Wednesday, July 09, 2008

DAY 256: Kununurra to bush camp 8km NE of Doon Doon Roadhouse

100 km @ 16.1 km/hr
Sun 6th July 2008
Sunny, 31 deg C
Elevation of /destination 116 m
Distance to date 15163 km (9477 miles)

I took ages to get packed up due to the midden-like state of the tent after 4 static days, but eventually left at 0830. I was happy to find that Coles Supermarket was already open (some don’t open on Sunday) so got some nice French batons that I just managed to fit into the panniers, which were crammed with food for the 1200km stint to Broome. I also couldn’t resist a salad croissant and iced coffee (for the road) from the adjacent cafe, so it was well after 9 when I got on the road. I’m aware that with the WA time change it’ll be dark by 1730 now, which makes for a short day.
The Victoria Highway was quite busy but there were few lorries it being Sunday. The road is gently undulating and mostly straight, with many ranges of red mountains visible at a distance all around the horizon. After 45km I came to the Great Northern Highway onto which I turn left, but as there was a rest area I stopped to put the billy on and have a sandwich - Coles had some Bon Maman Gooseberry jam which is deicious with peanut butter, so I did justice to one of the fresh French sticks bought this morning - mmmmm... There was a young Dutch guy, Stefan, in a Wicked Campervan, but he was an exception to my WC rule whereby they are all to be avoided at all costs, being a really nice guy, and we had a right old natter.
I was a bit wary of this next bit of road since it bends south and even a little easy, so I could be vulnerable to the SE-er. In fact it was just on the left side as it had shifted to east as often happens in the afternoon; phew...It was still a slow day though, partly due to the odd feel of the new sandals, which are nowhere near as stiff as the Shimanos, and pedalling action feels less precise as a result. I’ll give them a couple of days then if I’m still not happy I may order a pair of Shimanos, if possible.
The road was even more pretty with oddly-shaped mountains close to the road; gorge-like in places. It’s also a bit more winding and undulating, but less monotonous for that, and I enjoyed the afternoon’s riding. Flocks of Galahs and Red-Winged Parrots were common, and I even passed a herd of wild brown horses (Brumbies) who bolted in fright when they spotted me. The Kapok was even more plentiful now, and I saw 2 more trees in flower - pink and cream respectively - that I don’t recall seeing before. There’s nothing dull and boring for me about this landscape. It’s a feast for the eyes, that just can’t be captured properly with the camera. The distant orange and pink mountains have a kind of burnished aura to them, as if they’re on fire, especially in the late afternoon sun which is when they really show off.
As the sun got lower I passed through a shadowy gorge and a draggy shallow climb, with the top half of the peaks on the left still in sun, until I passed over the highest point and descended out of the valley and into sunlight again. A very interesting ride; I hope there’s more of this in days to come.
With an hours light left I pulled off into some thickish bushes and set up camp some 150m fdrom the road, almost out of sight. As usual there was some Spinifex that left little thorns on various parts of my an anatomy - these sometimes make themselves felt when tucked up in the sleeping bag, and can get anywhere! Yes, anywhere!
That’s me finished -eaten and done diary - by 1930; must be a record, and I aim to be asleep by 9 for an early start tomorrow.

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