Thursday, August 14, 2008

DAY 294: Bush camp to bush camp 9km N of Carnarvon

108km @ 16.4 km/hr
Weds 13th August 2008
Sunny, 25 deg C
Elevation of /destination 11m
Distance to date 18186 km (11366 miles)
PLEASE NOTE - I've now posted pics for the last 10 days - now all up to date.

Another chilly morning, and therefore a sluggish start. There was a nice display by a flock of Masked Woodswallows around the tent, or were they Cuckoo Shrikes? I wasn’t 100% sure; they are similar to the unfamiliar like me. Away by 0900 with a light E/NE wind on the side or slightly behind. The busier highway has boasted a decent bitumen shouder since I joined it yesterday north of Minilya Roadhouse and this continued today, although it became quite small later on today. There are alternately moderate undulations and straight, flat sections.
It was harder work today since the wind was more on the side, and lighter, and it was seldom that I managed more then 20 km/hr. I saw another of the ugly lizard-like creature in exactly the same position on the road as yesterday, and stopped to have a closer look. As I did a motorist slowed down, thinking I might be in trouble as I was stopped, and just about ran over the poor wee critter. I was gesticulating for him to stop before he reached it but he didn’t understand me. I thanked him for stopping anyway, and after he’d gone I coud see the thing was OK, but he must have missed squashing it by millimetres! Hope I find out what they are.
I stopped for an extended lunch again once I’d finally found a shady spot where I could both access and lean the bike up - this took a long time to find. Flies were a nuisance; they seem to be steadily getting more numerous. I had to wear the head net again once they’d reached the ‘annoying me to death’ stage.
I started looking for a campsite around 4 with 30km to go, but it was tricky - the vegetation was prolific and hard to penetrate. On one occasion I got in behind some good cover to find millions of flies, massive spider’s webs with red and black evil-looking residents that I didn’t fancy disturbing, and jungle-style undergrowth, so it was exit stage left again. Then I came to an area 12km N of Carnarvon that is WA’s main centre for fruit and veg growing, so it was quite a busy area, then after that more jungle terrain, but beyond that was an area set back from the road where I found some decent patches to camp on. Even then the first couple of spots were alive with ants, that at one point I found myself wading through with some crawling up my legs.
I set up OK, and had a good dinner, but as it went dark thousands of mozzies came out to play - the first I’ve seen in weeks - and despite applying repellent asap they had got me in several places, even on the soles of my feet! There seems to be more water around here; hence the fruit and veg crops and mozzies.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi David,

The animal in question is a 'thorny devil'. It is a lizard that eats ants and is found over much of Australia. More info here.

I am an Australian who now lives in Europe (Geneva). I grew up near the town of Flinders (half my family lives in the town) which you rode through back in December.

You said, "It wasn’t obvious to me what the obvious wealth of the place wasw built on; there appeared to be no industry other than farming".

Flinders was originally a fishing town, and has a pilot station for passage through Western Port Bay, and also has a small naval base on a headland just out of town - because of the significance of the location at the head of Western Port Bay - which is an important industrial port. The naval base practices with their anti-aircraft guns every Wednesday around noon. A small aeroplane with a cable (300-400 metres long) and flag attached to the end flies back and forth with the naval guys trying to hit the flag with their anti-aircraft guns. I once met the pilot of the plane who said in the 20 years he has been doing the job, the navy has yet to hit the flag but accidentally hit the cable once.

But about 20 years ago when lots of people from Melbourne starting buying places on the Mornington Peninsular as holiay homes, the town created a law that no new plots of land would be made available for new houses. So, as it is still popular, people buy the older houses, knock them down and build bigger ones, or renovate the older ones. The land around the town also can't be subdivided, which keeps the area rural.

At one end of the town there is a cliff top overlooking the water with holiday homes belonging to some Australian celebrities because it is very private with nice views across the water.

And the town is still only 1.5 hours drive from the centre of Melbourne - which is a big factor as well.

Anyway, i have been reading your blog since you started, i'm considered the same trip myself one day, and am really enjoying it. Good luck for the rest of your journey.


Richard (