Monday, October 29, 2007

DAY 25: Norseman to Fraser Range Station Caravan Park

Tuesday 30th Oct 07
104 km @ 16.2 km/hr
Headwind for most of day, warm

I awoke before 6 to hear Thomas packing up to leave, but by the time I was up he had gone - shame we never said goodbye properly. I look forward to corresponding with him in the future though.
By the time I’d checked e-mails at the garage (the $12/hr internet terminal there had no uploading option) and I’d visited the ATM it was 8, but I was feeling good as I left on a lovely spring morning with a slight tailwind. The road is pretty straight as usual, but rises steadily up to around 350m.
By 30km I was really enjoying the ride - despite 2 100km days back to back - when my digestive system decided to revolt again. I don’t know what’s going on, but it may be that the chorizo suasage that I had a little of uncooked last night, and thought would keep quite a while, does not do so - anyway if it was that then lesson learnt. No dunny for miles either so off into the bush and behind a bush.
Despite this my mood was indefatigable, and I sailed along until I came to some major roadworks that I had heard about. Highway 1 (which by the way goes all around Australia) is being upgraded for fully 50km, and the surface is not tarmac but smooth consolidated dirt - not too bad to ride on but you have to keep an eye open for stones etc. Well, during this 50km there were 6 traffic control points where I had to wait for up to 15 minutes, however rather than feel annoyed about this I enjoyed talking to the ‘lollipop person’ holding the stop/go sign. I learnt quite a bit about the work, Australia, and even in one case his secret love! Only downside was a rather clumsy lollipop lady who kept threatening to knock my head off with her lollipop; and she nearly broke off my new handlebar-end mirror (with which I am very pleased). I was repeatedly told that my destination today was a really nice place, and I thought I might have a day off tomorrow on that basis, plus I can get some washing done.
As the roadworks came to and end the going got very tough, with an increasing SE wind almost in my face, and a steady drag upwards. I was very tired when I arrived at the turning to Fraser Station and crept along the rough 2km side road. On arrival I could see it was worth it though - a tidy collection of mostly old-style Australian buildings, set in a fertile grassland valley with birds everywhere - noisy Galah parrots; the ubiquitous 28’s (ring-necked parrot / Port Lincoln parrot); crested pigeons etc. Unfortunately there were also billions of little flies again - folk are saying they are particularly bad at the moment, however I usually manage to ignore them, they don’t bite and are really just an annoyance more than anything. The place has a lovely sense of peace about it, and I’m going to enjoy staying here.\
The campers kitchen is excellent here and has everything you need. As usual there was a general getting to know each othert session as the (small number of) campers prepared their evening meal. This place is pretty remote and they have their own water and power supplies of course. It is a working sheep station covering a huge area.I have a picturesque camping site under some trees, and felt very cosy and content as I retired for the night.

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