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"I would rather attempt something great and fail. Than to do nothing at all and succeed"

Saturday, June 11, 2011

THE TANAMI DESERT CHALLENGE - 9th, 10th & 11th JUNE 2011 - DAY 18, 19 & 20

Hey all,

Absolutely freezing out here with the temps getting below.  Thursday saw the battery on my old clydesdale give up the ghost.  Pretty sure it froze over and wouldn't pick up charge.  So with Isaac heading into town and my old mate Crusty getting the battery out here we had a little relay going on where they met in the middle.  It was a race against the clock to do the change over as getting in the kilometres, so that I can get to town on the 15th is very important at this point.  It got so bitterly cold on the Thursday that it took every hour of that night until warmed up again.

"From Corrugation to Mud"
I made a little prediction before the rain that it was going to rain and Luke was so confident that we would miss it he made a little wager.  He said if it rained he would strip down to his jocks for a few kilometers.  Well on Thursday lets just say... it wasn't just the bet he lost!!!!
"Luke jogging to keep pace with my fast chair - his pace was a little brisker after he lost the bet..."
Lukes parents, Gaye and Peter made a surprise visit out here and have stayed out with us for the past 2 nights and then again tonight.  This amazing couple travelled the 3000 odd kilometres out to the Tanami from Miles in Queensland to cheer their son and I on as we complete the last leg of our challenge.  They must be so proud of Luke and the journey he has embarked on.
"Luke catches us with his Mum and Dad"
Lukes wife Melissa and their 4 boys; Bryton (7mths), Jai (4), Riley (5) and Tyler (8) also made the trip out here to spend the Thursday night and Friday  with us.  I am so grateful to this little family, they gave up having their Dad with them for near on a months worth of holidays so that I can have him on the trip with me.  When asked what she thinks of her husband and the mammoth effort he has put in she said "I am just so proud to have a husband who cares about his mates so much and his inner strength and fitness is amazing" and that is is pretty much it in a nutshell.  I am absolutely honored to have such a great mate.  
"Our boys have a great catchup"
Luke must have a little giggle to himself when he thinks of how it all came about.  In the beginning when we spoke about the walk, I told him it wasn't that far past Yuendumu, I would love to have known what was going through his mind after trecking the 430km before Yuendumu and when reaching that point still knowing that there were 300 odd kilometres to go.
"Another mile stone to tick off"
My sister Tian  and her kids came out to see me today as well as our sister-in-law Leza and her kids.  Cam and Leze are expecting their third baby and today was the due date so a fantastic effort to come and meet us on the road.
"Not long now Leze"
This morning it was minus 2 degrees.  Starting to get harder and harder to get going in the mornings.  The winds are so cold they feel like we are in a blizzard with painful, howling winds that makes your eyes water and ears ache.  I am feeling like a frozen snowman, and the only parts of my body showing are the tips of my nose and eyes.  Luke  looks like a snow bandit in his balaclava.
So good to see the Sun today after it was MIA for the last few days, even thought it was paired with icy cold winds.  I am missing the warmth of the sun on my back.
My ol' mate Birdy and Bones flew their gyros out to meet us and they will be spending the night with us tonight. Friends from Hamilton Downs and Narwietooma Station are meeting us for tea.
We broke the 100km mark today, which is having a major impact on our minds.  The reality that we are nearly at the finish line has hit us.  And even though at times we have cursed the corrugations, the rain, the cold weather and the wind.  We know that when we look back in year to come these challenges are what kept us fighting, we will know that we met them head on and didn't back down.
Less than a hundred to go...

Cheers Rob

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