Bike Odyssey
Sydney to Darwin 2001

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Journal for 18-Jul-2001 : Winton
Date: 18/07/2001 (Location=Winton, Dist=181km, Total=2151km)
Early start through Longreach's ridiculously oversized roundabouts. Longreach is right on the Tropic of Capricorn, but I forgot to take a photo. Huge floodway/causeway/bridge system takes the highway over the Thopson river.

Just out of Longreach and Emu tried to play a game of chicken with me. The stupid thing tried to escape from me by setting a collision course. I only avoided a feathery crash by yelling at it. The bird didn't change course, just ran faster, and just fast enough to zip past my front wheel.

Had to get off the road to make way for as a huge mine tip truck being hauled east.

Scenery very dull. Grey brown grasslands. No trees.

Got to see one of the dinky little Queensland rail trains in action. They are totally dwarfed by the road trains.

Great Tailwind had us flying, especially after crosing the watershed between Cooper Creek and the Diamontina River. Here, the rivers never flow to the sea. Three or four times a century the rivers flow enough to flood lake Eyre, but usually don't get that far.

Lunch at a very nice rest area with water tank, toilets and needle disposal. I had trouble tearing myself away.

Approaching Winton the scenery became very spectacular, with breakaway cliffs on the left and the sun's rays beaming through sensational cloud formations. Once under the cloud formations we started riding a bit faster, as it started to spit rain.

Winton an oddly laid out place. Long wide streets in a grid, with all the mini-supermarkets distributed randomly on corner blocks. It took us a long time to find the centre of town, which was down one edge and of to the side. With rain pending, we get the last motel room in town.

It was more fun than it sounds here :-).

David F

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