Friday, 24 June 2011

Top Springs, Timber Creek

Yipeee... Arrrrgghhh... For the first time in days I was flying along. 32km/hr, down a gentle slope, with a bona fida tail wind. Then the hard packed clay changed. The tire track I'd been following to avoid the rocks became a thin canyon with steep sides of soft sand. Drift to far off the increasingly narrow track and I'd bog down in sand and crash.. But oh, the feeling of flying was good.. I enjoyred it while I could.. It didn't last, and it would be many days before the speed rose to even close to 20km/hr...
I'd left Katherine at lunch time and had a few easy days. One was particulary good, when I found a crash site. Somones camper or caravan had rolled. When it was taken away, all the stuff that fell out was left behind. Treasure!!! Found unopened food and drinks. Got a lid for my pot, a thermometer!! Ate food from that crash for the next five days.. Pity the chocolate was no go. I also had to leave the beer behind as I didn't want to carry it...
I also met two other bicycle riders. Philippe and Ursula ( I'd was still at the wreck site, hyper on food I'd been eating and so excited to finally meet some other cyclists. I probably seemed a bit demented.. They had Xtra wheel trailers. Neat trailers that worked well for them..
With all the food from Katherine and the food from the crash, I thought I small detour to Top Springs would be a good idea. Specially after finding Fiora River National Park closed. Top Springs - sounds good. Sounds like water... Alas, no springs there.. The pub/inn was moved to its present site at the junction of the roads. Actually there wasn't much of water from the highway turn off till well after Top Springs. Okay, that didn't pan out, but I could still go into the Gregory National Park. After 40km of riding back and forth between stations and Yaralin Community, I was back on the road to Timber Creek. Yep, the Gregory National Park was closed also.
Everyone had said the road was going to be rough, and this time they were right. Two days of grinding along in sand, gravel and rocks to get back to the tar.. Was I happy to see that. More so, was riding on it..
One item of interest from Top Springs; Noel Buntine was the guy responsible for road trains of cattle. And he was born at Stonehenge in QLD! Yeah.. I've been there...
Got to see some wild donkeys at one night camping..
All the people I talked to at Yaralin were so nice. Very helpful.
I found a tin of beer on the side of the road - and just threw it in the bin. Seems everyone here doesn't drink beer. Got tired or carrying it..
Jasper Gorge - a "high light" of the trip from Top Springs to Timber Creek was not worth stopping at. Its a camp site, but with no toilet block. I rode in and used toilet paper was blowing about in the wind. I road straight back out again.
Still got lots of food left, going to be a slow ride to Kununarra....

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