Well, I’m not actually in Emerald, but Capella, a bit further north. I am staying with Niall, one of the long distance cyclist I met in Singapore. He is in turn staying with his sister and family and they kindly invited me to stay and have a rest day as well. Niall and Dale finished their trip a while ago and are having some holiday time before they return to the UK.
The walk from Ilfracombe to Barcaldine proved to be interesting. I have named it the walk through the KKF. The kangaroo killing fields. The road kill was everywhere. Bodies in all states of decomposure and bleached bones scattered all along the side of the road. Thankfully, that was the worst section and it got a lot better once I passed Barcaldine.
That’s when the scenery started to change as well. More trees and scrub and no longer just endless, dry plains.
It’s impossible to travel in Australia without meeting interesting people. The owner of the motel where I stayed in Winton turned up again and we spent some more time chatting. A couple of sisters traveling around Australia in a rented campervan stopped and wondered what I was doing. They were almost at the end of their trip and were returning to the Gold Coast.
I did go for a little side trip into the Willows Gemfields, hoping to find a sapphire to help pay for my future travels, but no luck. It is interesting with these “fossicking” towns though, they definitely have a wild west feel about them, a bit rougher and more primative than the “farming” towns.
When I walked into Anakie, I stopped by the pub to try to get a meal before checking into the caravan park. Before long I was talking to the locals and the wonderful managers, Lucy and Dan, made sure I had a room at the motel for the night!
I still have a bit more than 3 months to go before I finish my walk in Sydney, but it’s surprising how much time I have been spending thinking about what will happen after I finish. In many ways I wish I could just forget about it and enjoy the moment and what I hope to be some wonderful months walking along the Australian Pacific coast. I just booked my flight from Sydney to Kuala Lumpur in February so maybe I can now forget about it and concentrate on what is happening now.
In the coming weeks, I will be heading the rest of the way out to the coast and then head south. I will probably move att a reasonable pace as I want to visit an old friend before he and his family take off on holiday. Ironically they are headed to Sweden…
After that, I should have a very leisurely walk down the north coast of NSW, having lots of time to enjoy the beaches and relax!
As always, stay tuned for updates.
A side note:
As all of you that follow me on Instagram know, I finally got rid of my “expedition” beard. I’ve been growing it since Katherine and was planning to let it grow until I reached the coast. But enough was enough and in Barcaldin I found a barber, had a haircut and a shave. Felt great!