Tuesday, September 02, 2008

DAY 314: Day off in Lancelin

Tues 2nd September 2008
Sunny, 24 deg C
Elevation of destination 5m
Distance to date 19340 km (12087 miles)

Just a pleasant day chilling out, doing very little apart from lazing around in the sun and eating. They have a few hammocks strung outside here at the YHA and I read for most of the morning swinging to and fro gently in the warm sunshine, reflecting that pretty soon I’ll be back in the wintry Scottish weather. Later on I went to watch the parasurfers (kitesurfers?), which looks like fun, but I’m not tempted to have a go...
I spent some time in the afternoon trying to work out how much all the stuff I plan to take home with me will weigh. And as expected I have well over 30kg hold baggage, with only a 20kg allowance. I can probably risk turning up with 27kg as on the way out, when I got away with that much, but I will either have to send a parcel home with some stuff (it would be cheaper than paying excess baggage charges) or dump some items if they aren’t of much value.
Had a laugh watching Grumpy Old Women on TV here tonight - the stuff they say is so true I think! (Oops). Funny, I was just chatting to Lyn about this programme yesterday.
I’m moving on south tomorrow to give myself plenty of time to get down to Fremantle by Friday 5th. Then on Saturday I plan to complete the loop of Oz and cycle the last 15km from Freo to Perth and in particular to the City YHA where the tour started last October, then celebrate with a slap-up lunch or something similarly significant lol.

DAY 313: Bush camp to Lancelin

Mon 1st September 2008
48km @ 15.2 km hr
Cloudy, 23 deg C
Elevation of destination 5m
Distance to date 19340 km (12087 miles)

I woke around 0100 to barking dogs, and I assumed at first that they were at the nearest houses a few km away, but as I listened it seemed to me that the barking was getting nearer - was it my imagination? I couldn’t get to sleep again worrying about it; funny how this got to me. I later felt that there was one feral / wandering dog that was causing ‘domestic’ dogs to get excited. Anyway it went quiet, and I finally got to sleep with no more disturbances, waking after 8 to pitter-patter on the canvas. Just light rain, but enough to slow me down even more, but it soon relented and I got underway at around 0930.
The first 10km was OK, moderately undulating with a light tailwind, but after turning to the north I had more of a headwind and the road started to undulate more significantly. This continued for the next 20km, and included some steep hills up to 9 or 10%. I also had half an hour of rain at the highest point, and felt very cold even though it was still 16 deg C. There was me thinking today would be easy - well, it wasn't!
The vegetation remained low shrub / small Banksia-type trees, with plenty of grass trees everywhere including in the sheep meadows lol (do the sheep eat that stuff I wonder?). There was hardly any traffic though which was good. Shelter was not much of an issue in the light wind. Finally I topped the hill and started a shallow descent for a few km until hitting the Yanchep to Lancelin road. Here another climb began, and the N/NE wind had freshened, so the last 9km (or 8, or 10, depending on which of the 3 signs at the junction were correct lol) was tough. There was a 3km descent into Lancelin but I had to pedal hard to get down in the wind, so all the pain ascending earlier did not have any reciprocal pleasure in the downhill.
Checking the map just now I note that the ‘direct’ 4WD route from Cervantes to Lancelin is only 75km, whereas the route I took on the bitumen was fully 179km!! Maybe I should have done more research on the former track, but I understand that it is unrideable.
I rode straight to the YHA in Lancelin and checked in for 2 nights. This looks a very nice place; modern, comfortable, HEATERS in the room, internet where you can upload etc.etc. I also have a dorm to myself tonight as it’s not busy. The town is dead; it’s low season, but that’s an advantage to me lol!
After getting all the usual chores done (including a wonderful shower!) I had a look around the town and bought some wine for later to have with my fish and chip supper. I wish I’d arrived here earlier now, this is such a comfy pad......There’s even wireless internet here.