Cycle day 19 - Halls Creek to Mary Pool Rest Area - Far too much luggage - CycleBlaze

May 17, 2024

Cycle day 19 - Halls Creek to Mary Pool Rest Area

Halls Creek to Mary Pool Rest Area = 113km.  1322km cycle toured so far on this trip.

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Todays high got to 31 degrees and was clear and sunny all day (every day!) Not sure on this mornings low as we were in the hotel!

Winds are finally a lovely tailwind for us (hence the long distance ridden today).  It started about just after 8am and was blowing from an east south east direction.  Our road goes predominantly in a south west direction and pending on the road sometimes it was fully at our back and sometimes cross our shoulder from behind.  All in all it was a great help for us today!

So I left you last night to watch the footy game that was on TV between Geelong and the Gold Coast Suns  as they were playing in Darwin - well I thought yay I get to see a whole game as it started early in WA time and  won't fall asleep - well I lasted until 3/4 time and then I fell asleep.  Besides it was  a disappointing game to watch as Geelong was loosing so it was only natural that I would fall asleep!

Alarm woke us up at 4.30am and on the road at 5.45am.  Just at the break of day and enought so everyone could see us.  Halls Creek is a sad place and like alot of the towns it is very confronting to see when you come from a place like Bendigo.  You feel blah because it doesn't have any community feel to it.  The Australian locals stick to themselves and the First Nations people wander around and keep to themselves - there is no attempt to address the issues as I suppose they are numerous and bascially there is no one solution for all.  What I did see as we pedalled out as it is a slight rise so naturally I am going slow was a local policewoman come out of the station and give a First Nations man a cuppa - that was nice to see.

Anyway onto todays ride.  After listening to Dad go on like a pork chop about this Mary Pool Rest Area we decided that since we have a good tailwind for the next few days that we would attempt to get there - it is signed as 110km (120km if you go by some of the road signs!).  We also knew that the terrain would be either flat or flattish!

About 17km from Halls Creek is the turnoff to Alice Springs via the Tanami road!

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Not sure on the distance but it is a looooooong way on unsealed roads
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There is not much caravan traffic going in the same direction as us. Just a few and then there is plenty coming in the opposite direction from Broome.  I guessed this would happen and we would meet the ones that were around Albany when you were travelling Leanne and Russell back in March/April and they would make their way north to Broome and then come across and we would meet them either in Broome or just before or after it.

The terrain is not flattish with no an escarpment in sight!  and also hardly any trees about either at times!

Makes it very easy for all to pass us as there is no hills or curves to block peoples line of sightwhen overtaking us!
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Every now and then we get a series of rocks to look at and wonder how that arrangement came abotu.

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Our days ride is broken into lots of 20km.  We stop for a break every 20km, with a coffee break at 40km, generally lunch is at 60km and 80km is the minimum distance we should cover when riding out here.  But todays ride, we knew was going to be longer so we had a dried fruit and snake break at 60km and then lunch at 80km.  We struggled to find shade but  the wind was blowing so that was cooling to a point.  Now Neil is looking looking looking for a spot that might give shade and as he does this the kms start ticking over and you are quite a few kms over your lunch km target.  Meanwhile I am hungry and cranky and think just pullover and we'll have our hats on and our backs to the sun ... 

Only Neil looks for shade in a treeless plain!
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So we are feeling quite good at 80km and the legs are weary and tired but with the help of the wind we are confident we will get there.

However like any nuances with the road it is not always going in the west direction and sometimes it will turn southwards for a few kms and that at 100km can be agonising!  It is starting to get really hot now and no shade from hills or trees alongside the road.  Finally we see the turnoff and cross over the Mary River itself.

Not alot of water left running and hoping there are still pools of water at the rest area.
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We get here about 1.30pm and we are knackered and hot and can see that there is still some water in the river pools so we can get rid off all the dried salt on our skin.  There are quite a few people here when we arrive and we choose our spot in shade and a nice big clear area for us

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Above where Neils head is that entire area as I type this is completely full with caravans.  We got here just in time as about 30mins after us everyone started to arrive.

Checking out the causeway and the best place to get in and have a wash (with bathers on since there are so many people!)
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We decide to wash and cool down first then have a cuppa  and so we changed into bathers and walking across the causeway again we saw this ...

some sort of monitor
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Bill ShaneyfeltMatches photos of yellow spotted monitor fairly well.

http://reptilesofaustralia.com/lizards/monitors/Varanus_panoptes.html
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4 weeks ago
Janet O'BrienTo Bill Shaneyfelt👌
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4 weeks ago
I think it was annoyed everyone was stopping and taking photos of it from above!
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We cross one pool and clamber over rocks to get to a nice spot away from the causeway

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nice spot although as you walk in the water there is alot of organic matter that we disturbed and so it excited all the little fish and they come hanging aroundgetting their nibbles from the disturbed matter.
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The water is warm 

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We will try for another long day tomorrow and have filled up the bladder with this creek water to be used as our washing water so we can save all our bottled water for drinking.  Since the wind will be strong tomorrow we will endeavour to do a minimum of 90km.  So instead of the 4 days from Halls Creek to Fitzroy Crossing we should do it in 3!

Today's ride: 113 km (70 miles)
Total: 1,322 km (821 miles)

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Bill ShaneyfeltNice monitor shots! A friend of mine, Dr. Eric Pianka did a lot of field research on monitors back in the 70s-90s. So much that he became known as "The Lizard Man."

I met him in '63 when he was working on his PHD and helped with his field research for a few weeks that and the following summer.

https://integrativebio.utexas.edu/about/history/history-of-ut-herpetology/the-lizard-man
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4 weeks ago
Janet O'BrienTo Bill Shaneyfelt👍
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4 weeks ago