Day 187, Friday, 3 October, 2009

Distance travelled – 54.5 km
Avg speed –   17.1 kph
Max speed –  45.8 kph

Northampton to Geraldton (Sunset Beach)

Today was a short run of 54km over some undulating country with a few short steep hills. By contrast to all the flat running of the last few months, that requires one to pedal all day, it was quite enjoyable to climb and then roll down small hills today. All the country is extremely green and in all directions there are signs of human occupation with farm buildings of some sort clearly visible on the landscape. It is ever so different to the last few months of travel. When we first entered the arid areas of Queensland we really enjoyed the isolation but we did not realise until recently how draining and hard the country has been on us, particulary in the last month.  This lush green country is certainly helping to recharge our enthusiasm for the trip.

This morning we took a small side trip to the historic Oakabella Homestead. Built in 1860 the homestead is reputably the most haunted house in Western Australia. We do not think we were drawn by the spirits rather the coffee and cake of the tearooms that we had heard good things about.

But there was an aspect of Oakabella we had not previously heard or read about - Loretta Wright. Loretta is one of those real quirky characters that you stumble upon from time to time. Describing herself as a mix of “Canadian, Irish and North American heritage …. [and the] manager, cook, whinger, tour guide and custodian” she added an unforgettable aspect to our visit. We originally intended to stay for a quick 30 minute morning tea - we stayed 3 hours. (Our second puncture of the trip contributed 15 minutes to our stop).  For those following - visit Oakabella, you wil enjoy it. And by the way, the cake and coffee was as good as we had been told about. In recognition of her work at Oakabella, Loretta recently received a 2009 Heritage Council award for her contribution to heritage in Western Australia.

Our ride into Geraldton was uneventful and we arrived at Sunset Beach shortly after 4.00pm.

Because we had anticipated arriving a couple of hours earlier we decided to stay an extra night to allow us to go into Geraldton and have a look around before we move on.

Zoom into the map and use the 'Satellite' layer to see our new location.


Just south of Northampton looking towards the coast

Just south of Northampton looking towards the coast - downhill ;-)

Oakabella's butressed barn. They use a similar shot to market the homestead. I liked it so much I had to take my own.

Lamp inside Oakabella's butressed barn

Oakabella's butressed barn

The sign reads "Oakabella Homestead. Complimentary Ghosts"

Elephant Hill - can you see the elephant?



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