Kilkivan to Withcott

After a good day off in Kilkivan resting, reading and watching tv at a lovely little BNT called the left bank, we headed off towards Nanango. Reading the maps, we knew there was a big hill out of Kilkivan. What we didn’t know was how steep it was and how long it was. It was so steep in places that we had to push one bike up together, walk back down, the push the other one up. When we realised that it had taken us 2 hrs and 6 minutes to go 5km we were in hysterics and decided that we have both definitely become part of the crazy club  By the time we made it to the top, we were pretty weary, and I was struggling to lift my arms! We thought of the horses and decided they would have eaten it up no problems at all.We finally made it to camp and had a lovely afternoon visiting Mick and Shelley. We met all of their gorgeous horses and had a lovely dinner with the family.

From the top of Black snake it was another couple of hilly days through the national park and old stations where we didn’t see a lot of people. The camps improved and the state of the feed improved slightly over the next couple of days. We saw lots of wildlife including snakes, deer, feral cats, roos and more cows.

We had a lovely camp at the western branch of the Brisbane river where we actually had enough water to go for a swim! All cool and refreshed we got ready for bed and as we lay in the tent, the sky to started to light up and we were treated to a lightening show that was so close we could smell it burning. We had three storms within 3 hours which taught us that our silly little red tent actually leaks…. We had a puddle in the tent!

Luckily we only had one day over to Nanango where we splurged on a cottage in the caravan park so we could dry out, have showers and sleep in a proper bed. We took a day to rest up and grab a couple of bits and pieces to ensure we wouldn’t go hungry on the journey to Blackbutt. While waiting outside IGA, I was approached by a lady who insisted on giving us $10 for a cup of coffee… We must have looked pretty beat up:-) we will donate the $10 to a charity and pass on the goodwill!

We had a very easy time across to Blackbutt… We set out from Nanango and only had one hill to climb (which only took us an hour) which we were quite happy about. On arriving at Bruce and Beril’s place outside Blackbutt, we were informed that their mare was likely to foal very soon, so we spent the afternoon sitting on the balcony and chatting while we watched and waited for the little fella to show himself! We had a lovely time, and appreciate the hospitality.

Unfortunately the mare didn’t foal while we were there, so we headed off to Blackbutt where we camped at the showgrounds and gave the bakery a good test and gave it very good reviews! We found out on the morning of the rest day that the foal had entered into the world and we were able to go back and visit him, a gorgeous little steel grey with two white legs. He is going to grow up to be a gorgeous horse! We both really enjoyed our time in Blackbutt – it is a great little town.

We reloaded our food supplies in Blackbutt and headed off into Book 6. We managed to do 2 maps a day (up to 50km a day) and made good time to Withcott.

We stayed with Felicity and Doug at Emervale Station and had a lovely pub meal with them then headed off the stay with Lynne at Murphy’s Creek where we were spoilt with chilli chocolate and Epsom salt foot soaks. We would loved to have spent a couple of rest days at both places and really enjoyed getting to know everyone!

By the time we reached Murphy’s creek the hot temperatures and long days in the heat were catching up to us. The temp in Murphy’s creek was 40 In the shade …. Very hot!!!! I also managed to get a job while we were biking (after doing a phone interview at the Blackbutt Showgrounds) and start soon, so with the temp and impending work, we decided to stop at Withcott and wait for rain to restart with the boys again.

We got a ride back to our temporary home to be greeted by 43 degree heat. We were excited to see our boys and they are all doing really well and getting fat on grass! They came running when we called, but I think they may have been motivated at the prospect of food! Still, it made us feel very loved 

I’m not sure how we are going to cope back in reality…. I think our minds and bodies are in for a shock after spending 6 months living in the bush!

This might be the last update for a while, until it rains and we are ready to get back on the trail! We, just like everybody else in Australia, are praying for a good wet season that brings the land back to life.

Some say Withcott is halfway on the trail so it seems fitting that we take a break at this point in time…. Only 2665km to go!