Wednesday, August 20, 2008

DAY 300: Bush camp to Kalbarri

53km @ 15.4 km/hr
Tues 19th August 2008
Sunny, 27 deg C
Elevation of /destination 5m
Distance to date 18667 km (11667 miles)

Day 300 - where did the time go?? Hard to believe this trip is nearly over; for ages it seemed like it would last for ever!
Last night’s campsite was a good one, very peaceful, and I couldn’t even hear the traffic on the road some 1km away if there was any. However I had a very bad ‘gastric attack’ this morning which delayed me considerably. From the instant the sun came up I had to tolerate the accursed bush flies too, trying to drive me to distraction again (and mostly succeeding). I was glad to get going some time after 10 and lose most of them in the crosswind.
After turning right onto the Kalbarri road I only had a couple of km to the turnoff for two lookouts over the Murchison River gorges, which entailed a round trip of around 11km back to the road. The gorges were pretty enough, but not on the same magnificent scale as Karajini NP. I lingered around here most of the morning though in the warm sunshine, chatting to a few tourists who were passing by. One English couple gave me 2 oranges, which makes 5 orange donations in 2 days! The road and facilities at these lookouts are very good and look quite new; shame the Karajini NP / gorges infrastructure isn’t nearly as good. The roads descended down steepish hills to reach the gorges and consequently made for some hard work on returning.
Back on the road the NE wind was bang on the side as I headed SW; the hilly stretch reverted to flat and straight again for the next 20km. The yellow Acacia dominated the roadside, but many other gaily-coloured trees, shrubs and flowers competed for impact. Apart from the flies it was very pleasant riding enhanced by the mixture of scents wafting in the morning air. 10km before Kalbarri is a road leading up to 2 more gorges, Z-bend and Nature’s Window, but they make for a round trip of some 60km, and I decided not to do this. After another quite steep hill there was then a 2km descent into town. The entrance to the town is quite attractive with white sandy beaches, blue seas and the wide Murchison River on my right. The sky had clouded over so the colours were not as bright as usual; it even looked like it might rain.
First stop was the bakery for Cornish pastie and slice of apple stroudel, then the information centre to find out about caravan parks. There were 3, all between $20 and 25, but having checked out the one on the sea front I wasn’t too impressed with the cramped tent area. I’d noticed there was a YHA hostel here, and decided to check this out - $24 for a dorm room and the lady said they weren’t too busy, so I plumped for this; it’s almost in the centre of town too, and close to the beach.
After a good hot shower I got chatting to a couple of fellow guests, Harvey and John, and since Harvey intended to go and eat at a barbecued seafood place (Finlay’s) we all decided to go too. We collected some beers at the conveniently-placed bottle shop en route, and at the eatery ordered the big medley-type dish for $20. It was a huge plateful of fish and shellfish, chips and salad and very good too; I haven’t had such a big feed for ages. We had a nice sociable evening but it got cold around 2030 so we headed ‘home’ again. No time to write the blog so it’ll have to wait until tomorrow.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

All the best on your last bit to Perth it was good to meet you.
PS: can i have your last Guinness you left in me fridge.
All the best
Crank at