- Live from the Road
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- Australia 12 July: Anna Plains Station – Broome
- Australia 11 July: Pardoo Station – Anna Plains Station
- Australia 10 July: Port Hedland – Pardoo Station
- Australia 9 July: Karratha – Port Hedland
- Australia 8 July: Fortescue River Roadhouse – Karratha
- Australia 7 July: Nanutarra Roadhouse – Fortescue River Roadhouse
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Australia 11 July: Pardoo Station – Anna Plains Station
Today we farewelled Judy and Angela, our kind hosts at Pardoo Station, and headed north on the highway towards Broome. While our task was only 73 km between 5 runners, against a stiff, drying headwind and an ambient temperature just below 30 degrees, our pace was predictably slow.
However, to brighten our spirits we met many interesting characters along the way who were more than happy to stop for a chat and hold aloft the World Harmony Run Torch.
The first were Col and Pam Francis from Sydney who drove up beside our West Australian co-ordinator Prabuddha Nicol for a yarn, while he was running along the highway. We discovered that Col was himself quite a handy marathon runner and regularly completed 8 marathons a year, including an 80 mile ultra-marathon through the Royal National Park, just south of Sydney.
One person who really stood out today was Atsushi from Kyoto, Japan, who is riding all the way around Australia (in the opposite direction to us) as part his personal weight loss program. Having started in Sydney 4 months ago, he is hoping to reach Sydney again in November, carrying all his worldly possessions on his bike.
Along the way he has shed an amazing 35 kg and feels he can lose another 15 kg before the end, to reach his goal of 70 kg.
However what really attracted us to Atsushi, was his natural self-effacing humility and steely determination to reach his final destination. Atsushi also has extremely limited English, which makes communication a little stilted, but then again often a simple smile can communicate much more than mere words.
Further along the road we saw a whole procession of Model T Fords driving south along the highway and we could not resist the temptation to find out more. Apparently 2008 marks the 100th anniversary of the Model T Ford, so a group of 7 enthusiasts from around the globe brought their cars to Sydney in April (a little after Atsushi started from the same city) to drive the full lap of the continent in celebration.
Once we had finished all our running and with the sun still blazing overhead, we headed for 80-mile Beach for some refreshment. To our amazement the beach area was full with people fishing, but no one swimming (I must add that there are no crocodiles here) – so we corrected this situation right away.
Our final personality for the day was Mick, the manager of the Sandfire Roadhouse, a little oasis with wandering peacocks, situated on the highway, basically in the middle of nowhere. Mick was full of enthusiasm for our efforts and gave us invaluable advice to beware of the kangaroos that we soon saw were hopping all over the road, and difficult to avoid.
Then we headed off to our accommodation for a good night's sleep, Captain Misha guiding the way.
- Veeraja Uppal (Australia)
With 96 km to cover, the five of us were conscious it would be a long, hot day and paced ourselves accordingly.
We are now heading predominantly east as we wheel around the continent's north-western shoulder. It is technically mid-winter, but while the nights are still cool, the days are becoming both longer and hotter.
The heat from the sun is compounded by the reflected heat from the road and of course the heat from the Torch itself, requiring more frequent drink-stops...
Even in this open, flat terrain there is a remarkable variety of flora, responding to subtle variations in soil. Today we passed through absolutely flat, treeless plains;
sparse, dusty plains with a smattering of low shrubs; and plains with a robust growth of head-high shrubs.
Along the road were several varieties of Acacia, or wattles – the plants from which Australia derives its famous green-and-gold sporting colours. In the space of only about 20 metres of roadside, we were amazed at the variety exhibited between different shrubs, in flower, leaf shape and size. It seems the various types of wattle are a gregarious lot, happy to live side by side with each other. Just as well, as Australia is home to over 1000 types of Acacia.
We arrived at our resting place for the night at Anna Plains Station, about one hour before sunset.
We have found Anna Plains a perfect haven after a hot day's running: swimming pool, plentiful birds, beautiful lawn and another immense starlit sky.
– Prachar Stegemann (Australia)
As our team was still waking up, there he was just speeding along ... Isaac.
Isaac had the perfect profile for a World Harmony runner: alert, open-minded and interested in the world.
Full of enthusiasm, he spoke to us about the annual ‘Black Rock Stakes’ he had just run in, from Goldsworthy to Port Hedland. Each member of a team, in his case 11 runners, take turns running short distances with a wheel barrow loaded with iron ore, to cover a total of 130 km. The race is a fundraiser and the team thet raises the most money wins.
Keep the running going Isaac!
Vintage car lovers were in for a treat today. We passed several Model T Fords on the road, the last car you would expect in the outback.
Lorraine and her husband, who later down the road said hello to Team B and took some photos.
Jim and his wife Doris came all the way from Michigan, USA to join the tour. They bought a Model T when they arrived in Australia, reupholstered it, did up the engine and gave it a ‘lick’ of paint.
George Walz and Nicole Schmider originally from Switzerland and now living in Perth, travelling though Western and Central Australia.
As dusk approached and our run finished we turned off the main road and headed toward the sea. Crossing the dusty red road, over 30 wallabies observed us then bounded off into the bush.
The scrubby terrain suddenly opened into a beautiful oasis. Anna Plains Homestead welcomed us. Fresh green lawns, large overhanging trees, horses, chickens and past the array of buildings, a vast land stretching toward the sea and setting sun.
The Anna Plains Station runs for over 100 km along 80-mile Beach covering over 360,000 hectares (almost 1 million acres) and stocking 17,000 head of Brahmin cattle and an unspecified number of King Brown (or Mulga) snakes, one of Australia's deadliest species. To the south, Sandfire Roadhouse (where we started running) marks the beginning of the station. We had just run in the station for 86 kilometres!
Greg, the mechanic for Anna Plains Station.
Neve, Joanna, Tim, Manon and Katja hold the Torch before racing off to the local hot spring.
– Nishima Knowsley (New Zealand) and Elke Lindner (Germany)
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Prabuddha Nicol (Australia), Kritartha Brada (Czech Republic), Nishima Knowsley (New Zealand), Edi Serban (Romania), Runar Gigja (Iceland), Iva Nemcova (Czech Republic), Prabhakar Street (Canada), Sandro Zincarini (Italy), Nataliya Lehonkova (Ukraine), Prachar Stegemann (Australia), Misha Kulagin (Russia), Dima Lehonkov (Ukraine), Angela Muhs (Germany), Veeraja Uppal (Australia), Miro Pospisek (Czech Republic), Elke Lindner (Germany), Standa Zubaty (Czech Republic)
Gallery: See more images!
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