Day 17: Bindoola Falls to Ellenbrae - Katherine to Perth 2022 - CycleBlaze

August 4, 2022

Day 17: Bindoola Falls to Ellenbrae

As I hadn’t had time yesterday I got up early to collect some water. As I approached the top of the cliff, I saw the splash of a crocodile enter the water in the bottom pool. It didn’t look very big and I’d be surprised if it were not a fresh water, as the pools were not that big and not connected. Still I went to another pool further up to get water. Then I had to lug it back up the rocks, as I wasn’t on the designated path. Luckily the rocks were great size for scrambling. I used the handy sign about the walking tracks to hang my filter. But the dicking around doing this meant I didn’t ride out til nearly 7. Two cars passed me in the first five minutes then another two in the next hour and a half I reckon. 

The country today moved out of ranges into jump up country. These are small steep usually rocky hills. At least the road up/down them is usually sealed. The wind was a bit against me as well. The road was pretty good, a lot of times I could ride the freshly graded shoulder, or sometimes even the hard middle and get some speed up! 

I had had a muesli bar and apple for breakfast as couldn’t be bothered with porridge and was getting very hungry and cranky at caravanners who were cheerfully waving at me as they covered me in dust. I was going to stop at the abandoned Durack River homestead but an entire family of Germans had taken the entrance road over as their personal bathroom so I had an emergency ginger nut/lolly stop and kept going to Bamboo Creek. A guy stopped on the way and offered me water, which I accepted so that I didn’t have to mess around with my filter again. 

There was lovely white sand at the creek, with a little pool with surprisingly large fish. I reckon it would’ve been alright to filter but I decided to pollute it more instead by washing the insane amount of dust stuck to sunscreen on my shins.

Then I watched the birds play around the water for about an hour. I decided to go onto the Durack River. It was a bit overcast so not too hot. I arrived at the river and saw the campsites up on the high bank overlooking it which looked nice. 

The Durack river itself also looked quite nice
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But then I saw the Ellenbrae 20k warm showers sign and decided I could totally make that by sunset. 

Obviously after deciding that, the 20k were a slog. 

Especially after I passed this guy
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Here the Gibb starts for real I reckon. I passed an older guy with two flats lamenting that he usually carries two spares and never uses them so he’d risked one this time. Another girl was there helping him so I pushed on. My tyre patches weren’t going to do the job. 

It was slow going and the wind had died down which meant dust from cars hung for ages. I was trying to work out where people were driving to at this time but I’m still not sure. 

Still 5 k and I’m going to be too late for the scones!
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Eventually I slogged it into Ellenbrae. The driveway is 4K long but they’ve helpfully put up signs every kilometre. There was a hill between 4 & 3 that was demoralising but after that it got quicker. I had indeed missed the scones but I bought a Powerade and a ginger beer. And the showers were lovely, they’re open to the sky. I also did some laundry and hung it on the fence like the camp hobo I am. It was nice to sit at a table and cook dinner though, classing it up. 

Surprisingly no one seemed to mind and one lady even gave me a Magnum for dessert. Totally worth the slog!

Today's ride: 90 km (56 miles)
Total: 1,102 km (684 miles)

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Vince McCarthyIt's great that you've scored free ice creams! I've never been offered ice cream 😔
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