Wednesday, October 24, 2007

DAY 18: Ravensthorpe to Bush camp 75 km W of Esperance

112 km @ 14.4 km/hr
Tues 23 Oct 07
Warm sunny day (hurrah!)
Strongish headwind

Up and away by 0800 and judging by the no. of road trains that passed in the night I may need to use avoiding tactics today i.e. pull off onto the cinder shoulder when I hear a RT coming up behind. as it happened I saw very few lorries - maybe they avoid daytimes. There’s nothing for 80 km today, so I got well stocked up with goodies at IGA (national supermarket chain) in Ravensthorpe yesterday.Because yesterday was such a plod I wondered if I could make it easier on myself so decided to try splitting the ride into 4 quarters, and then concentrate on completing a quarter and then stopping, stretching the legs and having a treat. Bag of Nobby’s Nuts; orange, banana etc. - and it seemed to work because it felt easier. If the scenery were more interesting and changeable it might not matter so much, but these roads are dead straight and largely unchanging. Not complaining, I enjoy the remoteness and often go deep into thought. Grrr - PDA just crashed and I lost about 30 lines of writing!Jist was that the day passed well and i felt much livelier than yesterday. I had thought i might camp at Munglinup, which is the only roadhouse/shop in the 188km from Ravensthorpe to Esperance - is really is remote, although there are quite a few sheep and cereal farms. The fields are huge - several sq km in some cases. On arrival at Munglimup I had a sausage roll and cappacino and still felt quite ok, and as it was only 1330 decided to press on to try and reduce the ‘last leg’ to Esperance tomorrow to as easy a day as possible. It was by now a lovely warm and sunny afternoon, and the recent rains had brought the land into greenery and brightly coloured flowers and shrubs were much in evidence, very enjoyable.
By 1700 and after 8 hours riding I spotted a disused track leading into the bush, and with no cars around popped back off the road and found a nice camping site hidden from the road.I quickly put the tent up and lay for a while listening to the ‘music’ - crickets, birds, frogs and other unidentified sounds. An emu was walking through a field nearby followed by half a dozen chicks, and a small rodent (marsupial?) walked past me close by. A nice experience compared to the aggression I had faced earlier from the ubiquitous and territorial maggies - I have now got to recognise their whining voices as they ‘home in’ on heir target. The birds have been amazing though today - scores of different kinds such as raptors, parrots, finches and whatever else. I will take time soon to observe and try and ID some.
Just had a good supper of pasta, sardines, zuchini (courgettes to you ), onion etc., followed by coffee and Celebration Cake- mmmmm delicious, and all on my little camp stove! The cake is a fairly rich fruit cake full of all kinds of nuts and fruit, and it comes in a hard plastic case that travels well; in fact it fits nicely in the small p-ocket of my rucsack which travels on the rear rack, the main compartment holding up tp 10 litres of water if necessary (in a 4l and 6l water bag).
It’s 2000 and I think I’m starting to ramble now so it’s probably time to sign off. I usuall get to sleep between 9 and 10 after listening to BBC world service or reading (true history of Ned Kelly at the mo).