Day 12 - 31 May 2011
Sullivan's campground to Dingo Springs Creek
Distance about 100km
Because there's not many sites along this road - and actually i didn't stop to explore all that were there anyway, i am doing quite long days on the bike. But the main reason is at the time i thought i was short of time to complete the route and still meet my departure flight from Darwin on 20th July, which turned out to be 26th July when i checked.
7.30am Breakfast At Sullivans
½ cup oats
1 spoon sultanas
1 cup milk
10 almonds - later i would cut this right back. Too much fat right.
1 cup cold nescafe
I saw a dingo this morning. It was too quick for me to get a snap.
I got some brochures about Gregory National Park from the helicopter pilot behind the counter at Victoria River - its what he did between joy flights flying tourists over the escarpments of Gregory Nat Park. He was a kiwi and new to the area and wasn't able to tell me much. His suggestion of water in Lost Creek was wrong. I guess it has dried up since he last looked.
I rode on to Joe??s camp. A few other vans were there. A French couple seemed to be arguing. Before lunch I took the delightful walk up to the escarpment. IT was signposted with interesting information about the plants and the uses that aborigines made of them. There was the livistonia palm, figs, white berries, a fern, a note on bower birds nests and the white gum. I didn??t see the aboriginal rock art I had been expecting. Perhaps I had misunderstood or perhaps the rocks had fallen off the cliff. It was well worth taking the short detour to get here even if it brought face to face with a headwind again as i peddled back to the highway.
I had lunch on returning to the bike. I had done only 30km but felt hungry. IT was already about 12.
Back on the highway. No water at Lost creek so I would have to flag down a passing vehicle. The first two didn??t stop. I realised I was using the come here handle signal used in india rather than the palm up stop sign we use here.
Water is in somewhat short supply along this road so from time to time its necessary to flag down a passing caravan to top up although today i could fill up at Victoria River but the water had been so “contaminated” by chlorine and having discovered that Lost Creek was dry, I felt it justified to flag down someone to get some better water. Caravaners at least will drink soft drinks, bottled water if they want water and hot drinks. Cyclists don't have that luxury.
The raod was long, fairly flat and easy with some very long straight stretches. Mostly I found it easygoing and made good time with only very short water breaks.
4pm ish: snack - the tank was empty here and I thought i had 30km still to go
1 cup cold nescafe
I decided to stop by 5.30 at the lastest and when I passed a nice looking creek, I had a double think and turned back to make camp, especially once I saw a track that I was sure would take me to a good part of the creek. I was surprised to find the springs. They are like a miniature Pammukale in Turkey with limestone pools terracing down to some falls and then large pools. When I first walked down to the pool a baby croc jumped into the water. I didn??t actually see it but I doubt it was anyting else, certainly not a salty, unless it was a goanna. The pool was clear and I could see the bottom. What a gorgeous little place.
I grabbed my water bottles and bag and went up to fill them up and that??s when I found the limestones pools and realised it was a spring - despite the name of the creek I had not really thought I would find the source. In the small pools were crabs.
Back at camp, I got some firewood together, and gathered my things for a bath and headed back to the springs. No time to take a snap today but tomorrow morning I will get one although the light won??t be in the right direction then.
All cleaned up I pitched my tent and lit the fire for dinner. The beans seem to be taking longer to cook every night. Its hard cooking without a torch. I can??t see what??s going on inside the pot.
Its quite a chilly night and the fire was lovely to stand beside for a bit.
…Phew! A truck just came into my camp. Its 9.34pm. Luckily for me they weren??t axe murderers and went away apologising for the ??invasion?. “Sorry for invading mate” one deep male voice called out.
The escarpments this morning were quite nice to ride through especially with the golden morning light.
I am starting to notice weight loss.
I saw an interesting terraced hill this afternoon. I didn??t photograph it though as it was in shadow and would have been an awful picture so this rough word picture will have to do.
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