Day 14 – Esperance to Caiguna Roadhouse WA

We left our motel a 6.30am this morning in a very pleasant 22c and amid a few spits of rain to tackle our first 200 km leg to the old mining town of Norseman. We were sad to leave the beautiful coastal town of Esperance and its pleasant sea breezes to head inland due north to Norseman. We were taken by the damage caused by the recent bushfires with burnt-out scrub for virtually the entire 200Km run to Norseman. There were also numerous salt pans along the way attesting to the salinity problem in the area. We arrived at Norseman via the quaintly named hamlet of Salmon Gums to enjoy the gourmet breakfast delights of the Norseman Roadhouse prior to setting out across the Nullarbor for our return leg. By the time we  reached the Balledonia Roadhouse the day had warmed up to around 35c with shade hard to find.

Shady rest stops are few and far between!

Shady rest stops are few and far between!

Soon after leaving Balledonia Roadhouse we reached the start of the 146km straight remembering to stop for a photo this time!

THE photo

THE photo

We stopped at one of the very few rest stop areas along the straight for our lunch of Ryvita biscuits, cheese, tomato, apple and vegemite before completing the straight to arrive at our destination for the day, the Caiguna Roadhouse around 3.30pm.

After enjoying a refreshing shower and chilling out for an hour or so we shared a left-over bottle of wine from Ros’s pannier bag and the last of our cheese and bickies (looks like a roadhouse pie for lunch tomorrow!) as we sat out the front of our rooms at watched the Nullarbor world go by.

We then adjourned to the roadhouse for a ” classic”  meal of lasagne, rissoles and chicken schnitzel.

Tomorrow we cross the border back into SA and relinquish the 2 1/2 hours we picked up on the way over making it a short day for our 540km run to the Nullarbor Roadhouse. We should pick up some of the viewing spots for the fabulous Bunda Cliffs we missed on the way over. We are planning  a 6am start to offset the time loss a bit.

Bye for now

Dick, Ros, Sue and David

Day 13 – Albany to Esperance WA

We headed out from our motel in Albany this morning with an overcast sky and about 20c temperature. The wind was really gusty as we headed for our first stop at Jerramungup. We were literally blow all over the road and experienced some really challenging riding. The wind continued in various levels of intensity from Gale force upward for the entire 500 Km journey. Stopping places along the way were few and far between so we took the opportunity to pull in to a rather forlorn and lone road house at a tiny place called Boxwood Hill. After getting off the bikes, out the front of the road house to stretch our legs, we were assailed by signs telling us we could not use their loos of sit at their table unless we purchased food from their store. There was no one around but we could feel eyes peering at us from inside. We half expected someone to come out carrying a shot gun and say “yeah, what do you want!” We unanimously voted it as the most unfriendly roadhouse in Australia and promptly climbed back on our bikes and took off.

We stopped for our gourmet lunch of Ryvita biscuits, cheese and vegemite at a little place called Munglinup. Just as we had laid our food out on the table a great big B triple truck pulled up in a cloud of dust.  IMGP9094-001  IMGP9091-001By this time the weather had warmed up and was sitting around 35c with not much shade to be found.

Sharing the only small patch of shade available for our bikes

Sharing the only small patch of shade available for our bikes

After lunch we rode the remaining 108Kms into Esperance checking in to our Motel at a respectable 2.30pm.

After a refreshing shower and a dip in the Motel Pool we enjoyed some pre-dinner drinks prior to dining on the shores of the picturesque Esperance Bay on our self catered BBQ Chicken and salad. A veritable feast. Still a bit breezy but still very pleasant!IMGP9096-001 Tomorrow, after a 203 Km run north to Norseman we turn east and start our reverse crossing of the Nullarbor heading for the Caiguna Road House at the far end of the longest straight stretch of road in Australia. If we don’t stop at the sign for a photo opportunity this time I am in biggggg! trouble.

Hopefully, we will post this much sought after photo tomorrow night.

Bye for now

Dick, Ros, David and Sue

Day 12 – Karri Valley Resort to Albany WA

After enjoying a very pleasant breakfast on the veranda, we headed out for our relatively short days ride (circa 240Kms) at a leisurely 8.30am. We visited the quaint little timber town of Pemberton and checked the famous Gloucester Tree in the nearby National Park.

Ros "climbing" the Gloucester Tree

Ros “climbing” the Gloucester Tree

After enjoying some more fantastic winding forestroadst we made our coffee stop at a little village called Walpole. We then headed straight into Albany via a very gusty and windy run along the coast to check into our Motel early for a self help lunch in our room of Ryvita, cheese and vegemite. We decided we would treat ourselves to some local seafood for dinner so David and I set off to find the local seafood market only to find it closed. We resorted to the local Coles where we were able to purchase some great prawns and all the trimmings to make a great self help meal. Before dinner, we decided to jump on the bikes and do a quick tour of the local area. After nearly getting blown away along the waterfront, we climbed the hill at the back of the town to visit the impressive ANZAC memorial park. Unfortunately we were too late to go through the museum but the monuments and relics around the park were terrific.IMGP9081The plaques shown in the pic listed all the ships that formed the original ANZAC convoy and their details. We returned to our rooms to enjoy our prawns and salad which were superb!

We have now covered 5,538 Kms and are well and truly on the homeward leg. We are heading for the seaside resort town of Esperance tomorrow.

Bye for noiw,

Dick, Ros, David and Sue

 

 

Day 10 – Ozstoc National Rally – Swan Valley WA

We started the day with a group breakfast in our caravan park. Our accommodation is first class in what appears to be a fairly new park. We have a two bedroom cabin is what looks liked a mini housing estate.IMGP9016

Our digs

Our digs

After breakfast we all lined up to ride off for a day of activities and socialising. If anyone is interested in more info on what we did for the day there are heaps of photos on the Ozstoc Facebook Page. https://www.facebook.com/OzSTOC/IMGP9019

This is the 5th Annual Ozstoc and only a very select group of people remain who have attended all five rallies since inception in 2012. The Bushell’s are in this select group with Ros being the only pillion!IMGP9029

The day culminated if a group dinner at a local bistro where the Bushell’s and the Farley’s both managed to score a bottle of wine as a lucky door prize.

Overall, an enjoyable day.

Bye for now,

Dick, Ros, David and Sue

 

 

Day 9 – Kalgoorlie to Perth

Well we have finally arrived at our destination after nine days and 4,809 Kms on the road.IMGP9013

We left Kalgoorlie bright and early this morning at 6.30am to gain maximum benefit from the cool morning air before the heat starts to set in, usually around 11am.

Our trip into Perth was uneventful travelling a total of 600 Kms today via the scenic route through York.  We arrived at our destination, the Big 4 Caravan Park in Caversham on the outskirts of Perth in the middle of the Swan Valley Wine region around 4pm. This is the site for the 5th Annual OZSTOC (Australian ST owners Club) rally. We were one of the last groups to arrive with Honda ST riders   travelling from every state and territory throughout Australia to attend. There are approximately 60 bikes (complete with riders, and some pillions) in residence. Some are camping but the majority are staying in the 1st class cabins available on the site. We could have done without the bumper to bumper Perth traffic crawl we experienced in the last half hour or so of our trip in 35c+ heat and the slight confusion we had with local directions only resolved by our best friend Mr Google. Otherwise we were all very glad to arrive.

Our home for the next two days

Our home for the next two days

After unpacking and showering we all wandered over to the meet-and-greet area to catch up with old friends and enjoy a very social evening. Tomorrow we will heading out for a group ride and some sort of social activity with the inevitable group photo where we all line our bikes up in a row and snap hundreds of photos of them. All good fun but hard to understand unless you are a biker!. :o)

Bye for now

Dick, Ros, David and Sue

 

 

Day 8 – Balladonia Roadhouse to Kalgoorlie WA

We had a very pleasant, albeit overcast, 7am start this morning with a slight desert chill in the air. It was great to encounter some bends again after about 1200 Kms of virtually straight road. It was also nice to see some real trees after so long seeing just low Nullarbor scrub. We rode through a picturesque area known as the  Western Woodlands which is a national park comprising an area reputedly equivalent to the size of the UK.

Our first stop was the old mining town of Norseman where we enjoyed our usual morning coffee at their very nice roadhouse. We then took a short run up to the top of the hill overlooking the town which looked out over the rather severe salt pan scattered landscape.

Norseman Lookout

Norseman Lookout

By the time we headed off on our next leg to Kalgoorlie the temperature had crept up to a warmish 35c. We encountered some roadworks along the way where we were held up for about 30 minutes in full sun. The only shade to be found was thrown by the semi-trailer stopped in front of us. The girls demounted and sought refuge in the lone shady spot with the temperature now up to a sweltering 37c.

Shady refuge

Shady refuge

We arrived at our Kalgoorlie Motel at around 1.30pm after our shortish run for the day of just under 400Kms.

We took a short excursion in the afternoon up to marvel at the huge superpit  mine.

The Superpit

The Superpit

We then paid a visit to the local woollies to stock up for our self help dinner of barbequed salmon cutlets on the motel barbie. Delicious.

For a piece of useless information our bike (ie Dick & Ros) passed a lucky milestone today registering 88888 Kms on the speedo.

Total trip 4,361 Kms to date.

Dick, Ros, David and Sue