Day 31 - north to Mataranka - Unfinished Business - CycleBlaze

May 31, 2023

Day 31 - north to Mataranka

I thought that I had done enough yesterday to make today easy. But interesting things happened forcing me into a very fast last half hour.

I had gone no distance when I came across more mounds that needed defrocking. One of them advertised a construction company on the Gold Coast so I texted them later in the day. I have not heard back!

I sent a message explaining why dressing termite mounds is vandalism
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I would have liked Larrimah to be a bit more than 57 km but once again, it tempted me. It was a lovely ride there and on the way I had the luck of a brolga flying across the road in front of me about 3 m above the ground. I had a drink at the pub and took advantage of the Telstra phone.

Something for my brother, Clifford, here as he starts another season at the Sundeck - Australia's highest hotel
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The Stuart Highway has a plethora of WW2 sites - airfields, field hospitals, etc.

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I pulled in for a quality break after 85 km. For the first time I thought that it was rather hot. I pulled an AFL Jersey from a mound. I could do nothing about the paint on it. It was then time to sit back and eat a huge stack of cheese and biscuits, fruit, scroggin and to brew a coffee. Life's tough in the outback!

What a beauty! This is not the defaced mound. These clowns do not go more than 20 m from the road.
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I felt good after the break and thought that I would do the 50 km to Mataranka quickly. Things conspired against me. First I stopped and looked at the birdlife on Warlock Ponds - egrets, brolgas, etc. A little further on I encountered a fellow driving along the verge holding a firestick out the door.

The firestick vehicle
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The resulting fire
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What you would never realise, unless cycling or walking, is that this flushes a large number of reptiles onto the road. These poor critters fall prey to kites or to cars and then kites. That happens if there is not a touring cyclist on hand. I chased any number of skinks and dragons from the road and caught at least a dozen slow moving...........

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Bill ShaneyfeltNice! Looks kinda bulgy in the middle.
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1 year ago
Don't get too excited. It's 60 cm long, feels like a snake, behaves like one but is, in fact, Burton's legless lizard, Lialis burtonis
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I got past the burning, my duties as a reptile saviour ended and I sprinted to Mataranka. 

I love these outback roads to stations. Imagine, 144 km of dirt just to get from Dry River Station to the highway
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John GrantYou could almost imagine they named it just to discourage visitors . . .
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1 year ago

All finished with a fine conversation with Matthew,  a teacher, who is part of a group introducing school children from Sydney to indigenous children here. What a fine idea!

Today's ride: 135 km (84 miles)
Total: 3,811 km (2,367 miles)

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