Today we had to do 666 kilometres to get from Parachilna to Mildura. And it would be a devil of a day for a couple of the team. At Maralinga we had learnt of the aboriginal’s kurdaitcha man. To put it in white man terms, he is man who hands out the punishment according to traditional values and culture. He wears emu feather boots so he can sneak around and do things without anyone hearing him or tracking him. Well it would appear that he sneaked into the Parachilna Prairie Hotel and touched two of our guys; neither of who felt like eating much for most of the morning. There were also some very strange noises early in the morning, like a liquid barking sound. Of course they claimed that they had only been doing diplomatic and economic work at the Pub, drinking with the German girls that were working there. Anyway, the devil followed them around for a bit during the morning.
After awards to Rohan for putting the KTM on the trailer the day before and for Carl for his spectacular gastro-enteritical efforts, we packed and dashed early, dodging the assorted kangaroos, emus, sheep and cattle on or near the road, heading down the B83 Barndioota Road to Hawker. This was the closest town that had a tyre repair joint and both Rohan and Hooch were able to get their respective vehicles fixed; great for Rohan as it got him off the trailer. We had breaky at the Hawker General Store, where the chef practiced devil looks and grunts on us, obviously not happy that he had to knock up ten breakfasts on an otherwise empty morning.
We kept running hurry up offence during the day, splashing and dashing the fuel stops and using reserve tanks on the D-Max. We picked up an old route and went through Orroroo and Peterborough, again landing at old mate Burra. People in the street are now starting to say g’day to us and call us by name!...”it’s those devil’s the TTT boys again!”.
Not mucking about we continued on towards the Riverland and Renmark, where we again had a break with some fuel for the bikes. As we ground on the ipod kept the tunes up and old mate Iron Maiden (The Number of the Beast) came on. One of our favourite songs goes ‘…the sands of time for me are running low’ and that is how we were starting to feel as we neared our destination and the end of the trip. It has been a fantastic trip full of challenges, twists and turns.
On we went, stopping at Renmark for final food and fuel and a bit of cleaning up, turfing out some fruit to avoid fruit fly issues and some of our un-needed containers. At this point we learnt of one of our closest calls of the whole trip. Brocky related to us that just before Renmark a roo came out of nowhere into his path. He had no options to move anywhere due to an oncoming truck and being at highway speed, with the roo just popping out. Some luck came his and our way as the roo got across him and he only went over its tail. We hoped that the roo has a sore one now!
At Mildura we first went to the fire station to drop Robin McNally’s stuff off. He had done a fantastic job on his new bike, going anywhere anyone else did. Then we finished at Hotel Mildura, hitting the showers and refreshments.
It didn’t finish there however…we had a couple more presentations to make. The final premiership cup was presented to Rohan for his sterling effort over the course of the morning…that’s early morning. Joel picked up the Outback Spectacular hat award for his efforts in diplomatic relationships. Then before tea we rounded it off with the sticker competition (see here), and some final words. We had tea and finished the night all absolutely knackered.