With a 500km day ahead of us I resolved to get up early before the heat set it. This was on the advice of other riders who always leave before 6:30am. Being up nice and early I got to see a final sunrise over the Pacific Ocean before heading west.
Unfortunately there isn’t a lot to report from this day as the roads are very straight, very long and very boring. You will notice I may have got some camera practice in while I was on the road. Am starting to get some good shots and have fishing the camera out of my vest pocket down to a fine art.
With the change in scenery I’m really starting to get the sense I’m going into my own unexplored territory. The sky has been huge as the land is very flat and sparse with nothing but brown grasses and scrubby bushes.
The road trains have appeared and are three or four trailers long – man those things are big! The roads have also given me the first taste of the need to keep myself alert. Because they are so long and the heat mirages in the distance it is often easy to not see dark coloured cars until they seem to pop out of the illusion are are on top of you. Makes passing 50m long road trains quite challenging!
We reached Richmond around 1:30pm which was pretty good for a 500km day. A quick walk up the street scoped out two shops, two pubs and not a lot else. Due to having absolutely no Optus signal I caved (for the second time in two days) and bought a Telstra NextG wireless dongle. It works well but doesn’t allow for fast updates from the iPhone.
That night we all had dinner at the motel and were given a briefing about the next morning. The film team is keen to get another group shop so we have been asked to muster at 8am to get a couple of scenes in. I hope we pull it off.
After dinner it was a walk back down the street to one of the pubs where Kruey and Buttsy (yuh) were doing a roaring trade in shirts and caps. Seemed like most of the bar was wearing one or the other, or both! Those guys have been putting in a great effort. And the people of Richmond have to be commended for the generosity that is as big as the roads are long out there. Really, hats of to them, it was quite something else. It’s moments like that night which really makes all f this feel quite special. People are interested in talking about the trip, learning about the Steven Walter Foundation and most importantly donating to the great cause.
Tomorrow we are off to Mount Isa and have been told the road after Cloncurry is pretty special. Hard to know what to expect after today, but at this point even a roundabout would be a change in scenery.