5/04/17 Norseman to 20kms East of Caiguna 405kms…….by Jenny.
Great first day on the Nullarbor crossing. After arriving dusty and exhausted, at Norseman, having a great dinner and sleeping like the dead, we didn’t do much on Tuesday. Will washed the dust off the bikes, and I washed our clothes and did a small food shop. The rest of the day we just relaxed and chatted with Nicole and Barry. A pub dinner, and another early night, had us waking up feeling more ready for this adventure.
Always good to be in Norseman with Nicole and Barry. Will cleaned the dust off our gear for the run across the Nullarbor.
We headed off just after 9.30am, straight to get air and fuel. Before 10am, we were actually cruising out towards the east. It was a cool morning, bright, clear sky, with next to no breeze. Hardly any traffic moving either. Perfect!
Got to top the tyres back up for the hard top, and Becky Beetle is happy to be joining this adventure. We are officially heading off.
It was hard not to remember our feelings from the cycle across, as we passed rest points and pain thresholds. It feels like yesterday, the agony, the fatigue and the struggle as we pushed to gain the cycle fitness. It was nearly 2yrs ago! Wow. Heaps easier this time, as we smashed past Fraser Range, laughed at how knackered we’d been, and then before we knew it, we were at Balladonia. We filled up. You never know if there will be issues at the next place, and we aren’t carrying spare fuel.
We ate lunch, sandwiches made from some home made bread Nicole gave us, and chatted to some German tourists. They were playing the Nullarbor Links golf course, that runs from Kalgoorlie to Ceduna. They are actually on a tour, self drive, but they have tourist attractions and organised events, like Corroborees and cultural shows in each place they stay. They were loving it. A great way to slow down and see more of this great route across Australia.
An hour later, relaxed and fed, we headed for the longest straight. Every second person will tell you how boring it is. Straight, flat, and mind numbing! That’s rubbish! It is straight. Very, very straight. But it is undulating and the Great Western Woodlands are beautiful. They change from tall red trunked trees (Gimlet gums) that look like they’re out of Dr Suess, to knee high shrub covered plains, then to bushy scrub, dense enough to camp in, hidden from the road. There are heaps of birds, and varying colours in the road, surfaces, and plants. It’s amazing. My advice is, slow down and open your eyes, oh and don’t forget to wave, it’s fun.
The “Dreaded” straight! I love it, look forward to it.
That 146.6kms, went so quickly, we arrived at Caiguna! Great memories of tailwinds and huge burgers, but this time a couple of take away beers, some fuel, and a chat to another Perth motorcyclist, heading home. Then a chat to a couple in a ute with Harvey number plates, heading for Adelaide and a wedding. None of them rushing, and all of us on the look out for our night camp.
We took lots of stops to stretch, rest and other stuff. At Caiguna, spot the odd vehicle* to be out this way, but comfy for the long road. (*extra long Chrysler)
Ours was only 20kms away, found on Wikicamps, and given 3stars. At first sighting, it didn’t look good, but off down the back track, we are a good distance from the road, amongst some nice shrubbery, with a clearing and enough wood to heat some of Nicole’s lamb stew, left over from our arrival dinner. Delicious and super easy. All in all, we had a pretty bloody good day on the road. Great weather, easy riding, nice people, warm food, cold beer and a dry, comfy (well mostly) bed.
Out the back of a roadside stop, we find a quiet clearing for the night. Yay, a fire and I get to wear my flanno!
6/04/17 20kms East of Caiguna to Eucla 327kms
It was a pretty cold night, and very dewy. We hadn’t covered the bikes, so they were wet. Oops, sorry bikes. The tent was wet, and the fire took some fanning to get started again. So it meant we could relax with our coffees, watching the crows try and find some scraps in our rubbish bag. Sneaky buggers, were pretty game, and didn’t give up. Everything was dry and packed up by 8:45am, and we headed out to the highway. A quick stop at the bin to chuck our rubbish, and who is waiting on the bin lid? Ol mate, the bloody crow. Huh, not stopping those blighters.
The road was cool, and pretty quiet, and today had a bit of a North Easterly crosswind. It started off light, but built up to 20-25km/hr. I let a small annoyance at the crosswind, slip out, before I realised I was better off this time, having a motor. Still way easier than cycling with this wind. So a twist of the throttle and forward ho!
Lots of stops again, and lots of lovely green bush. Good rains this summer.
An enjoyable cruise through to Mundrabilla, where we stopped for fuel and a stretch, and decided to grab a roadhouse burger too. It was good and fresh, and enough to get us through until dinner time. From here, it was a bit more rough, with the wind buffering us around more, and by the time we reached Eucla, 69kms on, we were a bit tired from it all.
So we decided to just park up in the caravan park for the night. We rode straight into the caravan park, picked a spot, then Will went back to the Motel to pay. While he was doing that, I started to get sorted. A lovely lady, from one of the caravans, wandered by on her way to the camp kitchen, with a tray of muffins to bake. We had a bit of a chat, then she carried on. Will came back, and we carried on getting set up, when Kerry came over with two hot, fresh, delicious muffins. Bloody lovely, thanks so much Kerry, and Colin, for giving up two of his muffin supply.
Before we reach the Eucla pass, we need the GoPro in action. Finding our tent sight, and Becky approves.
After showers and washing, we went over to chat with Colin and Kerry, from Perth, and enjoyed their company, a couple a beers (for Will, he’d been to the little Motel shop for supplies), and some homemade patē. It was lovely. Then we went to cook our dinner in the camp kitchen, Chorizo fried rice! Only, there was no chorizo! Where’s the chorizo Will? Hmm, he thinks it’s probably still in Norseman, bloody Nonuts! Just because we’d left him at his home for this trip, he stole our chorizo and some other items. No, Will did not forget them, it was Nonuts.
So, veggie fried rice it is then. We shared the kitchen with 2 other couples, and enjoyed a great night of discussion and interesting tales of travels past. Paul and Sue are fellow cycle tourers, not this trip, and had some great information on tandem touring. Mick and Linda are from Adelaide, and heading home. This is what we like about travelling in different ways, it brings other people out, and gets them talking. You always get good information, laughs, hints and tips.
Bed was calling, as we were both pretty tired, but we better get the washing off the line first. After last night, we decided to cover the bikes, which was a bit of a challenge in the dark, and wind. Not going to get dew on them tonight. Our body clocks are messed up, we’re losing time, and need to adjust, so off to bed. Another good day on this awesome road.