Day 211 | down to Lake Kununurra via the long way: Ivanhoe Crossing, no worries mate

30 km | Heading west total: 9,406 km

I’d run into a South African guy who was a keen mountain biker who said that the best part of Kununurra was the 5 Rivers Lookout.

The fact that this attraction was actually in another town, Wyndham, that was 100 km away seemed to escape him. I just had to go.

When people say that I do generally take them seriously, despite the fact that it was more than a little out of my way. There’s a dirt road that goes to Wyndham and for some reason I was attracted to this route rather than the main highway.

There is an obstacle on the way, the Ivanhoe Crossing of the rather large Ord River. No worries, he said, it’s only 300mm deep and you’ll breeze it through. He’d just been through in his 4WD.

When I pedalled the 14km to the river it was immediately apparent that the river was at least 600mm deep and flowing pretty swiftly. The drains under the causeway had been blocked up due to people and dogs being sucked through. Clearly my trailer would have been completely under water and swept off into the saltwater crocodile pool downstream.

I waited a couple of hours to get a lift with an empathetic 4WDer but while people came to watch the river or to fish no one went through. I had a good talk to one guy who told me about some cyclist he had been impressed by some New Zealand guy in Purnululu National Park who was dead keen on riding on dirt roads. (I didn’t tell him it was in fact me he’d been talking to.) Then while my back was briefly turned he jumped into his 4WD ute and drove through despite knowing I wanted a lift.

After that, being late in the day, I gave up and slowly trundled back up the valley into a gale force head wind muttering to myself.

It was only a 38 km detour to avoid that crossing.

No worries at all. And thanks mate.