The Last of Winter & Trip Prepping

22nd of June to 12th of July, Cover Photo: Mandurah Foreshore at Night in Winter.

Holy cow, it’s fly out day already. It feels like just yesterday we decided to do this crazy adventure. Bloody red wine has a lot to answer for! Everything is cleaned, locked and paid. I don’t know if we’ve forgotten to do anything, but I’m sure we’ll find out and sort it out.

The last couple of weeks have seen us trying to get focused on the things We need done, with some kids stuff, and catching up with friends and family. Well as many as we were able to, some we just couldn’t co-ordinate with, but they know we love them and will miss them. Oldest daughter Harper, collected her friend Morgan, who arrived from Oklahoma, and the two of them have departed on their own adventure across Australia.  Our son, Hayden and his partner, Kirsty, are just super busy with work, study and the usual busy young lives, and  our youngest daughter Olivia, has moved house, and organised many things in her life to move forward in a positive and happy way. We have total faith in her and her partner, Jake, to get on track and love life.

 

 

Morgan made us the first of our American breakfast oddities, Biscuits and gravy. They were delicious, but already I know to stay away from them little heart attacks on a plate. Some garden interlopers, not edible, but very cute.

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Harper, me and Morgan having our last cuddles for a while. Agnus the van is eager and waiting. Have a ball girls.

In amongst all this hectic stuff, I went with my Mum for a weekend road trip to Dongara. She was up for a quick adventure before I left, and it was the perfect opportunity to catch up with another part of our big mixed family. Willie Pekaar and her two daughters, became a part of our family way, way back in the days when I was care free and life was easy ( for me, I was about 3 or 4). It had been a while since Mum had got to their place for a catch up, so we took the chance, and had a fantastic weekend. It really helped that we had the best of winter, WA can offer.

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We did our own Car Karayoke, with some Roy Orbison. I was very impressed with mums varied music collection.

 

 

We stayed at Breeze Inn, which is actually the backpackers, and it was very cool. We got the rail carriage so we could have Buddy with us.

 

 

I felt very spoilt, with both my mums and my biggest sister looking after me. It’s not always bad being the baby of the family 🤪.

 

 

Mum and I took our folding bikes, and had a gorgeous ride along the river to the mouth, before meeting Anne and Willie at the pub for lunch. It was bloody fantastic, even hot.

 

 

I made them all help me crochet roses for my friend Delys, who has a lovely little business running Mandala workshops, and creating lovely, useful artworks. Take a look at her website Dilli Delli,  Facebook and Instagram. Then we just had to smash out some Thai Chi on the beach in the winter sun. Well Mum did, anyway. It was a brilliant weekend.

While I was doing this, Will thought it would be good for him to catch up a bunch of his “bloke” friends, and have an overnight motorbike adventure. He spent a fair bit of time, raking in the blokes, and mapping out a good couple of days riding. As time grew closer, a couple of the blokes had life get in the way, one had a stack on his dirt bike and broke his neck. Well, luckily not in the worst possible way, but still has him layed up for a bit. Then, Will’s back just wouldn’t come good. In the end, when there was only 3 blokes left, it was Will who had to pull out. It was concerning for our cycle trip, so after a couple of physio visits, he decided to see the doctor and got some heavy duty anti-inflammatory pills, which have done the trick.

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Will just rested his back and watched (did research) YouTube with Mae-C, our latest mascot. She is a Schnauzer, and the closest thing to a pet dog I am allowed at the moment. A lovely gift from Delys, who has a real Schnauzer, Murry, who I adore. He is terribly naughty, but cute.
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Lilly is a lovely chilled out lady, leaving Murry to be a *#%#

So back into preps. Travel Home Base (THB) is as good as it can get until summer, and we are pretty happy with what we have achieved here. So that just left the packing of bikes into boxes, deciding what to do about the weight allowance issues (nothing, we are just going to cross our fingers, act dumb, and at worst, pay, pay, pay), and be ruthless in what clothes to take. After all, I hear Canada has shops, so we can always buy what we forget, right?

 

 

Yet another magic winters day to show off our progressing THB.

 

 

One last 20km ride before the kids get packed up. We stopped in at Sports Power Mandurah, and the owner, Hayden, was super helpful in sorting me some new joggers for the trip. He didn’t hesitate on taking me straight to the discount table and finding me a suitable pair at a bargain price. A really nice guy, knows his gear, and runs this local business with his family. He also had a couple of statues of us after this adventure. We look great, hey?

 

 

Thank goodness Will knows what he’s doing. Poor kids, all chopped up and jammed in. See ya on the other side.

 

 

Will is hard at it bike packing, while I’m getting into the “no plastic bag” motion with a cute and vercitile string bag from Dilli Delli. Light, handy and bright.

I can tell you, that this adventure is going to be one of the toughest for me. Since our last big cycle across the Nullarbor (2015), I have really struggled with my health. Two bouts of Ross River have really attacked my arthritic joints, which were manageable, but are now a battle, several surgeries, and then the Fibromyalgia. I have been very lazy with my physio recommended exercises, which were making things less painful, and with the rain and cold (I am sure I am either a reptile or a bear), I have been very unmotivated to even get out of my nice warm bed. I’m not saying I can’t do it, but all this does sometimes give me cause for concern. What I have learnt from my experiences, is that thing I’ve rattled on about before, Ride your own ride. Take each day as it comes, and be in tune with your bodies needs. Rest when you need to, and enjoy what you can do, don’t worry about what you can’t.

 

 

I took the opportunity to watch my niece win her Troops Lyrical competition, and come third in her Solo Tap. It was amazing, they are under 12’s and brilliant.

 

 

Another cracker of a winters day, so we took a break from cleaning to ride and lunch with good friends Grant and Terri.

 

 

Used up the last of our food in a delicious omelette, nothing wasted.

 

 

No food left? No problem, we had a great dinner out at Silk Thai restaurant,in Mandurah, with Darren And Delys  (Dilli Delli), on another beautiful night.

 

 

Finally bikes done, bags packed, and Marie Hinkley (our Uber driving lovely neighbour) got up at stupid o’clock to drive us to the airport.

Anyway, people, this is going to be one hell of an experience, and as you are well aware, when I am suffering, I swear, complain and generally do stupid shit that is funny to onlookers. So hang in there with me, and feel free to laugh and enjoy with us. So much to see, and did I mention it is summer in the Northern hemisphere? Warmth, sun, yay!

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