Dave Byrnes' Adventures

Round Oz Bike Record Attempt - 2007
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Day: 018

Monday, 6 August 2007


Motel in Mataranka


Riding from Elliott to Mataranka

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Cold early.  Warm and sunny later. E/NE winds.


A very Big Brekky for breakfast, gourmet pie and pastie for lunch,


None really.


None really.


None really.

Daily Pictures: Here
Daily Podcasts: Here & Here

I woke at 3:00am, and managed to leave the motel compound without being bitten by the Rottweiler, Shadow, and his German Shepherd mate (who I hadnít been told about).  However, they did give me a rousing send-off, so everybody in the neighbourhood was well aware of my departure.
It was quite cold again and I was wearing an extra sweater and my Goretex gloves to keep warm for the first few hours.  It was breezy but not as windy as yesterday and the wind direction had swung round to be an easterly (cross) wind.  There was a half moon and plenty of stars to admire in the clear skies as I headed north.  Around 4:50am I passed the entrance to the famous Newcastle Waters Cattle Station and could see the lights off to the left.  Opposite the entrance was a rest area where a friend, Greg Tegart, who had passed through on holidays a week earlier, had stuck up a sign wishing me well (he had e-mailed me a photo).  I looked for the sign but couldnít find it, despite cycling around the rest area that was packed with sleeping grey nomads in their caravans and campervans.
I continued on and stopped at the Dunmarra Roadhouse (109km) around 8:30am for what turned out to be a very big breakfast.  As usual the cook was very friendly and interested in my trip.  On a full stomach I headed north but stopped at 11:00 when I passed the Daly Waters Roadhouse for a quick muffin and coffee milk.
By now the day was warming up and there was more traffic around.  Of particular interest were a number of escorted oversize trucks heading south with battle tanks on their trailers, presumably following exercises further north.  I presume these were some of the new tanks Australia has just purchased to replace their ageing German Leopard tanks.  As a sign of my own ageing I can remember them road-testing the braking ability of the Leopard tanks prior to purchase back in 1972.  I was in the army (National Service) stationed at Puckapunyal in Victoria and the braking test consisted of the tank rumbling up to near top speed along a road that passed by my office and then hitting the brakes just outside my office, multiple times.  I can still remember the ominous rumbling that crescendoed to an earthquake as the tank arrived and braked hard.
At 237km for the day I reached Larrimah, a tiny sleepy little settlement where the main excitement seemed to be a competition between Diís and Franís homemade pies and pastries in a series of signs visible as you approached town.  In the end I opted for Diís and enjoyed a very tasty pie and pastie for a late lunch.
Then it was on to Mataranka, 79km further on.  The countryside was becoming more tropical bushland with more trees, water in some creeks, lots of burnt undergrowth (controlled burns to reduce the risk of bushfires), lots of large termite mounds, and deep red soil.  It also became more undulating as the day wore on, although not really hilly.
I arrived in Mataranka just before 6:00pm, checked into the motel and enjoyed a meal at the attached hotel for dinner.  I called Rod from the Casuarina Primary School in Katherine and arranged to meet him at the school on my way through Katherine tomorrow morning to meet the kids.  I hope to make Victoria River tomorrow night, making it a 300km day, and have to do a little bit of shopping in Katherine (running out of antiseptic cream and Vaseline for treating my backside!), so it could be a long day.  Depending on how I feel, I may push on through tomorrow night with the aim of getting to Kununurra earlier on Wednesday, so that I can get a good sleep and early start to the following dayís 359km trek to Halls Creek.



Round Ireland

Hume & Hovell Walking Track

Via Alpina

Australian Alps Walking Track

Land's End to John O'Groats

Round Oz Bike Record Attempt

Round Oz Bike Record Attempt

Round Oz Bike Record Attempt

Australia Tip to Top MTB

Adelaide to Darwin MTB

Sydney to Melbourne MTB

Three Peaks Race

Appalachian Trail

Alpine Track

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