Friday, September 05, 2008

DAY 317: Quinn’s Rocks to Fremantle

Fri 5th September 2008
62km @ 13.4 km/hr
Sunny, 21 deg C
Elevation of destination 5m
Distance to date 19523 km (12202 miles)

What with light rain overnight and a dewy morning everywhere was pretty wet early on. I had nothing in for breakfast so just got packed up and ate on the way at the cafe up the road. I didn’t mention that I have thrown away the tin of milk powder - I suspected that it might have got contaminated and was giving me the trots - and in fact for 5 days since, I’ve been OK. Fingers crossed. I had been topping up the same large tin from bags of powder that work out cheaper than another tin, and perhaps the constant warming up and cooling of the tin and inevitable introduction of dampness has caused the lot to go off. Maybe I shoud have known, but if it was this problem the contents always smelt OK.
The first 15km today is on Marmon Road, which was very busy, but there’s a cycle lane most of the way and where there isn’t there’s a wide shouder. I had a nice surprise when a Ute stopped ahead of me, and it was the lovely couple who had invited me for lunch at the rest area near Kalbarri a few weeks ago! It was nice to see them again, and they are the kind of couple who effuse warmth and make one feel very special - what a great quality that is.
I knew that a cycle track on the sea front began at Mullaloo, and when I was close I turned off right and weaved through a housing estate for 2km down to the sea, and sure enough found the track. This was to last for about 40km i.e. all the way to Fremantle, athough it kind of disappears around Cottesloe for a short spell. Here I found myself approaching a busy town on a busy road so just headed west again and refound the sea and the cycleway.
I stopped for a very nice toasted panini for lunch about 10km from Freo, but that last few km took ages. The fresh SW wind got even stronger as the afternoon wore on and in the end I was unable to maintain 10 km/hr on the flat. I also went the wrong way, not seeing a sign for the city centre, and instead finishing up deep in dead-end dockland, and had to double back. It was a much harder day than the 'just coasting into Freo' day that I had anticipated.
First impressions of Freo are positive; it’s got quite an ‘alternative’ culture with street buskers and unusual shops. It’s a relatively old town by Oz standards, with buildings close together rather than sprawling far apart as in many places here. I’ve booked 5 nights at the YHA which is right in the centre of the city. Internet access is very fast and only $10 for 3 hours, and I finally figured how to upload as it was not straightforward at first. The hostel is quite old and a bit tired-looking, but everything is here that I need. I had dinner prepared for me tonight for a change - a NZ guy, Ritch, asked did I want to share his beef stew, and we had a good feed since he made quite a panfull. Nice, and he even provided the wine! I’ll have to return the compliment soon.

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