Once upon a few years ago, when we were driving back from Darwin adventures to friends and family home comforts we spent the night in Tenant Creek.
I’ve always wondered about Tenant Creek and what it must be like to be truly in the middle of nowhere. (It’s got a population of about 3000 people and is 990km from Darwin and 500km from Alice Springs). When we got there we found a pretty rough, remote and dry battle ground. It was dusty and dry, and a little bit nerve wracking.
In the camp kitchen we met three Japanese tourists. Two were cooking delicious smelling vegetables and rice with tuna and soy. One was eating a loaf of white bread worth of spam and cheese sandwiches. Following the creeping of the meal preparation, the three took themselves to their tents for afternoon naps. Given the incredibly hot Northern Territory sun and the burning capacity of a midday tent we were perplexed by this. They had little tents, and bikes. Not very smart bikes, but very well equipped bikes.
The campground was abuzz with not so hushed whispers of the trios incredible adventure. They were riding their bikes from Hobart to Darwin. HOBART TO DARWIN. And they had made it to Tenant Creek. Not expecting the extreme heat, they would sleep during the day and ride at night. With road trains and kangaroos and snakes and whatever other terrifying things lurk around in the desert in the dark.
When we awoke in the morning, sure enough they were gone. Tents and biked pedaled away into the dark starry night.
I’ve done plenty of googling around to try and find if they made it but there’s nothing to be found. I’m pleased Richie was there that night, or I may have thought it was a hot long bike riding dream.