Thursday, October 6, 2011

Broome to Perth [23.08.2011-27.09.2011]

Tuesday 23rd August 2011

Rode the 10km into Broome. Bought some breakfast and had a wash. Found out there were lockers at the airport. Broome is basically a small airport with a town around it. You can smell the aviation fuel. From the information centre to the airport is one kilometre, if that. The lockers were $10 for 24hrs for a large one. I shoved all my junk bar sleeping gear and the electonic knick knacks required to upload photos at the internet cafe into a locker.

Hotcakes + jam + honey + syrup + butter. If it doesn't give you a heart attack, it'll get you some miles. Apparently the apple juice doesn't cancel it out.

This border collie was apparently called "Boobs". The owner kept saying "Good Boobs". When a bloke asked what the dogs name was, the owner said "Boobs". She decided to sit next to me. Likely such a blurry photo because it was taken while eating above breakfast and the fat had probably oozed into the camera phone through osmosis.

The rest of the day I spent chasing up things like a new spare tyre and riding around Broome. My Maxxis overdrive tyre was had it and I put the Schwalble Dureme sparey on the rear. My Marathon Plus on front I've had on since Melbourne (after the Murray River jaunt) so at time of writing it has done about 14,000 km and has been on there about one year. Top stuff.

The Maxxis Overdrive on the rear didn't live up to those heroics. It made it between Cairns and a couple of days out of Broome but only only barely. When I finally changed the tyre it was bald and shredded.

At the friendly bike shop I picked up a folding Conti Contact which is about the best they had in stock for touring, which is my spare tyre now.

Worn out I believe.

Curiously it got fewer punctures in this state than when it was brand new.

In Broome
In Broome

I went to the library and did some reading for a while. I had a look in the local bush tucker book just so I could try to recognise some more things.

I rode out to the golf course to scope out a free camp for the night. There was a bit of sand behind the carpark up on top overlooking the water which looked promising. I thought maybe I could catch the staircase to the moon at low tide, but turns out I missed this chance by few days and the next opportunity wasn't until mid September.

I went to the internet cafe for a few hours until dark and time to eat dinner, then ride out to the wild camp. The free camp was really nice. The sand was so soft I probably didn't need a sleeping mat but blew it up anyway as I wasn't sure how cold it might get that night. You could hear the sound of the waves. Some time around eleven a security guy came by but didn't see me in my bivy hidden amongst the long grass.

Wednesday 24th August 2011

First light from the free camp

Woke early and rode over to Gantheaume Point for sunrise. Then rode to Cable Beach. Grabbed some breakfast from here. Some camels were led past when I was eating. I haven't seen any wild ones yet.

Gantheume Point, Broome at dawn
Gantheume Point, Broome at dawn

Gantheume Point, Broome at dawn

Gantheume Point, Broome at dawn

Gantheume Point, Broome at dawn

Gantheume Point, Broome at dawn

Gantheume Point, Broome at dawn


Cable Beach, early morning

Cable Beach, early morning
Rode back to town to feed a few more dollars in the locker for a few more hours. Spent some more time in the internet cafe writing the previous post. Restocked food and other supplies and had a shower at the pool facilities.

Got back to the airport locker on dark. Filled up some water bottles and rode to a wild camp about 30k's back out of Broome to the fire break parallel to the road and near the Roebuck Plains property gate, which I got to about 8pm. I was riding in the pitch dark with the stars following me around, following the beam of my seven watt torch. There weren't many cars or trucks about, and I could see them coming a mile off. This was probably the first time I'd ridden at night (proper, rather than just a few minutes after last light when still looking for a free camp or making up some kays) and it wasn't all that bad although you don't get to see much.

Thursday 25th August 2011

So I take my good fortune and I fantasize of our leaving
Like some modern-day gypsy landslide, like some modern-day Bonnie and Clyde
On the run again - PJ Harvey, Good Fortune 

Woke up and getting out of the bivvy I notice goanna tracks in the sand leading from the bush to where my head was laying while I was asleep. Rode the 4 kay to Roebuck Roadhouse where I ate a toastie and an iced coffee and filled up all my water bottles and water bags with water. The next stretch was the "Roebuck to Sandfire stretch" that everyone goes on about. It is almost 300km and can be pretty hard if you have a headwind. I managed to score a tailwind for the two days to Sandfire, in a rare moment of luck.

Riding to Roebuck Roadhouse at the crack-o-dawn.

286 km until the next water point, the "Roebuck to Sandfire" stretch.

The end of some trees before a bleak treeless plain for about 20 kms.

Aparently this road is really boring. What are they talking about? Look at it.

There is a tree-less grassy plain for I guess twenty kays before low lying trees show up to break the monotony.

I met someone riding the other direction with a trailer, riding from Ceduna. He was warning me it was hard to find water. Around these parts no one stops to chat for long. Everyone always says "You're the first girl I've seen riding" within the first few sentences.

Sometime after lunch, and about 180 km from Sandfire I suddenly hear my fender on my rear tyre and my bike wobbles. My rear rack has fallen onto my wheel. Oh, great!

Somehow I manage to keep it cool. I find some shade, lay my bike down, see that I have managed to shear a bolt in my bike frame which isn't good.

I grab a water bottle and take a long drink. I take all the bags off. I realise that this frame is awesome as it has a bolt hole for racks and one for fender struts. So I simply put the rack on the fender holes and as my bolts aren't long enough for both rack and fender, I gaffer tape the fender strut in place.

I figured I was carrying way too much water. I was almost halfway to Sandfire. I dumbed 7 litres on the side of the road. I'm pretty sure I'm the first cyclist ever to discard water on this particular stretch.

TOO MUCH RIDES ON IT - Sheared bolt in frame. Not a good thing.

After the unexpected bike malfunction delay, I kept riding after dark until I found a Telstra building/fence to wild camp up against. When I was in my bivy I saw a bike rider with no gear and with two support vehicles ride past heading north in the dark.

Friday 26th August 2011

[suggested blog post reading sound track: Infinite Horizons]

Early morning road

This recursive loop of a road

Nearly featureless landscape

A featureless landscape

Rode 142 km to about 5 km out from Sandfire roadhouse. I don't even remember this wild camp. I'm guessing it was up a dirt track. Mind you, 142 km in the outback does that to a person. You pretty much don't care where you are camping by the end.

Saturday 27th August 2011

In the middle of the day I stopped up a sandy track and tried to find some shade. Not really any so I made a bough shed out of a wattle tree by twisting its branches together to try to create some shade to lay under. Stayed here about an hour and a half, sweating away. When I went to ride off I noticed my rear tyre was flat. Annoying.

Rode 123 km to a wild camp somewhere near Pardoo roadhouse. Dirt track I think.


Made a "bough shed" by twisting together some branches in a bush as it was hot and I wanted something resembling shade in the middle of the day.

Time to find a camp

Sunsetting over camp

Sunday 28th August 2011

One of the smaller excessive travellers in their motorhome with car towed behind.

Trying to educate the disgusting humans I share the road and the rest stop/ parking areas with. So sick of not being able to find shade because every tree has soiled paper blowing around under it with accompanying flies. You are lazy pigs!

Climbing a shady tree.

Laying under this shady tree in the middle of the day. Thank you shady tree.
Solar panel out charging the Power Gorilla battery. (No, I do not have an electric bicycle. Yes, people do ask this).

Tree standing on its tippy toes.

Iron Ore train

Sun going down with the red iron ore dust

Rode to Pardoo Roadhouse where I filled up with water and ate some roadhouse tucker. Around midday it's 43 degrees and I ride past a property where about 50 cows are all sitting under a shady tree and looking at me like I'm an idiot. If 50 cows are looking at you like you're an idiot, it is best to take the hint. I find a shady tree myself and, after a bit of a tree climb, I lay out a tarp under the tree and lay down for a while listening to music. At the DeGrey River there were heaps of motorhomes and campers; I of course kept riding.

I ride past the Marble Bar turnoff. Heading towards Port Hedland you end up riding past the iron ore mines and share the road with many 4-trailer road trains. The shoulder isn't particularly wide, not at all, so its best to keep your wits about you.

I keep riding until dark when I find a stack site on the hill that overlooks Port Hedland. I find a place to camp up a dirt road. This was great timing as immediately I get off the road no less than twenty, four-trailer road trains full of iron ore all go past heading down to the port. They form a line of red tail lights down the hill towards the port which is all lit up with white lights. Although there are trucks passing all night long, this was a great free camp with the view to the lights, and snuggled amongst some spinifex covered hills.

(Rode 128 km to wild camp)

Monday 29th August 2011

Awesome colours in the first light

Sunrise over a spinifex hill

View from free camp in the early morning light

Clicked over 14,000 km before I got into Port Hedland. See how grubby I am?

Big Iron-Ore ships at Port Hedland

Port Hedland

Sunset, Port Hedland

Sunset, Port Hedland

Rode 30 kay into Port Hedland. In Port Hedland I was riding along the bike path and a man was digging at a construction site saw me and I said G'day mate. He asked me where I was riding from and invited me to use his shower. His family is living on site and they're building some townhouses. Dallas and Roz and three sons. Walked around Port Hedland for a while. In the afternoon chatted to Dallas and Roz before Dallas showed me a nice spot to watch the sunset. They let me set up my swag inside an empty caravan/truck bed. Thank you very much for your hospitality guys!

Tuesday 30th August 2011



Left Dallas and Roz's around 9.30 and rode to the supermarket to get supplies. Left Port Hedland around 10 am. Headwinds!

Mid-morning road

Pilbara shadow

Stuart Desert Pea

The scene worms its way into your soul

Riding into the sunset

Kept riding until after dark and ended up wild camping on a dirt track to a Telstra building maybe 10 kay east of Whim Creek.

Wednesday 31st August 2011

Free camp on a dirt track near a Telstra building
Sunrise from free camp

Early morning road

I wonder what this is all about (just on the side of the road). Treasure?

First cloud I've seen since Victoria River I think


Sunset looking towards Karratha coast

Another long day on the bike, riding until after dark to find a wild camp 10 kay out of Karratha at a Telstra tower (a ridiculous free camp in a driveway about 20 metres from the highway that you can only get away with if you are sleeping in a bivvy and stop riding after dark).

Thursday 1st September 2011

Broke my front rack. Clearly the front rack got jealous of me braking my rear rack.

What the rack brace is supposed to look like.

$3 brake shoes!


Rode the 10 kay into Karratha. Ate about three breakfasts. Noticed my front rack was wobbling. Turns out I had broken it. Snapped one of the bracing strut triangle things. I just swapped around a couple of the triangles to fix the problem. Stop breaking things Maree! Bought some cheap $3 brake pads from K-mart. Left Karratha in the afternoon.

Friday 2nd September 2011

I love this scene

Colours that will never leave me
Rode through some amazing spinifex country to wild camp 20 kay from the Panawonica turnoff.

Saturday 3rd September 2011

The headwinds were really wearing me out. In the morning I find a tent packed up in its bag on the side of the road. It's been run over by a truck by the looks of it. The bag is ripped and some poles are broken. It's a Oztrail Mozzie Dome 2-person tent (no fly). I strap it onto my bike just in case I decide to keep it. It might be nice to have an afternoon nap in something other than a bivvy bag. A gift from the road gods perhaps.

Around lunch time I lost concentration. I rode onto the edge of the shoulder for a b-double truck to pass me and I moved back onto the road before checking mirrors and shoulder check. Another truck was following the first closely (probably drafting) and luckily they were talking to each other on the CBs (I guess) because the truck behind gave me a wide berth, luckily.

After that I decided to ride only another 30 kay to about 5 kay out of Nanutarra roadhouse. I go down the road to Karijini National Park (I'll visit Karijini on another trip) just a short way and find some road authority storage area. There is a sandy track behind this so I push the bike along this track until I'm away from sight. There is a great view to Mt Barney I think it is called from my wild camp. It's still only about 4pm when I set up my newfound tent after fixing the poles with gaffer tape. So nice to be able to have a little cat nap in the afternoon shade.

You see a heck of a lot of these in WA and QLD and its best to just get well off the road when you see the pilot vehicle leading it.

Wild camp

Sunset from wildcamp

Sunday 4th September 2011

Nanutarra River

Sunrise over Mt Barney as seen from the wild camp

Rode the 5 kay to the Nanutarra roadhouse and rang my Dad for Fathers' Day. Bought some breakfast and supplies and filled up water. As I go to cross the river here I see a 60-year old man walking with huge calf muscles. I say to him you must be a cyclist. He's on a bike tou with a trailer from Kunnanurra to Perth, where he plans to fly over to Sydney for Christmas with his daughter. After that he plans to go to the Blue Mountains and then start fossicking for gold in NSW - enough for a ring, then to Cooper Peddy to fossick for an opal - he wants to make a ring for his daughter. I chat to him for a while. On the horrible road to Karratha he's been knocked off his bike. A hit and run; the driver didn't stop to check he was ok. He lost some skin. He broke his mirror. I gave him my spare mirror - a helmet mounted one that looks like a dentist mirror; I've been carrying it in my handlebar bag since Mackay. He's stuck at Nanutarra Roadhouse waiting for spare parts to arrive - his trailer bearings were shot.

Back on the road, battling headwinds, I ride to Burkett road turn off, take this road heading towards Exmouth. This road is freaky as it is really smooth yet there are no cars on it. I ride until the sun is about to drop below the horizon and find a wild camp on an old property road. There is spinifex everywhere so, exhausted after 140 km of headwinds and a late start (chatting at Nanutarra), I camp on the dirt road, making sure to put my hi-viz vest where it could be seen if someone happened to drive down it. There are no tyre tracks though so it must be an abandoned track.

Monday 5th September 2011

View from the wild camp

Sunsetting at the wild camp

The beach beside the wild camp

More headwinds. I ride to 25 kay out of Exmouth where I find a sandy track next to the water and wild camp here. There is a bit of shade to sit under in the afternoon. I'm still really worn out from the headwinds so I can't get in a full days riding.

Tuesday 6th September 2011

I ride the 25 kay into Exmouth and hit the shops. I then ride the 20 kay to the lighthouse. On the way I come across the three wind turbines. They're all laying down at the moment. Exmouth is a diesel-wind hybrid powered town. The wind turbines can be raised and lowered with gin-poles, and "towed" up and down with a vehicle. Reasons for lowing such wind turbines include when they are undergoing maintenance or to protect them from strong winds such as cyclones.

I don't bother to ride up the lighthouse lookout. I just sit on the beach for a while and then visit the caravan park kiosk for a iced coffee.

Then I ride back into Exmouth town. I have a wash, and wash my clothes. I find a water tap behind the tour organiser shop in a laneway to fill up my water bottles. I ride back out of Exmouth and towards Coral Bay. I find a rest stop which is a Termite Nest viewing area. There is a patch without spinifex up next to a property fence so I set the tent up here. A few sheep didn't like that much as they kept bleating at me.

Vlamingh Head, Exmouth

Vlamingh Head, Exmouth

Vlamingh Head, Exmouth

Vlamingh Head Lighthouse, Exmouth

Vlamingh Head, Exmouth

Gin pole cables for wind turbine

Turbine lay down

Gin pole up!

Acre symbol



Gin pole up, turbine down

Bike path closed. Assuming Dingoes have taken control.

Sunset from wild camp (Termite Mounds parking area)
 Wild camp

Wednesday 7th September 2011

Termite mounds

15,000 km and 15,000 flies (at least)

Wind turbines in the distance, on the way into Coral Bay

Coral Bay

Riding out of Coral Bay as the sun goes down

I'm now riding on Minilya-Exmouth Road. Sometime today I click over 15000 km. Whoohoo! Around midday I find a stack site about a kilometre off the road simply because I see a shady tree up a sandy track and subconciously I push my bike on up to the shady tree I can see in the distance. There is no other shade to be found.

I ride the 13 km each way side trip to Coral Bay and get to the beach there around 4pm. I have a look around. Coral Bay is a little village. It is wind-diesel hybrid powered. The wind turbines are the older style with only two blades which is unusual to see. Two bladed turbines just don't look right if you're used to seeing the three bladed kind - this is because whenever one blade passes the tower it just looks weird with one blade sticking up. Nevertheless they still do the job.

The water at Coral Bay is amazingly clear and the beach sand white as white. The road into Coral Bay has a few hills. After buying some food from the shops and using the tap key to get some water, I ride back out as the sun goes down and at the Coral Bay turn-off from Minilya-Exmouth Road there is a stack site where I camp near. There is a sign further up near the gravel piles that says no camping but I camp before this sign so I figure I will a) hide and b) make excuses about not seeing the sign if I get caught and someones mean enough to give me hassle.

Wild camp

Thursday 8th September 2011

Bushtucker. This is the kind of thing you can spot from bicycle speed, not car speed.

Bushtucker - Ruby salt bush.
I had just wandered into the bush for a pit stop when I found at least two different types of bush tucker right next to each other. Bush potato which you can roast, and ruby salt bush little fruit you can eat raw.

Max and Glynnis caught up with me this day. I had last seen them at Barkly Roadhouse in NT. They are travelling alternately in campervan and by bicycle, taking turns on days they choose to ride. They pulled over in front of me and I couldn't believe it was them! We had a chat and I think I was talking at a million miles an hour and scaring them with motormouth as I hadn't chatted to anyone for ages. Plus I hadn't had a decent shower in 1000 km, every kilometre of which was headwinds.

Friday 9th September 2011

Lots of wild flowers today.

Add caption

Canarvon River

Wild camp 5 kay out of Canarvon town centre on dirt track parallel to road

Saturday 10th September 2011
Wildflowers about 20 kay out of Canarvon

Another monster

Rode the 5 kay into Canarvon, bought some breakfast. Rode around a bit. Had fish and chips for lunch. Ended up talking to some local kids. One girl (Aboriginal) said her mother was murdered in Geraldton like it was nothing. I thought maybe she was pulling my leg by the other girls said she was telling the truth. These girls were about 11 years old but they all talk and look like they're older, maybe 16. They say things to me like "we wouldn't rob you you know" and "you'll like it in Geraldton. It has a McDonalds and clothes shops". I head out but stop at the info centre on the way out to fill up water. A huge motorhome towing a large SUV on a huge trailer fills up after me - who knows how big the water tank is he's filling.

Rode 25 kay into some of the strongest meanest headwinds I've encountered yet. I find a wild camp before dark because I just can't take it anymore.

Sunday 11th September 2011

Another day of stupid headwinds so decided to stay put and have a rest day. Just read The Ultimate Aphrodisiac by Robert G Barrett. Timely because it is very similar to the George W story even though it was written before Sept 11. I did like the not very subliminal messages about growing non-pot hemp for paper (to save the rainforests) and how everyone on the island rides mountain bikes around. I had a visit in the middle of the day from a Bobtail lizard, just outside my tent. I said Hello little guy and he decided to walk off. This reminds me to mention the number of lizards you see when riding in WA. Many. Some of them are so small and scutter away so fast that you blink and miss them. But there are also many blue tongues and bobtails that move a lot slower. One day I saw what I think was a goanna walking across the road that was an orange colour and there are also other lizards that I've only seen fro a distance that run across with their tails curled in a spiral. I've seen more thorny devils than I can count. There is this flat little bird that just runs between grass clumps like a rat and only flies when it has to.

Bobtail visiting my tent

Monday 12th September 2011

Wild camp up against a property fence just past a lookout rest area around Wooramel. A huge yellow moon rose that night.
Tuesday 13th September 2011

[suggested soundtrack for blog reading: Kashmir - Kalifornia]

Riding towards Monkey Mia. Got to the Nanga Bay turn off where I wild camped.

Wednesday 14th September 2011

Wind turbines. Denham is a wind-diesel hybrid powered town
Desalinated water $1 for 20 litres




Sunset at Whalebone turnoff

Sunset at Whalebone turnoff

Shell Beach lookout wild camp

Thursday 15th September 2011

Sunrise over Shell Beach (last nights free camp)

Sunrise over Shell Beach

Sunrise over Shell Beach

Sunrise over Shell Beach

Sunrise over Shell Beach (last nights freecamp)

Sunrise over Shell Beach

Shell Beach

Shell Beach

Shell Beach

Nanga Bay

Nanga Bay

Compressed shells make rock, Nanga Bay

On the road from Nanga Bay turnoff to Overlander roadhouse



5 kay from Overlander wild camp

Friday 16th September 2011

5 kay from Nerren Nerren water tanks wild camp

Saturday 17th September 2011

30 kay from Kalbarri in Kalbarri National Park wild camp

Sunday 18th September 2011

30 into Kalbarri. Motel!

Monday 19th September 2011

10 kay from Port Gregory turn off wild camp overlooking the northern end of Pink Lake.

Tuesday 20th September 2011


30 k out of Geraldton wild camp

Wednesday 21st September 2011

Rode 30 km into Geraldton. Wild camped at Geraldton TAFE.

Thursday 22nd September 2011

Rest day in Geraldton. Wild camped at Geraldton TAFE again.

Friday 23rd September 2011

wild camp

Saturday 24th September 2011

From the free camp 5 k out of Dongarra I rode into Dongarra where I visited the bakery. Then I rode on to Port Dennison (I think 3 kay). I ride back to Dongara to visit the IGA and the op shop. Ate some more food in the park before heading back out to the highway for the 30 kms of headwinds on the crappy Brand Highway to the Indian Ocean Drive turnoff (yay). This road goes through Beekeeper Nature Reserve which has wildflowers like acacias and banksias in bloom and everlastings. Stopped briefly at Cliff Head where some motorhomes and caravans where camping.

There were some great multicoloured corrugated iron shacks or humpies along this coastal road which reminded me of Stormboy. I have headwinds all day so the going is pretty slow. I ride until about 10 k out of Leeman where, just before the Coolimba/Eneabba turnoffs I turned west down a sandy trackand camped on the salt pan or dry lake. There were lots of rabbits.

wild camp

Dongarra Drive In

Port Dennison

Port Dennison

Port Dennison

Port Dennison

Port Dennison

Who wants to join the I HATE THE BRAND HIGHWAY club?

Neglected to take a 16000 k shot. Oops.

Blurry pic of humpy

There goes my squatting plans

Indian Ocean Drive

Sunset from free camp

Sunday 25th September 2011

Rode the 10 kay into Leeman where I grabbed an orange juice from the roadhouse and visited the boatramp. Rode on a little further to a couple of jetties. Had a cold shower in the amenties block and washed clothes. Filled up water bottles from a tap, using the tap key to turn it on as the water fountain was a useless trickle. Rode a little further to the teatree lookout and visited the shop where I bought something to eat for breakfast. Great view from the lookout and a nice quiet place.

Rode on to Greenhead where I bought a banana milkshake and drank it at Dynamite Bay.

Rode on to Jurien Bay. Bought a fishburger and juice and ate at the beach. There is a nice bike track along here. Lovely clear water at Jurien Bay with white sand. Weather was bad when I was there. Rode onto Cervantes. Visited the store for a coke and a chocolate bar. Rode back out after visiting the beach front. Rode back out and the 16 kilometres into the Nambung National Park to the Pinnacles (10 k on the Indian Ocean Drive and 6 k on Pinnacles Drive).

Wild camped at the first bit of the Pinnacles you come to, which is before the paystation and the Pinnacles viewing walk/drive area, dragging my bike through the powdery yellow sand and later attempting to hide the bike tracks. There were emu tracks in the sand here and some tall clouds billowing up in the distance. Of course it rained overnight.

wild camp

Leeman Private Jetty



Leeman from Tea Tree Lookout

Leeman Tea Tree Lookout plaque and tea tree

Dynamite Bay

Dynamite Bay

Another food centric rest stop. Dynamite Bay

Jurien Bay


View from wild camp, Pinnacles

Emu track next to tent, Pinnacles


View of impending rain from wild camp, Pinnacles

Monday 26th September 2011

If travel is searching and home what's been found, I'm not stopping
I'm going hunting
- Bjork, Hunter

From freecamp in the Pinnacles (naughty) I ride up to the viewing carkpark and pay the $5 for motorcycles park entry as they have no payment option for bicycles (cars are $11). The weather is looking potentially horrible.

I do the walk around the Pinnacles and get back to my bike in the shelter just in time as another dump of rain comes through. Only a French couple were here by this stage as it was only about 7 am at the latest. I eat some breakfast and listen to the radio, waiting for the weather to clear up.

The Pinnacles are eerie limestone formations which were shaped by shells from another time broken down into lime rich sands and blown inland in mobile dunes, and the Pinnacles being formed from either tree or root casts from long-gone vegetation or from lime leaching and cementation being revealed as vegetation dies and wind blows away sand. [wikipedia]

Finally the bad weather passes and the sun comes out. I ride the 6 kay back to Indian Ocean Drive. Headwinds!

I ride into Lancelin which I think is about a 5 km diversion off the Indian Ocean Drive. I visit the IGA and eat some late lunch and then go look at the water. It is choppy due to the strong wind but the sand is white and the water a nice blue to clear near the beach. There area  few yachts and other boats about and there is a couple of jetties. A storm-boy's-dad type walks past me on the beach.

I head along to a part of the coast that is less protected where some wind surfers and kite boarders are enjoying the windy conditions. This surf beach also has amazing blue water and white sand. There is a thong tree in someones front yard near here.

I ride back out to the Indian Ocean Drive and ride about 15 km until I find a tarmac "No through road" which might be the old road to Lancelin? I ride down this road with acacias taking over it and kangaroos hopping down it like a post-peak-oil world (not so bad after all?) I find a spot just big enough for my tent amongst all the bush (acacias and grass trees) and find a stick with a Y-branch strong enough to hold up the bike, which I use to hold up my bike.

Then I put my tent up just in time to avoid a small shower passing over. The tent fits like a glove amongst the scrub. I think howerver I may have collected a couple of ticks in this little freecamp. It rained a few times overnight and it was like soft rain on a tin roof in my tent - I slept soundly.

wild camp

The Pinnacles on a overcast/rainy morning

The Pinnacles on a overcast/rainy morning

The Pinnacles on a overcast/rainy morning

The Pinnacles on a overcast/rainy morning

Close up


"Wind blown sound may reduce visibility". Sounds great!

Sand dunes


View from a lookout on the way to Lancelin

View from a lookout on the way to Lancelin
Wildflowers and Grasstrees

Wildflowers and Grasstrees

Can you spot Grug? (click for larger)









Tuesday 27th September 2011

Tent fits like a glove

Uhoh, they've spotted me

Morning cows

Morning cows

The post-peak-oil road I rode up last night for the free camp

I found this pirate flag and some gaffer tape so I gaffer taped this flag to a road pole on the way to likely competitors to fuel some kind of wrath.

Road to Two Rocks

Wildflowers on the road to Two Rocks

From freecamp about 15 k out of Lancelin packed up gear inside the tent and waited for a shower to pass over before emerging to pack up the tent with an audience of about fifty cows, including calves. Got on the road about 6.30 am. Rain adn wind and hills.

After about 25 km visited the Moore River rest area briefly to use the loo. There were still lots of vans and caravans here even though it was 8.30 am. Lazy. The road had a narrow shoulder and audible lines which is a painful combination for a cyclist.

Kept riding to the Two Rocks turn off (about 50 k) where there were more headwinds and hills to contend with. Had lunch at Two Rocks - a spinach and feta roll from the bakery which the baker kindly coughted on before putting it into a paper bag. And then I had a fish burger at the cafe. It was extremely windy outside and there was a fair bit of rain dumped at one point.

The ride into Two Rocks had some wildflowers and acacias in bloom, as well as grass trees. A few housing developments promising "the best of both worlds".

Checked out the marina and some star shaped thing with a galah eating it and the rock carving King Neptune and other rock sculptures and Leemans Landing and then walked back to my bike at the shopping centre. In the middle of Two Rocks there is a fenced off draining site which is kind of messy looking. There is also a circular large library and sporting complex here.

Headed off to Yanchep along Two Rocks road with more rain and gusty wind and hills up and down through remnant bush being turned into housing estates.

Rode through some of Yanche and out to Marmion Avenue which I took east to Perth. This road looks new and has a lovely wide shoulder which is very very nice. Still a strong wind to deal with and some hills. The road goes through new or developing housing estates cutting up remnant scrub that has wildflowers and kangaroos. A hail storm arrived suddenly when I had my raincoat off (of course) so I got belted for a couple of minutes with small stones. Are we having fun yet?

I kept riding into the outer suburbs of greater Perth. I'm vaguely heading towards some bushyland reserve where I hope to get to around last light to freecamp, and I'm not going to make it into the city to find a backpackers. About two kay fromt he road that has this bushland I ride past a bush and a kid steps out and turns back into the bush yelling "Heeyyyy Daaaddd....". That's all I hear as I keep on riding. In the bushes are a man and his other son who is younger than the other boy I saw on the path. There is a SUV parked on the verge. After a few minutes the same SUV is driving next to me on the verge and the man is waving. I stop and say Hi and the man asks where I'm riding from. I say the full story is from Melbourne and he enquires where I'm planning to stay tonight. I say I'll just keep riding until I find something. He says he lives just three streets over and I'm welcome to camp in the backyard. I say that would be great. Back at the house they are introduced as Shane (Dad) and Jaxson and Luka. There is also mum Pippa and four month old Griffin. I'm invited to camp on their back deck and handed a cold one.

I grab some dinner from the nearby shopping centre and Jaxson and Luka share with me icecream and mulberries. The mulberries were what they were picking in the bushes when I rode past them.

Shane tells me he's made a call to his folks about me and they're willing to let me stay at their North Perth house. Amazing kindness and hospitality from all.

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