Tuesday, August 26, 2008

DAY 305: Kalbarri to bush camp 19km NW of Northampton

Sun 24th August 2008
86km @ 14.6 km hr
Cloudy, sunny intervals, 24 deg C
Elevation of /destination 111m

Distance to date 18773 km (11733 miles)

Up a bit more sharpish this morning with the intention of an early start, but by the time I’d had breakfast, packed the bike up, checked e-mails and watched the mens marathon, it was nearly 1000. After saying goodbyes it was off into a light headwind and 16km of climbing straight off. It felt quite hard even after just a few days rest, and the hill seemed interminable. There’s not a lot of cover for the first 30km either; just coastal heath low scrub. I didn’t find it very enjoyable, even though the scenery wasn’t too bad, with regular glimpses of the distant blue ocean and all.
I wasn’t able to find a decent place to have lunch until 55km, when I found an electricity pole to lean against, and then I was troubled by flies and mozzies. I bought a new fly net yesterday but it’s hard to eat with a net over your face lol.
The whole ride today is moderately undulating with some steepish hills thrown in, and time and time again I dropped down only to have to climb up again. The only flat part is where the road runs alongside Hutt Lagoon, some 12km. The SW wind was either on the right side or just in front, so no help at all to me. Traffic was very light though. I did get buzzed by Three Hell's Angels riding flat out giuving off about 150 dB, well done guys.
After Hutt Lagoon there’s a right turn to Gregory, and I did consider riding to the CP there, but it was almost back in the same direction, and completely open to the wind, so I decided not to bother and chance my arm for a bush camp site. This wasn’t easy due to the fence close-to on both sides of the road. At 1700 I finally spotted a possible site - on the right the fence disappeared for a while, so I dove in to have a look. It was very nice actually, an area going back at least 100m and covered with swathes of brightly-coloured Everlastings and other wildflowers, as if it was someone’s wildflower garden. No houses for several km though as far as I could see, so in I went, and easily found a flat area without thorny shrubs (which were almost everywhere around here) and hidden from the road. I can be seen from the ploughed field beyond the fence, but surely no-one will see me from there.
I was very hungry so did a mega-portion of pasta for dinner. It’s 2000 as I type and it’s getting very cold - I’ll need plenty of clothing on tonight.

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