Australia 2010

A circumnavigation (with risks).

Not the Birdsville races.

Birdsville is situated at the eastern edge of the Simpson Desert and is at the northern end of the famous Birdsville Track (383km from Marree in Southern Australia to Birdsville in Queensland).

The Birdsville track is featured in the film The Back of Beyond starring the original Tom Kruse.

Luckily we came from the north and avoided both the Birdsville Track and crossing the Simpson desert.

We (and 6000 others) are in Bridsville for the races ("The Dust Never Settles") on Friday and Saturday, but whilst we are waiting we have been enjoying the other attractions of the town (normal population 120).

The Working Museum is a wonderfully eclectic mixture of household junk...

...old signs, working tools and...

...a couple of very large mules.The entire museum is up for sale if you are interested.

The most famous building in Birdsville is the Birdsville Hotel (arguably the most famous pub in Australia).

On the day before the races the hotel runs the "Not the Birdsville Races" to raise money for the Royal Flying Doctor Service. First the horses are paraded by their trainers.

With eight horses lined up at the far end of the field and each string attached to a beer can, the jockeys are under starters orders.

The rules require the string to wound round the can or the jockey's hand (or both).

After eight heats (and lots of beer) the final race was won by...

number 14 - I'm a Tosser.

Other events included the egg relay...

...wheelie-bin racing...

...and head shaving.

Tomorrow it is threatening to rain at the real Birdsville Races for the first time in 40 years. If it does rain heavily then we (and the other 6000 racegoers) may be stuck here for a few days.