Thursday, July 17, 2008

DAY 265: Willare Bridge RH to bush camp 23km E Roebuck RH

111 km @ 16.7 km/hr
Tues 15th July 2008
Sunny, 30 deg C
Elevation of /destination 21 m
Distance to date 16105 km (10066 miles)

By morning I realised (again) I had made a mistake staying here. The Willare Bridge Roadhouse is a dump, and at $14 a relatively expensive dump. Hardly any grass; noisy generator right next to the camping area running all night; cracks all over the toilet block floor where cockroaches pop in and out; the maintenance guy driving like a maniac around the caravans raising loads of dust; dogs barking constantly, stink of rotting rubbish etc. etc. Worst thing is I realised what a good free bush camp there is opposite the roadhouse; in fact I saw 2 pairs of bicycle tracks going in there but don’t know how recent they are. Don’t know how I missed that - probably too intent on eating and drinking as usual on arrival! To add insult to injury the Freeloader family arrived late last night after the office had closed and of course pitched right beside me, and then rose at 0500 to get away before anyone saw them and asked them for money. All in all a disastrous night’s sleep and I felt whacked before I started today.
I got up soon after dawn then; no point in trying to grab sleep when most others are just getting up, and it was pretty cold at that time. Once underway at 0720 it started to warm up, and was of course blazing by 8!
Usually the act of starting the day’s ride motivates me, but this morning I felt pretty miserable, and all morning as I pottered along with a side wind up a seemingly endless draggy uphill I was in a bad place mentally. There was nothing external to lift me either, such as a nice colourful bird or frisky Wallaby. And my nether regions were very painful from a variety of saddle sores such that I could hardly sit down, which definitely didn’t help at all.
This went on for 59km until I finally arrived in the long-wished for rest area and I determined to have a long break, and even a nap. This did actually sort me out, and after 2 cuppas and sandwiches (including a delicious cream cheese and sun-dried tomato in canola oil variety which I haven’t tried before) and a good stretch out on the bench for half an hour, I was significantly more positive. And during the 90 minute break the wind turned into the east so was almost right behind me, so that felt good.
This feature of the wind up here to (usually) move clockwise around noon is important if I am to make things as easy as possible for myself effort-wise. There are some hard hot days after Broome through the Great Sandy Desert with no shade or water, so I’d be wise to ride when the wind is in my favour and minimise my exposure. For example I may ride in the afternoon and early evening when the wind is more of an advantage, rather than setting off in the morning as I usualy do.
The road was pretty bumpy again today and not kind to my bum at all, and whilst the surface is better in the middle of the road there was so much traffic that as soon as I got out there I had to jump back into the bumps repeatedly. At one point a huge Boab tree went past on a low loader with police escort, branches sticking out a very long way - wonder where that was going? Must have cost a fortune to move it this way so it must be a special tree in some way.
I had trouble finding a bush camping spot to my liking and made a few aborted sorties to investigate, but finally found this one with an hour to spare. It’s only about 60km into Broome from here so tomorrow should be easy. I’ll be spending a few days samping the delights of this famous place that everyone seems to love.

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