Charleville to Augathella
Everyone was pleased to wake up to dry skies this morning. With a shorter day of just 88km, it meant we were all afforded a little sleep in today. Our first stop this morning was the RFDS base in Charleville, where Nurse Manager Jo took us on a tour of the base and explained how their operations work, it was such a great insight to see the logistical challenges they face and how they address those. We also got to catch up with some of the Wellbeing Out West team and hear first-hand how the valuable funds raised are used to benefit regional communities. The RFDS also put on a beautiful cooked breakfast for us which we got to enjoy in the hangar which was designed by our very own silver sponsor Medhurst Architects.
Another quick stop in town with a couple of the riders and support crew as we went to visit with Daryl from 4RR radio to do an interview about how our ride is progressing and how our efforts are helping to break down the stigma that it is actually ok, to not be ok. We are so grateful for the incredible reception we have had in Charleville and it will definitely not be the last time we visit this beautiful town.
A little after 8:30am we rolled out and faced the weather that was the complete opposite to yesterday – dry, hot and with 20-30km/hr headwinds hitting us straight in the nose. It made those 'few' 88km seem much longer and more challenging. Luckily, for the first leg of the day, we had some guest riders from the local cycling club the Charleville Crabs join our peloton. Thanks to Mick and Jen for joining us and helping to keep the spirits up in some challenging conditions.
We also took advantage of the last pit stop from the Gravity coffee car this morning. Our morning tea stop on the property entrance of Woolabra, was the last time Susan is with us, after this she heads back to Brisbane. The team are all very sad to see you go Susan, we’ve thoroughly enjoyed having you on tour with us!
The next couple of hours have been building with anticipation as we head towards Natalie Newell’s hometown of Augathella. Out stop in Auggie is always a highlight as the local community embraces us like family and welcome us to town. We were so excited as we came over the rise to Augathella to see the streets lined with the children and families of Augathella State School. The gorgeous kids jumped on the bikes and joined the peloton and guided us into town. A bonus this year was the tour of the town the kids took us on, they so proudly showed us all the sights and gave us the history. They are a credit to their families, their teachers and their school.
The P&C of the school cooked us a delicious BBQ lunch and spoiled us rotten, with food, drinks and treats. It was such an emotional moment to see Nat reunited with her kids and community and the support they have put behind her. A shout out to the Push for the Bush Veterans who had Lindsay represent them today and present Natalie with their fundraising dollars.
We would also like to thank the ladies from the Catholic Church for providing dinner for us at the town hall. A trip to Auggie wouldn't be complete without a good corned beef and white sauce!
The community here in Augathella holds such a special place in our hearts and we are so very grateful for your support.
Highlights for today:
Keely – walking around the RFDS base and seeing how many logistical challenges they face and how well they manage it.
Cullum – seeing the kids all lined up as we arrived in Augathella.
Rob P – Hearing from Nurse Manager Jo at the RFDS base and her insights on how the operation works.
Brian – Riding around town with the kids.
Rob S – the tour that the kids gave us of their town.