Day 146 | into Paperbark Yard, Gregory National Park: you mean that's the track?

49 km | Heading west total: 6,657 km

The Heytesbury cattle empire, owned by Janet Holmes-a’Court, employs a gardener at its stations.

At Mt Sanford there are 14 permanent employees looking after about 15,000 cattle and the gardener is Dave. He showed me round and made me a decent cuppa. I was invited to stay the night and down a few beers with the team but for some reason I felt I’d never get to Darwin if I travelled like that.

So it was off on the 4WD track through the Gregory National Park.

Can I say I was feeling somewhat dubious about my decision to bike through here when the farm track ended and I spotted the start of the track snaking its way off through the long grass?

An adventurous couple from Darwin who were just finishing the Larapinta Trail had first suggested it to me back at Redbank Gorge: they’d never heard of anyone who had actually done it on a bike but they had been through in their 4WD and thought it would be good fun. At least the slasher’s been through so the grass in the middle is only a foot high for the main.

Only 200 km of this to go.