Monday, September 01, 2008

DAY 310:Bush camp to bush camp 8km N of Cervantes

Fri 29th August 2008
64km @ 13.6 km hr
Cloudy, rshowers, 20 deg C
Elevation of /destination 8m
Distance to date 19112 km (11945 miles)

Having slept soundly from 9 until 2 in just the sleeping bag on the wooden floor of the viewing area I awoke to raindrops on my face. I might have known that the only time I’ve slept outside the tent it would rain! Still, it was forecast. I scrambled around for a few minutes erecting the tent - not too difficult since I’d left everything to hand and made sure all my stuff was in the waterproof panniers - got in, and went back to sleep. Aren't head torches wonderful?
It was raining at around 7 when I woke up, so I stayed put for a while, dodging out to get breakfast (muesli) in between showers. Around 0830 it eased off although the sky was still a funny colour, and I made a chilly start just after 9.
It was only 20 minutes into Green Head, and I almost made it before the rain came on again, but a km before the town it came down hard, and I got quite wet. I went to the only store and ordered an egg and bacon roll and coffee, but had to sit shivering outside as there was nowhere to sit inside. I got funny looks from the few locals that came in - you’d have thought I’d dropped in from planet Zog - and didn’t find it a very welcoming experience. Green Head is a bland and nondescript place, and while I’m sure some love it to bits, it isn’t somewhere I would look forward to going to again. I noticed ads for houses for sale where a ramshackle place was priced at $370000 (£180000) - strange.....maybe there’s gold in the soil or something; or maybe I missed something?
On leaving the wind had picked up again to ‘moderate’ and was dead in the face. There was less shelter too from the wind-stunted scrubbery, and it felt tough. I went through a bad spell; probably due as much as anything to the recurring gastric woes, which are a real downer. The second course of treatment prescribed by the $60 doctor in Kalbarri did absolutely nothing to change things - strange in view of the fact that the first course prescribed in Broome worked OK for a couple of weeks. It’s getting so that severe stomach cramps are starting within 30 minutes of eating or drinking now, and I’ll have to seek help again I guess.
Eventually I crawled into Jurien Bay at around 10 km/hr and had a good rest. The sun came out and it felt good as I started to warm up more. I tentatively ate some lunch and thought about staying the night, but it clouded over again, the place looked less attractive, and I carried on. I was feeling substantially stronger than on arrival, and just as well since the wind became fresh to strong - southerly and still right in the face. If anything there was even less shelter now with hardly any trees to be seen, Caithness-style!
With a few km to go to Cervantes there was a good bush camping opportunity so I decided to take it and pulled off at around 1600 - not a bad spot at all; well-concealed from the road and nice and flat. After setting up I poured a goodly-sized mug of white wine and sat back with today’s West Australian, the sun came out for me, and all was well with the world. Except for the odd marauding giant ant that is - wow, these babies are the biggest I’ve seen at around 20mm long, and they actually rear up at you with their ‘horns’ flailing around when you try to flick them away; spunky little devils. I’m pretty sure these are the Bull Ants I’ve read about, and they give a very painful bite apparently. I made sure the tent flaps were closed; don’t want any guests in bed tonight...
Whilst I was cooking there were some more light showers and it suddenly got very cool.

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