle at about the halfway point and over grazing may account for the lack of savanna like grasslands. It might also be the two cyclones that hit this area earlier this year. The winds were mostly good and the the road mostly flat. We made record time and had plenty of time to catch a beer or two at the Animal Bar that is part of the Karumba Hotel. From there it was a short ride to Karumba Point where the river flows into a bay just off of the Pacific Ocean and part of the northern coast of Australia. There were cheers, traditional tire dips and bike raises to celebrate.
A total of 13 riders made the trip assisted by 6 staff from Bike and Wheels. The hard work of the staff kept us supplied with the food, water and gear transport that allowed us to cross the dry and sparsely populated Outback. Ralph, Angie, Andy, Kylie, Frank and Niels did a great job seeing that we had places to camp, food to eat and plenty of water. Our thanks to them for a job well done and cheers to all the riders for having the grit to challenge the Outback and win!