Australia: The last chapter
Trip Start Mar 15, 2010
13Trip End May 05, 2011
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The last chapter of Australia has not been amazingly eventful so thankfully there wont be too much reading.
Other than riding an average of 500 kilometres a day the main highlights consisted of getting to the sea, getting flooded, getting a puncture and getting out of Australia.
So lets get into specifics.
Getting to the sea and far away from the Pilbara had to be done in two stages. Stage one consisted of a late departure due to laziness and a prolonged good bye to all at the retreat. The mind numbing boredom of Australia’s wide open spaces took it’s toll and because we had to stop every hour or so to run around a rest area to wake up (really), we fell short of the coast by 200 odd kilometres
Stage two started very much in the same way as what stage one ended. Luckily flies cant do 110 km/h so by 6:30 we were coast bound and by noon we’d reached the cape range national park and the ningaloo reef.
We spent the first day catching up on some lost relaxation and, as the day was halfway through anyway, decided to leave the snorkelling for the following day. Just down the road was apparently the best snorkelling reef in Australia. It was so good someone had even put in a current to carry you past the coral and fishes so you don’t have to swim.
Well, as we should know by now, putting things off is always a good idea and somewhere in the sticky, hot, salty night it started to rain. At first I was happy and ran out to have a free fresh water shower. After a couple of hours however, things started to look grim. The rain was still bucketing down and our campsite was fast becoming a dam. I woke up from a brief snooze and felt the tent floor which had gone very squishy
I stalled for two hours at the nice and dry visitor centre, but in the end had to give up being a fair weather wussy, pull on the waterproof gloves and head for Coral bay a little further south. It wasn’t all that bad though and the only other hiccup on the shortest days ride in Australia to date, was a flat tyre. It was quite exciting actually and gave me a chance to use some of the gadgets I’ve been carrying for the last 40 000+ kilometres.
After everything had been washed and dried out in Coral bay, we shot south and crossed the tropic of Capricorn. This was good news as every night had been much hotter and more humid than what we expected. We put in a big effort that day and pushed all the way to Denham, Shark Bay where it was much cooler and, with the help of a nice sea breeze, fly less.
Not only did it get cooler with every day we went south, but Australia seemed to get nicer aswell
The plan from here was to go and see a friend in Geraldton, but best laid plans and all saw us pulling another big day and right into en-suite camping at Dongara. Never heard of that before? Neither had we. Essentially its still a piece of grass, but with a massive fully equipped bathroom parked next to it. For the first time we were Glamping.
We were now so close to Perth that we gave ourselves two short hops to get there. Just like the previous shortest day, it was quite eventful. Down the number one highway that spans around Australia like a massive ring road and off to the right onto the newly opened Indian ocean road. As with all new things it wasn’t 100% finished and soon we hit road works. Nay bother were on holiday. Switch off the engine, talk a bit of rubbish with the lollipop man and swat some flies. Only when the lollipop man spun his board from “stop” to “slow”, I was the only one to go. Unknown to me at the front, Gem’s bike wouldn’t start. It was only when I got to the other side and saw no one in my mirror that I knew something’s gone wrong
As I got back I thought it had just flooded or something, but there was not a sound from the starter. We were in a bit of a dodgy spot and I didn’t want to get the tools out so with the lollipop man holding the traffic, we push started suzi back into life.
At the campsite in Jurien bay the tools did come out, but nothing obvious was wrong. So that’s how we got to Perth, by push starting suzi in campsites, petrol stations and, best of all, on the freeway in rush hour traffic 12 kilometres from legendary Mark‘s place.
A bit about legendary Mark:
We met by chance a few months ago at Karijini. We talked bikes and quick as a flash he exchanged contact details and offered us a bed on the outskirts of Perth. Mark and his family have been more than just a bed to us though. Amazingly he’s given us the use of his ute initially for zipping around Perth, but it has now carried us 260 kilometres south to our other friends in Dunsborough. Having wheels has enabled us to fix Gem’s bike, to arrange shipping for the bikes and has been something I never would have expected anyone to do. Not to mention he tracked down Suzi’s problem and have been a great supply of ideas and knowledge about the bikes and Perth
To the Simpsons: we salute you.
So there it is. We spent three days in Perth abusing the Simpsons hospitality, getting the bikes ready and arranging transport over to the dark continent and for the past easter have been stowaways down in Dunsborough with our friends Michael and Anna.
Lastly: Getting out of Australia.
On the 27th of April we rode our last 11 kilometres, from Marks house to the shipping company, on Australian soil. It took us eleven months and over 10 000 kilometres to do what we did and get us where we are now and it finished rather unceremoniously. A quick spin around a few damp corners and it was all over. It took us about 3 hours to crate the bikes, now we won’t see them for the next month and a half.
A sad day, but luckily not the end. This is only the anxious wait between ordering your bucket of KFC and ripping into it.
Till then, thank you for watching and sorry about the “not too much reading” rubbish. I lied.