Day 404 | moving along: he finds a dirt road after 40kms

72 km | Heading west total: 14,459 km

There’s some big changes for this leg to Perth.

For a start I’ve got a lid to my pot now and a second fork.

(Funny the day I snapped my unbreakable plastic fork two days out of Wyndham, ie 17 days until the next town, I managed to find another in the burned out 4WD on the Karunji Track.)

The good news, I’m back out on the road.

The bad news: there isn’t any.

Last week I did a 80km round trip ride, without panniers, to do some work for a farmer, the feeling of freedom being back on the bike was euphoric.

Today is the same except despite my sense to post 8kg of unneeded stuff to Albany I’m really loaded up. It seems that I over prepared for my departure in the food department. Exactly why do I have 20 breakfasts aboard?

My route to Albany (486km along the highway) is planned to take 16 days. There’s some parallel dirt roads that travel close to the coast initially and then to take in some more national parks heading inland. The Stirling Ranges, after a few days in the Fitzgerald River, then back to the coast at Waychinicup and Gull Rock. There’s 6 NPs via my devious route.

So, 16 days in all but I’m already thinking it may be a few more. Not much use in arriving in Hopetoun on a Sunday. That’s the only place with a supermarket and power outlets until I hit Mt Barker 10 days later. There’s one store in Bremer Bay to get the next batch of lunches, always my hardest meal to find.

40km down the highway today and I found my first dirt road. No more road trains hauling the wheat harvest from the silos to the port for export whishing past on the highway. Or caravans sailing too close by either.

Late yesterday afternoon one of the truck drivers ground his loaded road train to a halt after seeing me. A huge lumbering guy with tears in his eyes clambered down from his cabin and handed me his (dirty) high visibility vest and walked back. Put this on was all he said.

A couple of days ago a 58 year old bike tourist was wiped out near Albany as he rode into the setting sun. A sobering thought and I gratefully put that fluorescent yellow vest on.