8-9 July: Georgetown and the attack of the bindi

Author: Mr A

Location: Georgetown, Outback Queensland

Sunday: Georgetown does have an excellent information centre, and very kindly they helped me with some printing of flight itineraries for the the UK dash back. They also have a brilliant (no pun intended) gemstone and mineral collection. On from there we cycled to the only tourist activity we could see in the town itself, a 6km walk/ride along the outskirts of town.We mostly followed the dry river bed, and all was going well, until that dreaded exclamation from Mrs A “Oh no….puncture”. I nipped back to camp on my bike, and returned with the car. Mrs A was soon loaded up with her bike and returned to camp, where we spent the next 3 hours picking bindi spikes out of both of our tyres! I’ve never ridden in this type of country before, so was pretty shocked how it has destroyed even my thick tyres. At least my tubeless set up kept me inflated, well until I started picking out the thorns! We are now going to have the petite (but usually very reliable) MTB that Catherine rides converted to a tubeless set up as well. Definitely worth it. So no more riding until we get to Darwin in a couple of weeks.

Another beautiful “big sky” sunset, as I call them, and the three of us (fur child included) watched it with a much needed glass of wine. These have been a tough few days, with all the hassle of sorting out our caravan to try and get mobile again, then organising everything in the UK connected with my mother’s funeral.At least we have good phone signal here in tiny little Georgetown. It’s been an experience, and makes you realise from talking to the locals, what are some of the challenges of living in a remote area. No doctors, dentists, supermarkets (one of the petrol stations stocks some basic supplies). Or any other trappings we take for granted in the city – restaurants, hairdressers, clothes shops etc. And even this place isn’t remote by some Australian standards, ie. it has tarmac road access!

Monday was a day spent organising more of my travel arrangements – booking transfers in the UK, getting menus sorted for the wake, and the myriad of other things that come with a last minute trip of this nature. The great thing is with an iPad and a 4G phone signal, its pretty easy. How times have changed.I have to say I have become a fan of Flight Centre today. I booked through them and they have provided superlative service, so easy to get hold of a real person and talk to them. As compared to going through Qantas, where I spent 45mins on hold trying to even speak to their call centre to resolve an issue. And Flight centre were cheaper for the same tickets. Excellent.

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