Monday, October 22, 2007

DAY 16: Pallinup RA to Fitzgerald RA

103 km @ 18. 8 km/hrwindy, squally showers
cool 13 deg C
Sunday 21st Oct 2007

I awoke to the sound of more rain pitter-pattering on the tent, so didn’t bother trying to get away early. By 0700 it had stopped so I took the chance to get up and packed. Once again it was cloudy and cool, but the SW wind persisted, so it wasn’t all bad news. The other 3 motorhomers that had stayed here last night were allquiet. A roadhouse about 10 km up the road provided a pie for breakfast then still dry, I headed on east. On arrival at this place I suffered the indignity of falling off the bike as my left pedal cleat refused to let go of my foot, and seem to have a decent bruise on thigh for my trouble. i don’t like these Shimano cleats; not as effective as the time ones I use on my other bikes. As was the case yesterday, Highway 1 was almost flat as huge cereal fields endlessly bordered both sides of the road. (see pic above - vanishing point!)
I received quite a few good toots this morning from happy motorhomers, which always initiates a big wave back.There wasn’t much to look at scenery-wise so i just kept plugging away at around 25 km/hr helped by the tailwind again. It started to rain around 1000 and more or less kept it up for the rest of the day.Well inside 4 hours I had arrived (in fairly wet state) at Jerranunjup where satisfied my sugar craving with an apricot Danish. J is not really big enough to be called a town and to be honest had nothing else to offer, especially on a Sunday. I asked a guy with a paper whether the result of the rugby world cup final was in there, but it wasn’t, and he wasn’t inclined to chat. The sign here by the way means 45 km to go to Jewrramanjup - they are positioned every 5km along the road between all towns.
Maybe it was the poor weather, but no-one seemed very happy, not least the lady that served me in the cafe. I had the option to stay at the caravan park at Jerramunjup but (1) I didn’t like the look of the place and (2) there was a rest area 39 km down the road and it was only 1230, so i pressed on.The road bent more to the east now with the result that my friend the tail wind was now on the starboard beam and with the loss of the tree shelter belt to open cereal fields I was buffeted somewhat with wet squalls - not at all pleasant - where the hell is the sun and nice weather? I was down to 12 km/hr since there was also a draggy uphill for about 10km. Feeling quite tired I thankfully arrived at the rest area at about 1530. Happily it had stopped raining so i quickly got the tent up, and next job was to slap on some mozzie repellant as there seemed to be a few eyeing me up - “hmmmm, now where shall we start........”The last 200 km i.e. since Albany was quite remote with very few settlements. Water is available at least every 50km or so though, and as it has been so cool i have been drinking a lot less than on hotter days, so i have found that 4 or 5 litres is enough - you just need to check every time you stop what is ahead - what services etc., and make sure to ask so no disasters. If stuck I’m sure the motorhomers would help out, but it’s important to take responsibility for yourself.Typing this up in daylight for once (on the PDA / portable keyboard) rather than by headtorch as is the norm. Feeling very tired so will try to sleep soon after dark (about 1900).

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