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Around Australia 2003

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Journal for 20-Aug-2003 : `Banka Banka' Station

This is my favourite part of the Stuart Highway, over the hills through Attack Ck. There are a few long straight bits, which are slightly downhill and usually very fast, and the scenery terrific too. There are low cliffs, dry creeks and wonderful red and green colours of central Australia, without too many silly trees to spoil the view. Great scenery and fund riding.

The Attack Ck rest area has been modified since our last visit, with the (much needed) addition of a toilet, lots of fences to keep the caravans near the road, and "no camping" signs. The water tank was nearly empty when we got there, and competely empty after some turkey used the water to fill his jerry cans. We enjoyed some roadhouse apples here, which were even better than their burgers (yuk).

The riding became much harder after Attack Ck, into the and strengthening NE breeze.

We rode a 20km section of old highway (replaced in 1979) over "Churchill's head" (WWII for bald hill). This section of rd is juts 1.5 lanes wide, with the surrounding bush encroaching right up to, and in places right through the bitumen. Lots of winding curves and hills too, but excellent scenery and no roadtrains or caravans.

We stopped at the new Banka Banka station camp ground before lunch, with a scorching Northly wind now blowing. It's a very nice spot (despite the pet emus and red kangaroos for put on for the tour groups), with nice people so we stayed.

Had dinner with Rob and Judy, a couple in a caravan making there second attempt at travelling around Australia together. On the first attempt Judy got so fed up she packed her bags at Broome and flew home!

In the evenings they put on a bit of a slide show about the workings of the property. I didn't remember too much, but about 20 people manage nearly 50000 cows (which includes the manager's gardener and governess for his kids).

We also learned that the day we went through Camooweel a roadtrain had overturned near the Barkly roadhouse, blocking the highway for most of the day. No-one hurt though.

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