Barrow Creek to Wycliffe Well
Up = 62m - Down = 213m - Highest Point = 513m
BARROW CREEK TO WYCLIFFE WELL - 5th September 2017
Of all stops (including 2 free camps) this has been the worst – by far, for a variety of reasons. Inside the hotel was quite OK and another unique outback roadhouse/hotel – this one had money notes all over the walls. Of course Barrow Creek became well-known with the Joanna Lees / Peter Falconio murder – and the subsequent film of this – Wolf Creek. So this was quite to the front of our minds when we checked in. The amenities were dismal!! Annie wanted to get a room – but none available – it seemed a block had been started to be built in 2001 – but never finished!! This included the toilets for the campers – but they looked like they had never been cleaned. The “shower” the night before was barely a trickle – this morning – there was no water at all in the amenities!! The only good comment I have to make about the place was that the toilet paper was soft – but there was no water to flush it away!! I don’t think I got more than an hour’s sleep here. The wind got up very strong and I was thinking Annie would blow away in her tent – thankfully she didn’t!!
We were all up early so it was before 7:00 when Bette lined us up for our departure shots. The wind was “gusting” and we didn’t know whether it was going to help or hinder. It turned out to be pretty much an easterly for the first 40 kms of the journey – thus a strong side wind. After our first stop, it turned to be more of a side/tail wind and we were able to pick up speed a bit.
With no other rest stops before Wycliffe Well we took a break with 25 kms to go to take on board refreshments to get us to our destination. It was great to get here at 11:30 which gives us a nice relaxing afternoon.
Wycliffe Well is known as the UFO capital of Australia. I believe in years gone by this was quite a dapper place. It then changed hands, and basically no maintenance was done for several years. This owner sold alcohol to the indigenous people of the area – highly illegal and at highly inflated prices – until he got caught!! New owners took over about 1 year ago – and improvements are readily noticeable. Their plan is to restore the place to its original glory, and they have been able to encourage the original groundsman back to help them with this task. These people have been very helpful to us and it has been a lovely spot to spend the afternoon. Next time I come this way I will definitely stop here again.
We went for a wander around the grounds and got a surprise to see someone waving furiously at us – and it was a lovely French born Adelaide resident who had decided to escape the cold weather of Adelaide and travel the route we are. I had spoken to her in Coober Pedy and Alice – and it seems we will be spending the next 2 days at Tennant Creek also. Funny how you keep coming across the same people from time to time.
Oh – and the showers at Wycliffe Well – absolutely brilliant!!!!! Perfect for a weary cyclists body – nice hot water and a very strong pressure – TOTAL contrast to what we had last night!!!!
Bette and Barry and Liz and Des are eating from their vans tonight – Annie, Pat and I went to the dining room in the roadhouse and had a nice meal. The breakfast, lunch and dinner menu’s are all, “all day” menus – so Annie and Pat had breakfast and I had lunch!!
Back to the van for a coffee and early night. No internet to play on – hopefully some sleep before a 135 km ride tomorrow!!
Day 19 and Day 20
4th and 5th September
Here's a story that really warms my heart -GREG NOONAN – THANK-YOU!!
Here’s a super supporter of the Indigenous Literacy Foundation!! I’d love to say Greg was a relative of mine, but via emails we have discovered we are from quite different “Noonan” clans!!
Greg, principal with Melbourne based FPA Patent Attorneys advised that his company does not normally support these fund-raisers, but that he was personally happy to donate $500 directly to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation in support of our ride.
I acknowledge this wonderful gesture over the two days of riding –
Aileron to Barrow Creek, and then
Barrow Creek to Wycliffe Well.
While I descend from John Noonan who was deported to Australia for stealing a horse, Greg’s great grandfather came out to Koroit in Western Victoria in the 1860s and was a small time farmer. Koroit is well known as a very Irish area. Greg’s grandfather moved to Sydney so most of his cousins are there but Greg moved back south when he was 2.
As his sons have produced 5 grandsons (and no girls) the name is secure in his branch!! (Not so ours - ending with my brother and I).
Greg says there is a degree of personal interest in this ride - "My daughter is a nurse presently based in Darwin who has spent 5 years as a remote area nurse in East Arnhem Land (where we have visited her) and I have driven Adelaide to Darwin.
Rather a serious bike ride!!"
It sure was Greg – but a successful ride in many ways!!