Cycle day 43 - Minilya Roadhouse to telstra tower bushcamp - Far too much luggage - CycleBlaze

June 18, 2024

Cycle day 43 - Minilya Roadhouse to telstra tower bushcamp

Cycle day 43 -Minilya roadhouse to Telstra tower bushcamp (approx 8km south of Mardathuna road) = 89km.  3359km cycle toured so far on this trip.

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Well we got stuck in Minilya!  So the story begins very early Monday morning.  The weather forecast was always going to be 80% chance of rain today but only 10-20mm.  So we were hoping to get as far down towards Carnarvon on Monday as there was going to be strong winds for Tuesday and Wednesday.  So while having our brekky we looked at the radar and could see yip there is going to be rain but maybe not too much and as it is moving on the radar now we should be able to move by 9am.  So the first band comes and goes and then the 2nd band comes and goes.  It is looking good to start soon but on the radar there is another band that has just formed and is on its way - we wait for that one ... it came and never went!  Far out we couldn't believe it.  We watched it in real life and also watched it on the radar and could see this 3rd band was big and slow moving.  We could also see that the water was beginning to pool on the ground and we could not camp.  We were under a large shelter watching all this so if we decided we could reset up in here - dusty but dry, although the dry area was getting smaller and smaller with the incoming pooling of water but there was a spade we could always redirect the water away from the shelter.  As the last of the caravans began to leave Neil asked one of them if he could grab 5L of water.  As the caravaner was filtering his water from the bore water tap and before he put it away Neil asked.  They were fine with that.  At that point we had decided to stay but not in the tent but in one of the dongas (nothing else was available but dongas or tenting!).  The reason for asking for the water was because we bought 4 x 1.5L bottles of water from the roadhouse and this is the receipt ...

the miscellaneous goods is for 4 x 1.5L bottles of water!
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Heather CookWould have been cheaper to buy more beer!!
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1 month ago

Yip it is cheaper to drink the petrol or diesel than drink water!  That works out to be $34 for 6L of water so $5.66 per litre of water!  Precious!

The donga was $120 for just a room with a bed, fridge and jug oh and a TV that didn't have reception due to too much rain!

Brace yourself for what is behind the door
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It is actually not too bad - it is a shame that we still had to use the unisex showers and toilets - of which 1 had developed a series leak in the roof!
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Sharon O'BrienHeck that’s depressing 120 bucks & still have to use the shared bathroom :( still at least it’s dry lol
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1 month ago
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The split cycle heater went straight on to dry out our clothes.  At first it was set too 24 degrees but that got too warm over the day so it came down to 20 degrees and that was liveable.  

There was a motorcylist that pulled up at the same time realising that the rain was here to stay for the day.  Another donga also had a cycle tourist as well but he stayed the night before also in a donga.  He was Mattieus from Germany and Neil just chatted with him all the time.  Neil was impressed as he thought Mattieus had probably cycled more than him!

The good thing about the dongas, although old, they had a large awning over the front where the bikes and gear could be stored.  However throughout the course of the day the water did start to come in on the paved area.

the water rose to the front of the crack so these were moved to the front of the donga.
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So it rained basically all day and the system was really slow to move and if anything what started out as a small system just grew and formed more and more when out at sea.

this photo was taken at 11am
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this photo was taken at 5.30pm
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Sharon O'BrienThank god you decided to not set up your tent!!
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1 month ago

Now I did feel sorry for myself and Neil until I got into the room and began to listen to what had happened to the couple next door to us.  It was a young Indian couple heading to Darwin to work.  Previously the day before we had heard that 2 cars had filled up with unleaded petrol and by the time they got to drive out their cars just played up.  Now 2 cars straight after filling up conk out means something is wrong with the petrol.  The roadhouse rings up head office and straight away they shut down ALL the pumps (unleaded  and diesel) the cars are exhibiting symptoms of water in the petrol.  This poor Indian couple had to spend the night in the donga (free of charge - you would hope they threw in dinner as well!) and were patiently waiting for the tow truck to pick up their car and also the backpackers car that was the 2nd vehicle.  The tow truck came up from Carnarvon and the couple have to go back to Carnarvon and wait for their car to be fixed.  They have to be in Darwin by Thursday - and we don't think the car will be fixed in time as filters will have to be changed and if none in stock - well ... so I soon stopped feeling sorry for myself, I would rather my situation which compared to theirs is not really a situation!

The towie didn't have a raincoat!
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But wait there is more!  Because all the bowsers were shut there was complete and utter chaos in the carpark as caravans and cars would pull up to fill up and soon realised that the pumps were all shut.  Alot of scratching their heads and trying to work out if they have enough fuel to continue on or have to stay put to wait until the fuel is checked (this could be days). For non-outback travellers the next fuel stop is at Nanutarra 230km, Carnarvon 140km or Coral Bay 105km so depending on which way you are going and if you had let the fuel in the vehicle get just a little too low!

I think these are peahens and they enjoyed the rain but I think by mid morning they too were over it and refused to step in water and just jumped from shed, to fence to another shed!
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So we just sat out the day in our little donga and every now and then we would stick out our heads to see if the rain had stopped - it finally stopped at about 9am.

I have to admit I did sleep well last night, it was a firm bed and  used my camping pillow and slept right through to 6am so that definitely is a first for me as I don't do 'strange' beds.  As you know we don't do cabin, hotel or donga accomodation unless we REALLY have too!

This morning the skies were still grey and the forecast was for no rain so we were on the road at 7am.  Just down from the roadhouse was the rest area and that was full.  Yesterday was not a great day to be on the roads at all for anyone so I think alot of travellers utilised the rest areas

this rest area is less than 500m from the roadhouse!
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The BOM and Elders both listed Minilya and Carnarvon as only getting 27mm of rain - I think they forgot a 1 in front of the 27mm!  This is our 4th rain event and 4th one that has been grossly underestimated by the BOM.  I suppose the consequence of underestimating is not community effecting - like when they underestimated in Melbourne ... nec minute the Maribyrnong river is flooded and taken out streets of houses, or Rochester is flooded ... again!  Nothing like that is likely to occur here if more rain falls than predicted.  It only affects the travellers and if they are on dirt roads or not!

We know more than 27mm fell and we are guesstimating that at least 60-70mm fell.  If it was only 27mm then you wouldn't get flooding in the floodways!

yeah let the truck go through first to see how deep it is!
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We crossed about 4 of these this morning and every truck that went through before us really slowed down.  And as you can see it is our side of the road that is the deepest so you automatically go to the other side of the road (when the road is clear!)

some of the floodways had a good flow on them, and if you went on the shallow side or right side of the road the water never came up and over the pedals so the shoes only got a little bit wet!
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Sharon O'BrienI bet you thought of Dad & his expertise at driving through floodways lol 😂
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1 month ago

On our last floodway it was a long one and broken into sections.  So we made sure that the road was clear and hoped like hell that no cars did come in front of us as we are riding (like you are suppose to) on the wrong side or shallow side of the floodway.  The last one was about 150m long and just on the last bit I could see a car oncoming and i wondered if it was going to stop and wait for us and it left it to the last minute to stop - I really thought it was going to come head on with us - believe me there are cars that would do just that to a cyclist here in Oz!

I probably should mention that the winds that were predicted actually did occur - one thing Elders is always correct on is the effin wind!  It was a strong headwind today and we were prepared for it.  Our road is basically straight south and the winds are now going to be coming from the south direction until we get to Perth at least.  Occassionally we hope to get a northerly and we will most definitely  make hay when we do!  So the winds were around 25-35km per hour (and they are forecasted to be stronger tomorrow)  We wanted to get at least 80km in today so that would leave only 60km tomorrow when the winds will be even stronger than today.  We divided our ride into 15km lots and we averaged around 14-15km per hour so that was a pretty good days ride.  By the end of it we were shattered but we are alot fitter than when we first started and should recover over night to do it all again tomorrow.

We found a campspot at a Telstra tower -hence the blog post tonight! and as you can see the day turned out to be blue skies!

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Sharon O'BrienGreat to see the blue skies again, have been getting my vitamin d fix from all your sunshine & blue skies lol 😆
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1 month ago
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Heather CookSo looks like all that rain didn't get rid of all the flies!
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1 month ago

Tomorrow we reach Carnarvon and will now only stay there for 2 nights and not 3 nights like we planned - with the days rest at Nanutarra and another in Minilya we feel we are rested enough to tackle the last leg from Carnarvon to Kalbarri and then use our extra days somewhere  south or at Kalbarri where there are nicer spots to stay at.

Today's ride: 89 km (55 miles)
Total: 3,359 km (2,086 miles)

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