Thursday, July 03, 2008

DAY 250: Victoria River to bush camp Dingo Springs Creek

Mon 30th June 2008
76 km @ 18.7 km/hr
Sunny, 31 deg C
Elevation of /destination 78 m
Distance to date 14817 km (9261 miles)

I slept soundly last night and felt much better this morning. I was up a little late and Alistair was just about to leave having been up for ages. I thought maybe I’d check out this area before moving on, and might even stay here another night since the caravan park is so quiet and spacious. We swopped e-mail adresses so that we could keep in touch - we are probably both going the same way to Broome. I’ve no doubt we’ll meet again soon. Alistair is great company, very chatty, and a good companion.
After breakfast I rode out to the Escarpment Walk just 1 or 2km west. This is a 3km round trip up a steepish rocky path ending up some 150m above the river valey on the escarpment edge. The pics will hopefully speak for themselves, but the view is very nice from the top, and the walk was well worthwhile. Heat was starting to radiate from the hot, dry red rocks as the sun climbed higher.
After a welcome iced coffee back at the roadhouse I decided to pack up and move on, since I was content I’d seen sufficient of the area, and was eager to seek new delights. There was a light SE wind blowing that helped push me along a little, but I was happy to ride slowly through Gregory NP and admire the rocky mountain scenery. It is pretty stunning and the colours so Australian. The road was pretty quiet except for the usual caravanners, and quite a good surface. There’s a lot of roadkill - mostly Agile Wallaby by the looks of them - these poor beggars obviously weren’t agile enough against the merciless vehicles! There were quite a few very smelly cattle corpses lying at the side of the road too, which must have made some impact even on a roadtrain.
It was easy riding and before I knew it I’d covered 55km without a break, so I lingered for a while by a shady creek watching the striped fish going about their business. A little later a kind couple in a campervan stopped to see if I had enough water, but I was OK. It was around 1600 and I thought I’d stop short of the next roadhouse / CP at Timber Creek and camp wild. My “Cycling Outback Australia” guide listed a good site at Dingo Springs Creek, and it did indeed look OK - well off the road and just about far enough from the Creek (which has plenty of water) not to worry about crocs getting me (I hope!). After setting up I strolled over to the creek and there was a nice pool just away from the main channel that looked perfect for washing the dust off my hot body. It was about 2 or 3’ deep and a walk around confirmed there was no croc in there, and it would not be easy given the shallow rocky pool entrance for one to get in, so I stripped off and got in - delicious and cool, a real treat! I washed a couple of things in there too before getting out and got dry without a towel in just a few minutes by moving around in the warm late-afternoon sunshine. It was perfectly quiet and peaceful as I read the paper and sipped my first cup of tea.
Dinner was ready just as it was getting dark, and the temperature dropped noticeably, and as soon as I’d cleared away I sat in the tent with legs in sleeping bag whilst typing this.

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