24th September 2017
Timber Creek to Lake Argyle 245kms
If the night before was bad, last night was fucking diabolical. While we enjoyed dinner and the good company, it wasn’t too bad, but just as we all settled down for the night, the breeze stopped, and the temperature just sat on 30C. Ugh, not enough alcohol can be purchased in this region (due to local laws) to get through this. Luckily, just after 1am, a big wind started to blow, which cooled things off enough to get off to sleep.
At least the breeze picked up eventually. I hope it is cooler in the West.
The morning was not a fun one, I was tired and grumpy, and hot, and we only had enough cereal for one. The camp kitchen consisted of a BBQ and a sink, so we couldn’t even be bothered getting out our MSR to make coffee. I was too tired to eat or have coffee anyway, so Will bought himself a toastie and a coffee, and me a Powerade, to get me started. At least it was pretty early, and we were packed and heading off by 8:30am.
With only 240 ish kays to go, we didn’t have to panic, and could just enjoy the ride. The Victoria River is a nice river, if only it wasn’t full of fresh water crocs. Aside from a few photos and a drinks break, we stopped to finish the remains of our fresh food, before we crossed back into the homeland state of Western Australia. There is a quarantine check point on the boarder, and they do inspect your vehicles for fresh food. Just before we reached the boarder, I gave it one last blast at 130kms/hr, to get it out of the system. Then we stopped and handed over our fresh garlic, which we could have peeled and kept, who would think of that. Bugger.
You need a pee stop, and this is the rest bay. Not a bloody tree in sight. Becky is getting sun faded, so I gave her some shade, and a 5 times a day mantra for us is “Got your earplugs?”.
Only a few kays over the boarder and we turn in towards Lake Argyle. This is the second largest freshwater, man made Lake in Australia, and was completed in 1971. It is a spectacular place, and you can do tours, canoe, take flights, you name it. I was really feeling the fatigue today after two bad sleeps, and the heat, and I’d struggled with a head ache all day. So first things first, I needed to try and have a nap. We placed the tent in a shady spot, and I laid down. I did get to sleep, but woke up with burning feet, and in a pool of sweat and drool. Not pleasant. But my head ache was better. Now we just want to swim in the infinity pool, as it is the coldest pool in the Kununurra region, apparently.
Riding the 36kms in was beautiful, and although the dam is a lot lower than it will be, it is still impressive.
We took a ride across the dam wall, and checked out the bottom.
The pool was nice, but it quickly filled up with people. So we went and got an ice-cream ($5 each) and went and relaxed in the shade, to watch the other people in the park. There were lots of new birds here, that we couldn’t identify, so made our own names up, like The Badger Bird (it had similar markings on it’s head to a Badger), and Rhino bird (it had a big lumpy thing on it’s beak). Very creative names, I know, but it was fun. We ate dinner at the bar/restaurant, and spotted Jerome and Tatiana. It was a great chance to find out more about them, and to know they are newlyweds on their honeymoon. It isn’t the first time they have been to Australia. They were great to chat to, and share the evening with. I hope they will contact us, when they reach Perth, and the end of their adventure.
A very pleasant night with these two. There was also some live music, which was great.
25th September 2017
Lake Argyle to Halls Creek 450kms
Just after bedtime, last night, a beautiful cool breeze picked up, and we went straight to sleep, getting a great nights sleep. Yay! Amazing! We woke up just after 5am, and pretty much just got up. Will went to make a coffee, it’s not coffee weather for me, so I just rolled everything up and got up. We just sat and relaxed, before the final jigsaw puzzle game, of Tetris thing we do. Our closest neighbour stepped out of her luxury motor home, and said good morning. Fabian, is a lovely lady in her early 60’s, and she has been travelling around with her gorgeous dog, Bella, for nearly 3 years. We had a quick chat, then she carried on with her morning, and we completed the jigsaw, well almost. Then Fabian poked her head out of her van and offered us a coffee or tea. We learnt ages ago (on the Nullarbor cycle tour, actually) not to say no to these generous gestures, as these are the times you really enjoy. Hearing other people’s stories, and having discussions about a huge range of topics. Fabian is an amazing lady, and we sat with her and Bella for about an hour, before we all went off to our day. What a great beginning to this day.
We still managed to get away pretty early, and the temp was just perfect. As we were heading out to the Victoria highway, we spotted our first family of wild horses. Very healthy and grand looking animals. They were not phased by us at all. The run through to Kununarra was pleasant and easy, and our first stop was for fuel. That done, we need some food, and breakfast. Unfortunately, due to our lack of care, we didn’t realise what day it was, The Queens’ Birthday, sorry Your Majesty, a public holiday. The only things open, were Coles (phew, and hooray) and the servo. So Will went in to do the grocery shopping, while I stood guard. From what, I don’t know, things were pretty quiet, except for all us border crossers who had to hand in all our goodies and needed to restock.
I had a great chat to two guys, while waiting for Will, answering all their bike tech questions, like a boss. Lucky I listen when Will answers these questions, or I’d be stumped. Yay for rote learning, and Will. Great chats, all super enthusiastic and supportive. Shopping done and packed away, we hit the servo for body fuel, before busting out westward towards Halls Creek. Not before riding over the always impressive diversion dam.
The diversion dam is pretty impressive, and bigger in real life than it looks.
Today, we must of had our riding mojo, and we were just happy cruising along in awe of our surroundings. Nothing short of spectacular, so much so, it was two hours, before we thought to stop and take a break. I think it was more due to running out of water in the camel backs. Neither of us were hungry, so we refilled our water, and continued on through the range country. Lots of amazing rock formations, cows wandering roadside, and more brumbies. We enjoyed looking around so much, we often forgot to stop and take pictures.
Our original plan today, was to Bush Camp at Mary Pool, about 120kms west of Halls Creek, but when we got to town, fuel lights flashing, we’d actually had enough. After being stopped in the Main Street, by the coppers, passing a Random Breath Test (bit scary if we didn’t, after riding over 400kms) and refuelling, we went to the caravan park. Having stayed there many years ago, we had good memories of it, but when we pulled in, it was a sad reflection on our memories. Not a single blade of grass remained, and no shade. I rang the motel, across the way, and they had a room, a bit over budget, but we took it anyway. Aircon and sleep are what we are after, and that is what we got. It was good, and just what we needed. We ate a small dinner at the bar, and then spent the night battling with poor phone reception and my dying 2012 IPad, trying to update the blog. I failed, so we went to sleep.