Bike Odyssey
Sydney to Darwin 2001

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Journal for 26-Jul-2001 : Barkley Homestead
Date: 26/07/2001 (Location=Barkley Homestead, Dist=125km, Total=3082km)
Wind came up sometime between 9pm and 1am and screamed all night. Windmill groaning under the strain.

Slept in due to cold wind comming up from the south off the deserts. Very cold and unpleasant.

First 40km quite hard riding, with lots of nice arid vegetation scenery. On the tops of ridges we can see for eons. The Barkley Tablelands are huge !!!

Short 6k section due north, great fun cruising along at more than 35 clicks.

Wilunya Store a tiny tuck shop that's permanently closed.

Lunch at a rest another area with a disconected windmill. Here the water still flows from the bore under its own pressure, into the rest area tank, and overflowing into a permanent water hole.

Thousands of finches swarming around the rest area near the waterhole. They attack the water at speed and in flocks of over a hundred at a time to dive in for a very quick drink. Overhead a kyte patrols and occasionly dives down to pick off a finch for brunch.

Wind still belting up from the south as the last 20km to Barkley RH has homogenous scenery on (what seemed like) a very slow very gradual climb.

We're starting to feel more like tourist attractions than tourists. Had our photos taken twice today, and once yesterday. In one instace we were the subject of someone's camcorder. What really got me was this guy was driving his car (quite erraticaly) while filming us, while his partner waved and gesticulated at us to perform like half trained monkeys for the camera. If they had got any closer (and they couldnt have gotten much closer) there would definitely have need to censor the tape before sending i
n to Stupidest Home Videos.

Decide on camping here Barkley RH rather than riding on with the help of the wind to the next rest area. The next Rest Area may or may not have enough other campers to feel secure from NT's mad gunman. Well, at least as secure as those finches.

Barkley Homestead looks like a nice place. and its got that great Australian Roadhouse attitude:
high prices - bad service - lots of rules - lots of (weak) excuses.

David F

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