Day 409 | Hamersley Inlet: time for a few bumps

28 km | Heading west total: 14,584 km

There’s been plenty of low, flattish hills since I left Karijini back in late October.

Australia is not as flat as general conversation would have you believe.

There’s a lot more up and down, however insignificant to motorised transport, when you are self propelled. Eventually there were the granite outcrops at Cape Le Grand National Park, just east of Esperance.

(Back then it was bizarre to see middle aged people, sometime younger than me, crawling up Frenchman’s Peak on their hands and knees, on a track while steep, had a granite surface offering great traction and the enticement of a tremendous 360° view from the top. That was not enough to induce some of the more sedentary to persevere for those rewards.

The level of fitness and confidence exhibited was indicative of how removed we are from the Outdoors with our usual urban lives. And how easy it is to give up when we get outside our comfort envelope. Mum made her way back to the chocolate biscuits in the car at her own pace if Dad and the kiddies wanted to continue. There were plenty taking photos from the carpark, sufficient proof to tick that one off the list of exotic places visited, then hopping in the big 4WD and roaring off. Why doesn’t the road go all the way to the top?)

Leaving Hopetoun the intention was to cut through Fitzgerald River National Park on the unsealed Hamersley Drive.

East Mount Barren loomed on the horizon and I could make out a steep little road running up the base. Oh, just the access road I dreamed. No, half an hour later I was pushing my load, including 9 litres of water, up that unrideably steep little road. Just a 250m bump but I wouldn’t have made it even if I had a smooth change into the granny chain ring.

The views from up there were fantastic, looking back over the Culham Inlet to Hopetoun along 4 Mile Beach. The surface turned into a clay tennis court quality unsealed road. Not bad travelling.

There’s hills in this national park, great granite outcrops with an almost surreal quality to the landscape.

I know I’m from NZ but I had really started to miss those bumps. Rumour has it that there are plenty ahead along the south west coast.