Tuesday, May 27, 2008

DAY 210: Tennant Creek to Banka Banka Station

Weds 21st May 2008
101 km @ 18.3 km/hr
Sunny, 24 deg C
Elevation of destination 292 m
Distance to date 12713 km (7946 miles)

Up and away by 0830 on a nice sunny day again (what else?). I like the buzz in Tennant Creek; some of the towns where there are only white folks seemed a bit sanitised and artificial, but this place feels more real somehow.
The Stuart Highway was a bit busier than the Overlanders Way from Cloncurry, but still quiet compared to the south and east coast roads. There’s no shoulder but this doesn’t lead to any particular stress; it’s rare that 2 vehicles going in opposite directions pass at the same time.
I stopped at Threeways Roadhouse and had a free (driver reviver) cup of tea, before ploughing on with a continuing fresh SE tailwind blowing me along nicely. The landscape isn’t quite so bleak as it was with some bigger trees. It’s flat for the next 30km, but then starts to undulate with shallow rises and falls of several km length - easy enough. My bum was somewhat sore so that preoccupied me quite a bit today, and it’s annoying that it’s started up again after a couple of weeks pleasant respite.
I met a Japanese family at the Rest Area at Attack Creek and we had an interesting chat for a while as I made tea and sandwich.
After 101km I arrived at Banka Banka Station canping area ($6 pppn) and was pretty impressed - it’s very good value with fully-equipped camp kitchen, good showers, and cheap beer at only $2.50/tinny. I was allowed to set up in an area not normally used for camping, with lush grass - what a rarity out here! The Corellas were gathering in the trees, preparing themselves for their dusk raucousness, as I cooked a large serving of pasta and salami.
I went over for a beer and was amazed to find the couple from Birmingham camping here, whom I met in South Australia some 4 or 5 months ago - what a coincidence! They are heading in the opposite direction to me - to Cairns - after having done Darwin and the north. I never expected to see them again, but it was a nice surprise.I don't suppose we'll cross paths again though.

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