Sunday, October 14, 2007

DAY 8: Nannup to Pemberton

77 km @ 14.9 km/hr

hot and sunny, little wind
Sat 13 Oct 07
I was still pretty itchy from the mozzie bites last night but
thankfully got to sleep eventually, awaking to the raucous but amusing
sound of my old friends the Kookaburra gang at 0530. It really does
sound as if they are having a good laugh, a really, really. good
laugh! What's the big joke guys?
After a bit of fumbling around packing stuff I cooked a big bowl of
porridge and got away at 0730, my earliest start yet. It was a
beautiful spring morning but the forecast was some 30 deg C. The first
couple of hours were enjoyable cycling, the road deathly quiet apart
from the birds with their weird and diverse cries. Spring flowers were
growing in isolated clumps giving an occasional flash of colour. I
reckoned there were no services on this road and I was almost right,
except that after 30 km an unmanned fruit stall at the side of the
road proved the welcome exception. I polished off 3 navel oranges in
a row, sweet and juicy and delicious they were too. The farm that
seemed to be associated with this stall was the only one as far as I
could see in a stretch of around 50 km - other than this there was
only forest - desolute but beautiful.
Given that orange energy kick I rode on with a bit more gustso - to
be honest I am feeling generally quite tired and in need of a day off
- possibly tomorrow in Pemberton.
With about 20 km to go the Karri forests started - these are some of
the tallest trees in the world (reputedly the 3rd tallest), but sadly
depleted due to past logging activities, for instance in providing
railway sleepers. The tourist potential has now been fully realised
as far as I can see and the remaining ones may endure hopefully. There
certainly are quite a few tourists around; the road got a little more
busy after late morning but still only about 40 cars an hour or so.
With the Karri came a long and hard climb upwards of around 3 km,
which didn't help my fatigue at all. I just had to stop at the top to
replenish calories with some cake I had left over, however I still
crawled into Pembrton just about spent. Definite day off tomorrow.
I was allocated a nice pitch in the local campsite, down by the river,
with wild garlic everywhere and the usual residentparrot - this one
coming to watch me as I unpacked (see pic) and giving me a demo of his
mimicry (don't give up the day job Mr.Parrot). I tried to teach him to
no avail.
I set up the tent and went for a scout around Pemberton - another nice
old Aussie town like Nannup (which I really liked). For my tastes, I
much prefer these kind of places rather than the modern west coast
towns and cities. Lots of character here.
Anyhow, just typed this up on the PDA so will upload later. Just
phoned Lyn and managed to get through to her at last, lovely to hear
her voice again. She's down at her mums in Devon at the mo. Going to
treat myself to a meal out tonight for a change. Table for 1 please!
I finished up with a T-bone steak at the Shamrock, delicious. Then a
really nice long sleep.
I'm a little behind my 'schedule' to meet George in Norseman on 1
Nov., but I have wanted to see various places which meant zig-zagging,
plus I am not at all up to peak fitness yet. I should be able to make
up days on the long flat Nullabor to enable me to linger in desirable
places later.

Emu's abound here.

A year cycling around Australia supporting WaterAid - starting in
Perth 6 Oct 2007 and heading anticlockwise :-