Day 184, Tuesday, 29 September, 2009

Distance travelled – 87.5 km
Avg speed –  15.6 kph
Max speed – 38.9 kph

Bush Camp to Northampton

Six months ago today we left home.

There was light rain on and off through the night but this had cleared by the time we got up. To dry the tent we moved it into the sun but just as we were about to take it down the clouds very quickly rolled in and it started to rain again.

It rained on and off all day, sometimes very heavily, and on one occasion we had small hail. It was also very cold and we rode all day with our raincoats on. What a contrast to yesterday.

Not far from our campsite we found ourselves riding along the boundary of Kalbarri National Park. After we left the park the countryside suddenly changed to rolling hills covered in wheat and sheep. It was quite bizarre to have suddenly gone from the arid desert country to green agricultural country in a few short kilometres. We felt we were in a different world.

After lunch we decided to change our plans and not ride into Hutt River Province. With all the rain we were finding the shoulder on the side of the road was very soft and our wheels quickly sunk in so we decided it unwise to attempt the dirt road into the Province. We decided to push on to and stay at Northampton. Reluctantly we will need to add the Province to our must go back to list.

We stopped for a chocolate fix at the Binnu General Store. As we took our two mars bars and chocolate milks to the counter the owner told us that two hours earlier the last cyclist had bought and eaten four mars bars. The description he gave sounded like Jacob and Cyrill so we were very surprised to find that we were so close behind them. (We later discovered that it was Cyrill who ate the 4 Mars bars).

The road to Northampton was quite good and at times we were sheltered from the wind by a very dense corridor of natural bush that had been left between the road and the wheat fields. At times it felt like we were riding through a botanic garden because the diversity of flowers and the richness of the colours made us feel they had been planted there on purpose. It rained a couple of times between Binnu and Northampton and when it did it was icy cold. A number of times we considered pitching the tent in  a wheat field to get out of it but decided it best to push on.

On the last hill into Northampton the wind blew Denise off the road. All I heard was a screech and as I looked in my mirror there she was resting on the ground. She now has another scar to boast about. (I could not get my foot uncleated as the cleats had stiffened up with the mud and cold!)

As we arrived at the B&B it started to rain again so we were very glad to see the owners ushering us into their very large covered patio from which, as it turned out, we could directly access our room for the next three nights. It certainly looks like we will be comfortable here for the next two days.

Even though the weather was very unpleasant today the change in the country has had a very uplifting effect on us and we are again looking forward to the ride ahead, (even with a scarred knee).

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


Early morning at Bush Camp 090928

The view from our tent

The view from the loo

After months of riding through dry desert country we rode into a new world.

Lunch - it was so cold we kept our rain jackets on. Only a few weeks back we wanted to get away from the heat ........ but not this suddenly.

Sheep on the left and wheat on the right. A very different country to the cattle country we entered after leaving the Atherton Tablelands back in July

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