Aware that the trip to Augathella was 120kms, we tried to get going a bit earlier the next day.
Needless to say, it didn’t work, and it was nearly 9am by the time we had a coffee from Fanny Mae’s Cafe…straight into a delightful headwind.
It appeared we were now paying back yesterday’s tailwind fun with an average speed of 15km/hr.
This was a long and tiring day with short breaks. We knew that if we didn’t keep moving we might not reach Augathella by dark. We passed the highest point on Queensland’s main road system, and stopped in at the Barcoo River rest area, which was dry like nearly all of the watercourses we saw.
We got friendly with the birds at a rest stop about 30km out from Augathella, and almost considered pulling up for the night. A very kind caravanner asked if we needed anything, and we saw some of the same caravans go past us again.
The countryside changed as we rode along. We left behind the vast open paddocks of Blackall and Tambo and began to see more trees. There were sheep and cattle hanging around in the paddocks, as well as occasional horses.
The road continued with good traffic conditions and we continued with tired legs and a growing eagerness to reach Augathella.
It was around 4.30pm when we rolled into the town of Augathella. From the highway, it looks like a dust bowl with the BP Roadhouse, Motel and caravan park providing a rather dismal view of the town. Thankfully as we pedalled further in, the old historic pub came into sight along with a lovely park area with free camping ($5 donation) and green grass.
We don’t know if the pub has showering facilities, but the free camp didn’t. It only had toilets with a hand basin. Our need for rest and food was greater than our desire to shower (must have been tired!) and after a quick face and hand wash we were over at the pub having a cold beer.
Rob and Erina were also staying in the free camp. Erina is Dutch and had bought a Gazelle Tour Populair from Omafiets in Sydney. It was wonderful to talk to other people who seemed to understand the wonder of riding a bike.
Dinner that evening was one of ‘Augy’s Famous Crumbed Steaks’ from the pub. The little supermarket doesn’t open on weekends and we were after more than just Keen’s curry powder and boiled rice with dehydrated peas (about all we had with us).
The crumbed steak didn’t disappoint and, along with the self serve buffet filled with vegetables and salad, we were (perhaps over) full when we staggered out of there around 8pm.