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

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Hey All,

Well after an eventful day yesterday I am back on the road.

Day 8

The morning got off to a late start after a few fuel problems.  The mornings are getting bitterly cold but I am rugged up to the nines and handling  it well.
"The View as we left the Granites Gold MIne"
We said our goodbyes to the Granites Gold Mine crew this morning before heading off, thank you all for your hospitality, support and a great night.
"The Granites Gold Mine Crew - Thanks for a great visit"
The day went well and we achieved 27km for the day. 
Jake took up the lead in one support vehicle with the home made grader behind him.  A ripper of a tool that my Dad and Uncle Steve designed and made to take off the tops of the corrugation.  Clever pair of blokes!  I even heard some truckies talking on the two-way radio's about it, they were hoping we could run it over a wider stretch of the road.

"The inventors - Bill and Steve Cook"
Luke is still laid up with blistered feet and my old mate Norma kept pace with me.  Norma you are a Legend!!
"Me and My Support Crew - Luke, Norma, Lorette and Jake"
Late afernoon we were visited by my Mum (Letty), Dad (Bill), Uncle Steve, Aunty Jude and their youngest son Will.  We are heading through Tea Tree floodout country where the country side is dotted with huge red ant nests.  Mum took planking to a whole new level and planked an ant bed, I think she out done us... :-)
"The Tanami Ant Beds"
"Mum - Taking Tanami Planking to New Heights"
We pulled up about 30km South East of the Granites.  Full Camp tonight for a delicious camp oven stew.
"Settled in for the night - Chase, Luke, Dad and and Me"
Day 9

Headed off with a great start, hit the beginning of a 10km stretch of bitumen just before we pulled up for lunch, where we did our routine checks making sure that nothing is rubbing or that no gravel, sand or stones have flicked up into my boots.  These regular checks are so important as even one of these things could pull the whole show to a halt.

Luke is back in the saddle again and keeping up pace, he is doing an amazing job. 

My fast chair "the thoroughbred" can do 8.5km an hour with a battery life of between 2 and 2.5hours depending on the terrain so this means a jog for my support walkers, my slow chair "the clydesdale" runs at about 5.5 to 6km an hour giving everyone a bit of a break and slowing the pace to a walk.  I seem to still be doing battle with my batteries, draining them as fast as I am charging them.
"Mum getting those extra few Kms- Rob, Mum and I"
After lunch we cruised at a great pace along a 10km stretch of bitumen, it was like a piece of heaven after the dirt.  But it was short lived and we hit the dirt again and kept on travelling.  We set up camp again about 70km South East of the Granites.

And as I close tonight I think of all the people near and far who are supporting me in my endeavours and I thank you.
Good night all, Rob

Sunday, May 29, 2011


Hi All,

Our 7th day was cut extemely short. Both Luke and I hit a bit of a rough patch in our journey.  The blisters all over Lukes feet have popped so rather than risking infection he spent the day resting them.  My good friend Norma has rejoined us for another leg of the trip.  So Norma and I headed off down the track and with 14km under our belts we were going great guns.  Then the unthinkable happened...

While trying to avoid a particularly corregated section of road, I moved off to the side of the road and found myself in a particularly sandy patch, my chair bucked out from under me, tried to climb a incline and ended up slamming itself down on the right hand side.  Luckily I had my seatbelt on which saved me from any sort of serious damage.  I copped a fair old whiplash and hit the ground pretty hard but amazingly the chair and I are both alright.  I was picked up, dusted off and we decide to call it a day. 

But tomorrow I will be ready to tackle the Tanami again.

Catch you later,

 Bloody Corrugation!!
A Little Carnage!
Alls well that ends well!
 All in a days work!!


Hey All,

Wow!  Huge day.  We covered 35.7km today.
 Seeing some very cold days now!
The Granites Gold Mine were our hosts.  We were greeted with a huge reception and treated to a steak/social night.  I gave a speech to the Granites Crew about my accident and where I will go from here, we had a great night and enjoyed ourselves immensely.
Never know who you might pass on the Tanami!!
My walking partner is sporting some very big blisters on his feet and they are starting to burst so the breaks during the day were warmly welcomed.

Catch you on Day 7



Hello again from the Tanami  Track!

After saying our goodbyes to the Tanami Mine Crew - a massive thank you to all involved at the mine for making us feel welcome!! 
Luke Bevan, Bill makar, Shane Harte, John the medic, Jeff the miner and
Jackie handing over donations raised by the Tanami Crew.

Day 5 arrived and we were greeted by a typical Tanami day.  The sun came up and the temperature went down. 
We passed the turnoff to one of Suplejacks neighbouring properties, Tanami Downs, came across an old car wreck and Luke and I decided to try our hand at this new craze going around called planking. 

Luke and I "planking" - tanami style! and the Tanami Downs Stn Turnoff.
My sons Braxton and Lawson took a break from studies to join me on a leg of the "walk".  This trip has been an amazing experience for our boys, one which we hope they will remember for many years to come.

My Boys Braxton and Lawson hitching a ride.
The kilometres are slowly getting chewed up and the numbers on the signs are getting smaller.
Catch you tomorrow,



Thursday, May 26, 2011


Hey All,

Spent the last two nights at the Tanami Mine. We had a great time cheering the Queenslanders to victory on our first night. Go the Mighty Maroons! We were greeted at the site wet mess with an esky full of cold drinks and plenty of chocolates and treats for my boys, Bracko and Lawson.

The road is very corrugated and throws me around a bit, but we stop re seat me and then continue on our way. We are going through 3 wheelchair batteries a day. As soon as I wear one out, it goes onto the charger and I start burning out the next one.
One of my biggest Supporters!!
I "walked" 27.5km today and reached a point halfway between the Tanami Mine and Rabbit Flat - give or take a few kilometres.
The Tanami region has had one of the best seasons in a decade and the countryside has come to life.
The days are getting pretty cold out here now. An extrememly cold southerly was present all day and a constant head wind made things pretty challenging.
Taking on the Tanami!
Tonight, we enjoyed a great evening with tanami veteran, Bill Makar and New Site Manager Shane Haart.  A big thankyou to the Tanami crew for their hospitality and for making us feel welcome.  Also a big thank you to all of my challenge followers, I greatly appreciate all your support and well wishes,

Cheers Rob
My Support Crew

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Hey Guys,

Big day today, made it to the Tanami Mine just in time to watch the State of Origin with the Tanami Crew!!!

Go The Maroons!!!!!!

Cheers Rob

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Hey all,

We are travelling at a very good speed at the moment, but will be adjusting our game plan each day to fit in with the rest of the trip.  Slowly but surely we are conquering the Lajamanu Road, we are now off Suplejack heading in a South West direction.  We travelled 20km in 3hrs today and finished up the day halfway between Talbot Well and Black Hills.

Brendan Sheridan from Charles Darwin University was travelling through and stopped for a chat.  He was in awe and couldn't believe "what you will find around the corner..."

Dave and Liz left us this morning to travel back home and after putting in a "PB of 18km in one go" my special mate Norma left us this afternoon, so now it is just Luke, Sare, Braxton, Lawson, Loretta, Jake and Myself pushing on for the next leg.
Catch you all tomorrow, I am now going to get a camp fire going and enjoy one of the many fantastic tanami sunsets.
 Cheers Rob

Monday, May 23, 2011


Hey all!  Well it is finally here the first day of my 24 day Tanami Desert Challenge!

The morning at Suplejack Downs station started with lots of joking and laughter at the breakfast table, but as we left the homestead and went through our first gate, the realisation of what is ahead and the huge challenge we are undertaking hit us.
My partner in crime and the man who will be tackling the Tanami with me (my mate Luke Bevan), look at the road ahead of us and the exitement we are feeling is now mixed with just a touch of nerves.

After the first 1.5km we reach the "white gate" taking us from the homestead surrounds to the Wireless Hill paddock and this is where the serious "walking began".  Luke and I were accompanied by Norma Nitfin and Dave & Liz Brownhill with my sister Loretta bringing up the rear in the support vehicle.
Day one of our walk saw us nearly to the Suplejack Boundary along the Lajamanu track.  Today we tackled 27km and knowing that the hardest step of any journey is the first one, we feel we will now settle into a comfortable rythm.
And how better to finish up the first day of my journey?  Well I will leave those words up to one of my walking partners Liz:  "...to be walking 5 abreast on a red dirt road, with the sun setting and the stars coming out as the sky gets darker and darker, was purely magical and a truly humbling experience..."
A huge thank you to  Luke, Norma, Liz, Dave and Loretta for keeping me company today.

Catch you all tomorrow,

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Hey All!

After a busy time I wanted to join my family and friends on a fishing trip and leave it to my mates to make it happen.  Their ingenuity and resourcefulness at modifying a Quintrex Topender so that I could have a day on the water made me once again thankful for the amazing people in my life. 

Thanks again to Ian Talbot, Tony Allwood, Dan Divine and Terry Cook!

Cheers Rob