August 1 - 2, 2012…Karumba

A big ride today…we covered more than 500 kms.  The road, in parts, was only a one lane strip of dusty bitumen for both coming and going traffic.  As you pass approaching traffic you need to veer off the heavily crowned road onto the red dirt, hoping that the exchange from bitumen to dirt is not too soft or rutted.  Tricky stuff!  When road trains approach, it is best to stop, as far off the bitumen as possible, without going into the trench…very nerve racking.

Macy's parade sized, ballooned up, dead cows, boars and roos, wandering unpredictable stock and bounding roos kept us on our toes as we powered through the spindly Savannah woodland.  Brolgas started to appear first in pairs then in large groups.  The temperature gauge was moving up the farther north we traveled and I was very toasty in my riding gear.  It seemed like we had been riding forever and the day was dragging, my helmet head was becoming very, very, heavy.  As I relaxed in the warmth of my riding gear, my head was growing heavy.  Now that we were back to two lane roads, I was able to rest my helmet chin on my tank bag and give my neck a break.  

We stopped in Normanton to pick up a couple of supplies…a small tin of Milo, water and a small ginger beer a whopping $15…Ouch!  A weathered indigenous local chatted with Kev while I was in the grocery store.  She was curious about the bikes and warned us of the crocs in the waters nearby.  Ay Karumba…we made it, and just in the nic of time too…I was beginning to nod off!  

I never get tired of watching sunsets, or taking pictures of them…and the sunset over the Gulf of Carpentaria did not disappoint!  Being a full moon the first night, and a harvest moon the second night, made the experience even that more spectacular!   We hung out at the Sunset Tavern enjoying the Gulf Prawns, watched the Jab-Rah fish in the shallow mud flats until we were chilly and then headed back to the campsite.  Passing cars caught the pricked ears and green glow of Wallabies eyes as they impatiently waited on the short grassy sides of the road to bound across.  The plumped up pelicans white plumage glowed in the full moons light they drifted in the waterways…The full moons glow truly did a number on the countryside and wildlife around us!  Chilly from the Gulf damp air we climbed into our tent for warmth.  Charlie, our campsite neighbor commented "You two calling it a night already?" "Yeah we are cold mate!", we replied.  "You mind if I pull out the guitar?", Charlie asked. "No go for it!  Do you take requests?"  I said…and with that the last thing I remember slowly warming up and  drifting off into slumber I was serenaded by the tunes of Bob Dylan and Cat Stevens!  Just too good!


Karumba sunset.

Jab-rah fishing.

The bar at the Sunset Tavern!