Hey we slept well last night - we were in a real house! It's been great to relax and enjoy Steve's north west hospitality after a few day's living rough on the road. We have had a good meal and Kylie has caught up on an old mate - thanks Steve.
well this is the first real 'on the road' blog - last one was from my home. We set off on Sunday last, somewhat later than originally planned - around 3.00pm. We were going well, Kylie and the big V Strom sifting their way through the Sunday afternoon traffic until we arrived at the Great Northern Highway turnoff. Yes, our first calamity occurred about 30km from home! We had pulled up at the corner with me in front, due to Kylie not knowing the way. i waited for a gap in the traffic and turned left, took off up the highway. After about a kilometer I noticed a big blank space in my mirrors, where Kylie should have been. Thinking she had been held up I stoppped on the roadside. A red Commodore stopped near us and the driver said "she's dropped the bike on the corner". We raced back to the turnoff to find the Suzuki back on its wheels with pieces of left indicator lying around on the ground but thankfully the rider standing upright and not looking too bad considering. After a quick test ride and a bit of (bent) clutch lever adjustment i pronounced the V strom fit to travel, so we had another go.
The first photo's were taken at Walebing, where we stopped partly due to the sun in our eyes and partly to regroup after the previous hiccup. A bit of tape was applied to form an indicator again and the girl was starting to smile. Jonah of course was taking it all in his stride, he's been touring on bkes with me since he was 9 and was simply settling in on the pillion seat for the long run north.
On dusk i noticed a big patch of bush near a railway crossing. we threaded our way through the bush and found a magic spot to camp - even got a fire going - Jonah was impressed.
Morning saw us riding into Wubin at about 11am - yes we slept in a bit, and it takes us a longtime to pack up - we'll get better at that.
From Wubin we took the inland road towards Paynes Find. As mentioned on the photo caption we brought Kylie through Paynes Find on a shearing trip when she was about 2 and she bailed up a harley rider.
The day went pretty smoothly and saw us cover around 520km - not bad for a learner. We found another great campsite just south of Meekatharra, near a dry lake. The tent went up quickly on the sand and we had Jonah at work creating magic with the Trangia stove.
In the morning we made anothe late start and rode out of the bush and into Meekatharra. Jonah wrote home to say "it's a little town in the middle of nowhere". Kylie had now managed to ride in and out of two bush campsites and had ably held the suzuki upright without a hitch. i think she's getting the hang of it now.
The telecentre at Meekatharra was utilised fully to facebook, upload photo's etc. we bought Jonah some chocolate goo and his energy level spiked noticably. after stocking up on supplies we set offf for Newman, with the promise of a shower on arrival!
It's fun to follow Kylie when the road trains approach. Her helmet disappears as she ducks the wind blast vears left an then right again after the last trailer. they certainly give you a bit of a blast but she looks fairly safe.
In Newman we camped at Kalgan's Rest - fitting don't you think? We went in to town for a meal and had our first navigation failure. Can you believe we got lost on the way back to the caravan park in Newman! Kylie's friend in Perth rescued us with the aid of a mobile phone and Google maps!
Yesterday we managed an earlier start and added a detour into Karijini National Park to our itinery. Well worth it too. Walking around the gorges in bike gear was a new experience for the younger members of our party but they held up well and the effort climbing into (and out of) Fortescue falls was worthwhile - i think Kylie will be back here sometime. We only stopped for a couple of hours but you could spend a week here and not see everything. We especially enjoyed watching the young bloke paddling around on his inflatable crocodile - very apt.
We had another three hous ride to Sth Hedland. Down through the ranges we dodged skinny cattle (apparently it hasn't rained much around here for about three years) and put up with the blustery wind. At last, about 200km south of Hedland, we noticed the wind become warmer. we had been cold on the bikes all the way from Perth.
We made Sth Hedland about 6.00pm, just after dark. Kylie wobbled her way around the roundabouts and into the town centre, before stopping to ask me if I knew my way around Sth Hedland! She had Steve's address but no map and no idea how to get here. As we rode into the carpark in the shopping centre, a white car was following too close behind me. We stopped and it pulled up really close to my left arm. it turned out to be Steve's boss, who had heard three people on bikes were coming to stay tonight, saw us apparently looking lost and offered to guide us to Steve's house. Kylie poured on the pace in an effort to keep up with the Hyundai as it led us through the suburbs safely to our destination for the night. Thanks Evan!
All of which brings us to today. Steve's computer has been great and enabled us to keep you all in the loop. Kylie is fast becoming a true motorcyclist - full of aches and pains at the end of the day! Jonah has run amuck with nerf guns and we've dragged him out of bed to face another day. today we're not sure how far we'll get but we're heading north (for something completely different).
All being well I'll track down another computer in Broome and let you all know how we get on.
see you soon