So woken by a very loud dawn chorus, including Kookaburo, for the first time in a long time. The tent is every wet with dew, and my toes and fingers are really cold. Head into Ravensthorpe for a hot chocolate.
The two young ladies serving me don't know what day it is either. Hey, since I left Victoria, I haven't known the day or the time. Too many kms and time zones. They do know that it is 3.5 hours drive to the nearest shops, in Albany, and they get their fix once a month. The muffin they convinced me to buy lasted the whole day....it was rich.
Meet Joe, a young Maori guy working in the local Nickle mine. Gets paid $45 an hour for 12 hour shifts, 8 days on, 6 days off. He's a bit worried because the Chinese who use the nickel for stainless steel, have too much, so work in the mine is slowing down. The mine employes up to 2000 people, many who live in a specially built village on the coast, Hopetoun
The trucks on this section of road are scarey. Someone had warned me. It's like a country road, but with hundreds of huge Roadtrains, coming and going from mines and grain silos.
Coming over a blind summit, and Im picking up speed, 25kph, a truck started to pass me. It was close, and the tractor made me wobble. I realized that there were probably two trailers to come. I hit the gravel going fast, fighting to stay upright and not waver back under the wheels. Scarey.
The truck slowed. I thought perhaps to check on me, but no, he was turning right towards Lake King.... As did all the trucks. For the next 100km, only 8 trucks, and only 3 of them were multi trailers. The road was still the same size, but oh so much more pleasant, and with a lovely groomed shoulder to escape too if necessary.
Jerrymungup & beyond, 120km
Kookaburo two mornings in a row, and as I head away from my bush campsite, about 10m from the main road, two Kangaroo sit in the middle of a side road, and watch me ride past.
I need fresh water, and a hot chocolate, because it's nippy, so after 15km or so call into a Roadhouse. Outside sitting in a car, texting, is a woman. Inside is a lovely Finnish girl serving. No one else around, and it's just before 9am, according to in store clock.
I am ordering my hot chocolate when the woman from the car strolls in to the shop. My first impression is..wow she's hot, mid to late 20s, but why is she so dolled up way out here? She has body hugging tight skirt, made up face, and looks slightly out of place. She looks through the sun glass selection, even though it's overcast, and she has some on her head, gives me a look, and enquires....."How ya Doing?" "Fine thanks" is my reply. And then it clicks. HO, HO, HO. I get it. My next thought is.."You must be desperate young lady trying to chat up a dirty old cyclist, who's been bush for four days. You've got to be able to do better."
Apparently not.....In walks Mr Trucker. 50ish, scraggly beard, matted hair, ciggie behind his left ear, beer gut, scruffy t shirt and high viz top, holey jeans, and WA Truckers Federation safety footwear, jandals. A sausage, two eggs, and bottle of coke sorta guy. Anyway, he and missie make eye contact, and he walks out, forgetting to order breakfast, and she follows. A short confab on the forecourt and they climb into the cab of his truck. The truck goes nowhere.
Before I get to finish my hot chocolate, it was hot, she is climbing out of the truck, straightening her clothing. As I climb on my bike, she is sitting back in her car texting and having a fag....... I'm a little bit scared of heart attack (another story), but after a couple of minutes, Mr Driver appears in the drivers seat, and the truck departs. So that's how they make the money go around out here in WA outback.
So today, I also saw two Wedgetailed Eagles, and where I camped there were six eagle like birds with bright orange tails. Can someone identify them for Me?
Last 75 km to Albany
Only 75 km, but it was tough. Initially only mentally. Basically, I just wanted to get there, but the Kms dragged. Still a downward trend, still with a slight tail wind, but until I'd past the halfway point, the brain was not my friend. Then the penultimate 10km......a roller coaster of ups and downs. The ups seemed huge, and I was down in the granny gears. It was sooo good to finally hit the Industrial areas of Albany.
Into the visitor Centre. Out to a camping and caravan site at the beach. Shower. Laundry. A dry out of tent and gear. A big feed of chicken burger.....and three days relaxation waiting for my Juju medicine to arrive. Yeha.