My last blog post was late September from Fitzroy Crossing. Its nearly a fortnight later and many thousands of kilometres south. Since my last post we have:
- Ridden from Fitzroy Crossing to Broome in oppressive tropical heat
- Spent several days bumming around in Broome, enjoying many mango flavoured treats and creepy tales of mangrove mud-men.
- Pulled our bikes apart, put them into cardboard boxes, flown from Broome to Perth and then reconstructed our bikes in the baggage collection area of Perth Airport.
- Met up with three different sets of relatives - as you do when visiting your home town.
- Organised a night to catch up with as many Perth mates as I could - which inevitably ended as a night of heavy drinking at the pub.
- Placed spare parts orders for our bikes after discovering that pretty much all the bike shops in Perth cater to the road racing set and that they order touring bike parts when from the same Melbourne shops we know and love.
- Planned a day of birthday fun for Maree
- Enjoyed a day trip riding around Rottnest Island.
All these thoughts of flying and the time I've spent arranging and visiting Perth friends and relatives has changed my focus. When I was on the road and it looked like that's where would be for the foreseeable future I was focused on the experience, taking notes every day, taking photos and writing up a detailed account of the past day's travel each time we got a bit of internet access. Deciding to fly to Perth changed my headspace and made me consider life outside the ride, people I'd not seen for years and even what happens when its all over. Time I've previously spent writing about the ride has been spent organising Perth meetups - and even brushing up skills that could be useful when the ride is done.
On the road from Fitzroy Crossing to Broome I spent most of my 'hiding from the midday sun' rest breaks doing some coding. Last year I learnt a bit of python, and I've been using it to clean up information that's stored on some excel spreadsheets. Hardly gripping stuff, but its a challenging beginner level problem that applies what I've learnt and stops me from getting rusty. If I get the code to work the way I want to, it will be useful at work. Its been fun. There's something pretty wonderful about coding in the bush on a device that you can keep charged using the bike's dynamo lighting system. It's the fulfilment of the "you can work from anywhere - who needs an office" fantasy we all bought into when we bought our first laptop computer.
|Foggy dawn at the campsite|
|The cool of the morning turns oppressive humidity into fog on the road into Broome|
Broome, of course, on the ocean and the north western extent of the ride. We celebrated by heading to the beach and wetting our feet in the ocean. Our last view of the ocean in mid July as we ascended the Adelaide Hills.
|Sunrise over Roebuck Bay|
|A sea eagle keeps sentinel over the mangroves|
I have visited Rottnest Island as a child many times. I've ridden much of the island, but for all my childhood adventures I never made it to the west end of the island. In my mind it was this distant, almost impossible destination. When planning the ride making to the west end was one of my goals.
It turns out the west end is only 11km from the Tompson Bay Jetty and if you are reasonably fit and are riding something other than an ill fitting, slightly rusty single speed hire bike its quite a manageable ride.
We finished the Rottnest circuit ride earlier than expected and spent a few hours at the settlement enjoying icecreams and watching the quokkas. It was a great day.
|Rottnest is an island of beautiful bays|
|Pelican roost - A reason to build those lamp poles strong.|
|Mother quokka with upside down baby in pouch|
|Baby quokka emerges from pouch|
|Baby returns for a feed|
|Away from the settlement most quokkas thrive on wild foods|
|Although the smell of fresh bread in a pannier bag can be irresistible|
|And daring quokkas will stick their heads into the front wheel to stop you from riding away|
|Shop keepers on the island don't find quokkas quite as appealing as tourists do.|