Well we have definitely moved out of the tropics into the southern weather patterns. Wind, rain and misery. But more of the good stuff later. Heading south from Carnarvon we once again tackled the mind numbing highway 1. Endlessly riding into a headwind, endlessly waving to travellers. I estimate we were waving to 100 cars per hour during the peak of the school holidays. Now I know what the queen feels like. Our responses to wavers are fine tuned and calculated. A full hand off the handlebar wave to the enthusiastic wavers and headlight flashers. A head nod to the normal waver or tooter, and a finger raise to the finger raisers. All in all it works quite well until we are on a busy stretch of road and just can’t get a break from waving. Sometimes I’m off with the fairies and have probably missed a lot of waves. I hope they don’t think I’m rude.
Down the road a bit we turn right and head for Denham and Monkey Mia. A lovely peninsula with lots of rolling hills and real live trees instead of saltbush – lush vegetation(compared with what we have been travelling thru). Views of the ocean also give added interest to our riding. The northern part of the peninsula is completely fenced off with a view to eradicating all feral animals in the area. As we crossed the grid that passes through the fence we were greeted with the sound of large dogs barking vicously. We were slightly perturbed as cyclists are but luckily were on a downhill run and made a quick escape. Later we found out that the barking is a recording to scare off any feral animals that may try to cross the grid. As soon as you go near the grid the barking starts. I’m not sure what the dog union will have to say about it; Putting dogs out of work like that.
We did the tourist thing watching the dolphins come up to be hand fed at Monkey Mia and generally enjoyed this area. Had a soak in a thermal pool in Francois Peron National Park. Almost too hot to get in but Ooooh what pleasure to soak the bones. We were like cooked lobsters when we came out.
Monkey Mia to Perth
Heading south from here we soon arrived at Kalbarri. Scenic gorges and lovely wildflowers featured. The township of Kalbarri was very pleasant too. A lovely place to stop for a while. We did a canoe trip down the Murchison river and that’s when the weather changed. By the time we got to our destination we were surfing in the canoe. Luckily we were going the same way as the wind and waves.
From here on things got wetter quickly. Heading south from here we had great tailwinds which helped offset the threatening clouds and rain that followed us all the time. Dripping wet and hypothermic we arrived in Geraldton. We got a room at the backpackers in town and enjoyed the best hot showers of our lives. This was our first bed since leaving Darwin. The luxury of it all was too much. In reality the bed had capsized in the middle & it was a relief to climb back on a Thermarest. Fixed a few bike problems and we were on our way.
We passed some beautiful country as we neared Perth but the effect was lost due to the weather. We gladly hit town and shacked up at Pete and Nikki’s house in the northern suburbs of Perth. A welcome respite and Pete’s cooking is worth cycling 17,500km for. After resting the body and spending a small fortune on the bikes (maybe a car would be cheaper?) we made ready to head east across the Nullabor to Adelaide via Cape Le Grand & Cape Arid.