Australia 2010

A circumnavigation (with risks).

Are you going to the gymkhana?

On our way to Coober Pedy (on the Oonadatta Track) we stopped for some groceries in Marree. There we were asked if we were going to the gymkhana in William Creek. As William Creek was on our route and our guide book gave the population as twelve this seemed like an excellent idea.

William Creek has a fine and famous hotel and here the existence of the gymkhana was confirmed.

It turned out to be an all day event involving horses, beer, motorbikes, beer, wheelbarrows, beer, a meal, beer and a band.

The venue was a purpose built shed with kitchen and bar adjoining a somewhat dusty race track. There seemed to be around 300 spectators and maybe 50 contestants. Entrance was free, but in order to be served at the bar you had to purchase a yellow wrist band for $15 Aus (€10 Euros). Most of the men drank beer steadily (and with determination) many of the women drank canned Rum & Coke. Some watched the races, others did not.

There were hotly contested horse races (the far horse is wearing a fly net, as were some of the audience.)

And agility and obedience contests.

In the afternoon the motorcyclists demonstrated their ability to throw up more dust and make more noise.

The final race of the day proved a much appreciated triumph for age and experience over youth.

The evening was rounded off with an Aboriginal Country and Western band. We retired to sleep in Man in the car park.