Wednesday, August 20, 2008

DAY 296: Bush camp to Wooramel Roadhouse

90km @ 16.1 km/hr
Fri 15th August 2008
Sunny, 26 deg C
Elevation of /destination 23m
Distance to date 18326 km (11454 miles)

Being exposed to the road didn’t bother me as much as it might have earlier in this trip - I’m getting more relaxed about this issue now - anyhow I slept well, apart from waking up when a couple of noisy lorries passed by.
I got away soon after 8 and was pleased to find a NE wind as opposed to yesterday’s southerly - whereas yesterday’s was right in front of me this morning’s was bang on the left side. It was still quite a plod thought, and the landscape didn’t change all day either; just patchy bushes but lots of Nothern Bluebell clumps at the roadside. It was dead straight and flat - 34km without a bend to start off, then another 26km, then 6, i.e. just 2 bends in 66km!
I stopped for nearly a couple of hours at the only rest area (at 46km) and had a good look at the rear tyre that had the puncture yesterday to make sure nothing sharp remained embedded. I couldn’t see anything so refitted this tyre onto the front wheel since it is also more worn than the other. The front went on the rear and the spare went back in the bag again. I had a good lunch and lots of tea and repeated exactly what I’d done this morning - no changes to terrain!
The wind remained on the left, but occasionally got behind more, but essentially I just ground away relentlessly for another 2.5 hours. I’d more or less made my mind up to just get a shower at the Wooramel Roadhouse, but when I asked about the price the lady owner said I could stay in the caravan park for nothing! “Well”, she said, “you’ve ridden here under your own steam so you deserve it”, or words to that effect! How nice, and how could I refuse? They only bought this place 2 months ago, so are just settling in; they lived in Kalgoorlie originally. Anyway after muffin and iced coffee I went to set up on REAL grass for a change, but disaster struck again when the tent pole broke and the tent collapsed. Several of the connecting joints on this MSR Hubba Hubba have split and I’ve been mending these with duct tape, but this time it was a key joint that fits into the hub and takes a lot of stress. Luckily I still had the piece of repair tubing that came with the tent so with a bit of jiggerypokery I was able to effect the repair - but will it last? The broken pole stuck through the tent outer and caused a big rip too. I’m taking the thing back to Mountain Designs in Perth where I bought it last October to see if I can get some new poles - and see if they’ll do anything about the broken zips too. It’s true it’s had a lot of use but even so it was $500 plus and I expected more of a life than this! I have tried to look after it.
I had a wonderful shower in the lovely clean facilities, then some nice socialising with a few other campers in the kitchen as I cooked and ate an excellent spaghetti

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