The Journey to Australia was uneventful.
Bikes traveled well and no problem re-assembling them.
Shopped in Perth for provisions i.e. Buffalo steaks!!
Perth was a surprise being cool and green with many trees.
Short warm up ride to Freemantle with no problems.
On to Scarbough for photo shoot in aid of New Beginnings, our Australian charity.
Day 1 Saturday 6th August
Scarborough to Northam
Good turnout for coffee and cakes courtesy of Scarborough Lions
including local councillors and a former triathlete who accompanied the
lads up the first hill. See group photo. Small ceremony where Peter took
a sample of Indian Ocean water to carry with us and deposit into the
Pacific at Bondi. They forgot the wave action and both had wet feet
shortly after the photo was taken.
Climbed from sea level to 300 metres by the time the outskirts of Perth
were reached, then rolling hills. Stopped at Bakers Hill for a pie, then
on to Northam, for 100 km the first day without too much strain. Dinner
in the Northam Tavern - included Graeme trying to buy a middy of
Bundaberg at the bar before being informed this meant 12 fluid ounces of
rum! Much sledging over the result of the second cricket test.
Day 2 (7 Aug)
Northam to Kellerberrin
Bikes left at 0730 in fog. 10degrees C. See photo crossing the Avon River bridge.
The wheat belt of WA includes all the trip from Northan to Kellerberrin - slight undulations up to 50m climbs but all fairly gentle. Hills green but all the wheat farmers want more follow up rain now - none since early July. Kellerberrin is a wheat silo town with little else. A story about a man, his dog and the dead kangaroo which we never heard...
The planned cabin accommodation was closed so we ended up in a room attached to the roadhouse, well within clear hearing of both the highway and the railway. Farewelled John Leith on the Goldfields bus to Perth, although he left us a few souvenirs like his keys!
Day 3 (8 Aug)
Kellerberrin to Westonia
Depart 8am 5deg C, no wind but misty.
Rolling wheatfields with some scrub and low treees. Came on first clay
pan at Baandee Lake. Long slow climbs to 30-50m high rises and gentle
descents. Stopped at Merredin, a neat & bustling regional centre for the
local wheat farmers. Topped up food supplies and posted John Leith's
keys back to UK. Ice cream stop for the cyclists.
After 100kms, there was no room at the Carrabin Roadhouse, so detoured
in the van to Westonia, a wheat growing and gold mining community. Settled into the rooms at the Edna May Tavern and met Peter Spiltz in the bar - unofficial town gossip and guide. Took us on a tour out to the open cut mine (full of water but being pumped out and put back in production now that gold price is high) and around the prosperous village of 20 people.
Day 4 (9 Aug)
Westonia to Yellowdine
Left Carrabin 0755h, zero wind, 7 deg.
By breakfast after 30 km at Noongar South, wind had risen to ENE at 8kmh but died down later. Coffee at Southern Cross to gain some little verbal revenge on an insensitive and dangerous Ford Falcon driver. Late lunch at Yellowdine and feeling good so went further 30km and bush camped 100m from road. Good camp fire (without Ginganggooly) great dawn bird chorus.
Day 5 (10 Aug)
Bush to Collgardie.
Bikes out at 0730, zero wind.
Breakfast at repeater station 97km out of
Coolgardie - photos of cyclists arriving and the critical crutch powdering attached. Nipple covers not shown. Reached 24 degrees at lunch. Pleasant cycling. Wheatfields have given way to trees and tougher hills although still less than 100m high. Granite outcrops and more frequent signs to mines. Heavy traffic with much mining machinery coming up from Perth. Stopped at Bulla Bulling pub for ice cream. Following the Perth-Kalgoorlie water pipeline all the way to Coolgardie. Met Munich friends of B&J, Astrid and Richard, who are on the way to Laverton and Leonora to go metal-detecting for gold. Dinner at local pub - size more impressive than the quality - GL did not eat much.
Day 6 (11 Aug)
Coolgardie to Norseman
Cyclists out 0705, 8.5 deg, no wind.
Farewelled Astrid & Richard. Van to Kalgoorlie for shopping. Bought orange dayglo safety vests from mining
supply shop for better visibility (photo at Widgiemooltha by separate email). Hard cycling with rough road surface and many long hils. Approaches seem steeper as the summit approaches, only to have another summit appear. One benefit is that the number of road trains and density of general traffic has diminished significantly. Stopped 2km short of Norseman when fatigue and rapid onset of darkness (5.20pm) beat us.
Day 7 (12 Aug)
Rest day - HOORAY!!!
Good breakfast - Truckie's special of bacon, eggs, beans, sausage,tomato - contrasted with the muesli/porridge of riding days. Did laundry....