Wow, it is hard to believe that a whole week has elapsed since we left home. We have now travelled a total of 3,784 Kms after covering another 528 Kms today.
We decided to have a later start this morning as we had a slightly shorter distance to cover today and would pick up another 45 minutes as we moved from the Border time zone into the Western time zone.
We had a very loose arrangement with the fellow ST rider Johnny Whitehead to ride out with us in the morning unless he couldn’t sleep and had trouble adjusting to the time change. In this case he was going to set off early on his own. He didn’t show so we assumed he did just that.! We heard news of him this evening when he posted that he was at Esperance and heading to Ravensthorpe over 1,000 kms from Eucla!. Wow, he certainly likes to cover some territory.
We had a fairly comfortable ride today with roadhouses the only points of civilisation along the way each spaced out, on average, about every 100 Kms or so. We passed by Mundrabilla roadhouse before stopping to refuel (both the bikes and ourselves) at Mandura Road House at the foot of the Mandura Pass. The road then climbed up onto a plateau which was the original ocean shore millions of years ago. You can look back from a lookout at the top and see where the ocean used to be all those years ago. We stopped at Cocklebiddy roadhouse for a break before heading on to Caiguna roadhouse for a lunch of Ryvita biscuits, cheese, vegemite and tuna.
After leaving Caiguna we encountered the longest straight stretch of road in Australia (146 km without the slightest deviation!). We passed a sign at the beginning of the straight proclaiming its claim to fame that David wanted to photograph. Don’t worry, There is another one at the end of the straight said I!. We can take a photo of that one. Famous last words as yours truly, who was in the lead at the time, rode straight pass the second sign at the end of the straight without the slightest sign of slackening in pace. David was less than impressed!. Don’t worry David said I again, we can get it on the way back!. :o)
To top off my disgrace, I led our small convoy of two into what I thought was the turn in to our overnight stop at Balladonia roadhouse only to find it was just a rough bush track leading down to the back end of the roadhouse. After a heart stopping bumpy ride (with my pillion having kittens!) I finally found a track that led us back around to the front of the roadhouse. My ride leading credentials have now taken a serious turn for the worse!.
Overall, it was cloudy for most of the day with temperatures staying around the comfortable mid 20 mark. Every now and then we would ride through a very short period of rainfall that wet us and the bikes but did not seem to wet the ground very much. The countryside is green and obviously showing the benefits of the recent rain in the area. Overall, a very pleasant ride.
Dinner was in the roadhouse with their fairly basic meals served at top restaurant prices.
Off to the gold mining town of Kalgoorlie tomorrow.
Bye for now
Dick, Ros, David and Sue