Herbert river to Mingela

It has been a while since I have been able to post a blog… We have just completed one of the longest sections of the trip without phone reception. Over the last 19days we have covered 381 kilometres to take our total to 737 km so far! Well and truly over 10% of the way.

At Rudd creek we were joined by Gav (Preston’s dad) and Rusty who joined us for 8 days to feed us and the ponies as  we headed in to an 18 day stretch without reaching a town. Their help and company was much appreciated and it left  the ponies feeling fresh and in good condition. We had many a laugh and funny times thanks to some mushy peas:-)

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Gav and Rusty with the ponies

We were also joined by Julie and her 2 horses Pup and Colty, an amazing lady who is travelling the trail by herself. She travelled for 7 days with us before we split up again, only to meet back up 2 days ago. We plan tackled the live fire through the military training zone of Dotswood together! With helicopters and planes overhead and the noise of machine guns, it wasn’t a very nice place to camp! It has been nice to share the experience with such lovely lady and it has made the organising 10 times easier.

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Julie and her horses

The riding has mostly been down dirt roads, with some bitumen which was not expected. The terrain has been pretty good with only a few sections of dry ground with little feed for the horses. Riding through we have been able to see some of the history of the area, neither of us knew how much mining happened, and is still happening to this day.

We have seen lots of wildlife including roos, brumbies, pigs, lorikeets, turkeys, emus, eagles and thousands of cows! The ponies are definitely being exposed to a lot of different things.

Everyone we  have met so far has been lovely and have not minded us passing through camping on their properties… Thank you for the hospitality! We have enjoyed all the stories and hearing the history of the areas… I will try and blog some at a later date!

So far we have only had one glitch involving some equipment that had to be replaced. A HUGE thank you has to be given to the Glenwrights at Laroona  station who let us stay and fed us while we sorted out our glitch! Their station is horsey heaven and I must admit I drooled a little when I saw their horses! We must also say Thankyou to Les and Carolyn for all the cups of tea/coffee/Milo, for the company and for being our taxi drivers. As well, Bethels saddlery were a great help to us…. We are so lucky to have met all of you and we would still be stuck without your help!

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Preston,Les, Carolyn, Kathryn, Dal, Peter and Rat

It has only just started to get cool, and we have been lucky enough to only have to pack up, ride, and unpack in the rain once. It wasn’t a very enjoyable experience.

We have faired pretty well for sore spots and are still in one piece! The vasoline was definitely used at the beginning of the trip but we have hardended (for the most part) into the trip now and are doing well. The days over 5 hours make for a long day in the saddle though!

And for those wondering… Yes, Preston and I are still talking!