Thursday, July 17, 2008

DAY 264: Bush camp to Willare Bridge Roadhouse

110 km @ 20.5 km/hr
Mon 14th July 2008
Sunny, 31 deg C
Elevation of /destination 20 m
Distance to date 15994 km (9996 miles)

A wonderfully quiet night but it became very cold indeed in the middle of the night - I couldn’t get warm enough before I realised that the zip was undone on the sleeping bag, so the heat was escaping! Zipping up improved things considerably, and I must have got 10 hours sleep in the end.
I took my time getting ready despite the sun blazing full-on, there being no eastern shade at this time. Away at 0830, the wind was behind me, and quite fresh, but a draggy 3% climb for 10km kept speed down. I was having trouble finding a comfortable seating position due to the sores, which are on both sides. Once at the top of this ‘hill’ I speeded up and somehow forgot about the soreness for a good while (funny how I seem to dwell on them more when under ‘pressure’)!
Although my HEMA map said there was a rest area after 50-odd km, it came at 36 km! It was a cracker though with the tables shaded by the biggest Boab I’ve seen so far, in fact one of the biggest trees I’ve ever seen. It was 20km around the base, which means around 7m (23’) diameter. It was completely hollow inside with a space the size of a medium-sized room; many of such spaces were used to hold prisoners in days of yore. Although it was windy I was able to set the stove to leeward of the giant and enjoyed a nice cuppa, and ubiquitous jam butty. It’s a great shame that such a venerable living thing - possibly 3000 years old - has been extensively defaced by stupid people carving their names into it. The same goes for some examples of huge lone rocks at the side of the road which have been similarly covered in graffiti.
Continuing, the wind was now right behind me and blowing me along at over 30 once more - whooppee! I ate the km up for a couple of hours through the same skinny woodland that I’ve been seeing for days, with the road being mostly flat, with occasional modest undulations. The road was in reasonable state but a little bumpy in parts. The shoulder was gravel and was sometimes firm and sometimes loose, so one has to be wary jumping off to let traffic pass. There were more roadtrains today - mostly cattle trucks in this predominantly beef farming area - but they bothered me little.
I turned left at the junction with the Derby to Broome road, and had a moment of reconsideration as to whether I should visit the former or not, but remembering the lack of anything of interest to me in the guide book I was content to forego the pleasures, if any, of the place.
Anyway, just 13km west was the Willare Bridge Roadhouse, and I needed a shower and to get washing done, not to mention a rare couple of beers and dinner out for a change (food stocks were a little depleted), so I checked in here (expensive $14 pppn). After paying and seeing the site I wasn’t too impressed, it’s a bit scruffy and dusty, and there’s a generator loudly droning away (no mains power here of course), but not to worry, it’s only for 1 night. And they did have some beautiful iced coffee and tasty apple pies which compensated considerably.

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