Knackered – Caiguna to Ceduna

We left Caiguna at 6:30 given the extra long day today… 850km me thinks (I’ll correct the entry when I have the energy to check the fuel log).

We started slowly and keeping the pace to about 90 then built up to the 110-ish speeds after an hour or so. The only reason for this was to minimise the chance of hitting any wildlife. I was warned a plenty before about roos, cattle, camels, and even wombats. However, there wasn’t much evidence of this in roadkill suggesting we were perhaps a little over-cautious. Nonetheless, we weren’t prepared to take the risk.

As before we tag-teamed the lead position. The one riding behind is certainly less stressed as you don’t have to watch for things that boing out in front of you or setting the right speed.

Scenery was as before, but different in its own way. Then we hit Eucla and Border Village.

From there it took on very much of a typical costal drive. Except most coasts don’t look like this! …

I can cross “see the Great Australian Bight” off my bucket list. Simply stunning.

We finally arrived at Ceduna (the Fowlers Bay road was gravel) and checked into the Caravan Park. Very weary and in need of a swim.

When climbing back on the bike to take it to the tent area, I managed to split my $250 Kevlar jeans. I think I’ll be checking the warranty on them when I get home!

Caiguna Roadhouse

I’d originally planned on tenting it. One quick test of the ground had me realising I wasn’t going to hammer an aluminum tent peg into concrete-hard gravel – without a hammer.

Glen had already booked himself into a room so I bunked in there with him. Comfy and clean but not exactly cheap at $120 for the pair of us. I won’t be doing more than buying food & fuel here on the way back.

Anyway, the meal was great and me not having to pack up the tent in the morning meant we could leave pretty early.

We have another long ride tomorrow. I was planning to stay at Fowlers Bay but Glen’s map is showing it as 25km of gravel. We’ll work out what we’ll do when we get there. It could be Ceduna instead.

Hokey-Pokey

Ravensthorpe to Caiguna was long but uneventful – just the way it should be.

Nearly 800km broken into 4 roughly equal segment separated with fuel/drink breaks (Esperance, Norseman, Balladonia, Caiguna).

I didn’t really need to stop each time as the range on the ST is almost infinite.  However, Glen’s Goldwing was limited to about 350km per tank.

I didn’t mind the extra stops. Well, my bum didn’t anyway. I can’t find any flaws in my bike except for the seat. Old Ma Honda really should have put a bit more thought into that one – especially for a tourer.

Hence this post’s title. I’m sure Glen thought it looked like I was doing the Hokey-Pokey: you put your left cheek right, you put your right cheek left, then you stand up and shake it all about. Anything to keep the bum from going numb I was doing. While a lot of riders change their seat at great expense I do think it’s like riding a pushy for the first time. You just need to get used to it. By the time we reached Caiguna I reckon I had it under control.

As far as the Nullabor goes, well we’re still to start it. I didn’t realise is actually only in SA. Either way, the scenery might seem boring, but it ain’t – especially on a bike. It has a special grandness that you have to experience.

Australia’s longest straight road, the 90 Mile Straight (146.5 km), is exactly that. Straight. While it dips and climbs a fair bit, there are sections that literally disappear into the horizon’s heat haze.

I will definitely try to capture some Nullabor moments digitally when I return.

Pemberton to Ravensthorpe

Well, as previously stated… a plan is just a plan… due to the late night previous, I departed Pemby later than I’d hoped. I’d originally planned the route via Windy Harbor and Greens Pool, but given the temp was barely 19, I decided to skip them. I followed the coast through Denmark and the scenic drive to Albany.

Nice drive but not much to say here other than it seemed to be the day for roadworks. Making it worse, my lovely black ST is now covered with dried gravel mud! It will need washing before Middleton – I couldn’t possibly let the others see her in that state.

He’s a few photos of the Albany area…

Dog Rock

From Mt. Clarence…

And our old house in Collingwood Rd. I was 6yo when we left.
(clearly they got the election wrong)…

I did actually hurl myself up the hill (on foot) at Mt. Clarence only to find the lookout was closed off for renovations. So all it did was make me even more sweaty than normal… again great for motorcycle gear!

Because of a lack of time I also had to skip a detour to Ken & Priscilla’s in Bremer Bay. One thing I learnt from the previous day was my plan was a little too tight. The detour would have cost me another 90 minutes and I’d end up trying to put up my tent in the dark. As it was I got to Ravensthorpe with only 30 minutes of light left. I had plenty of light, but a frigging bull ant made it as difficult as possible!

Just out of town I had to slow down and into 2nd gear to allow for an eagle to leave the fresh road kill. It’s funny… As you approach it you first see lots of birds feasting. The little maggies leave first, then the bigger crows take off when you get closer, which leaves this giant dark triangular shaped thing standing over it refusing to budge – clearly top of his food chain. It continues to stand there staring you down as if it’s saying “Mine. F*** off!”. Eventually he leaves realising he’s the smaller, circling around behind you to return.

No photos of Ravensthorpe, but you’ll thank me later – not much of a town really – only a halfway point for those traveling on to Esperance me thinks.

Glen and I walked up to the pub for a meal. Clearly catering for the rich FIFOs, we paid $25 for a roast Lamb dinner (ouch).

We discussed our plans for tomorrow’s run to Caiguna and decided on an early start. All of my sightseeing would be put on hold for my return journey. We worked out you have a shortened day if you’re traveling in an easterly direction and we simply couldn’t afford any delays. Plus, this trip really is more about the ride.

Forrest drive out of Pemberton

To all motor enthusiasts, particularly of the two-wheeled variety (yes, even you James!), or any one else with a beating heart for that matter… You just have to take the road south out of Pemberton through Northcliffe and on to Walpole.

Seriously, that has to be the best twistie and scenic drive I have ever done! It was extra special in the morning where the air was crisp and still.

Every corner you exit you think it can’t possibly get any better but it does. Don’t drive/ride/race this quickly – take your time so you can enjoy it properly.  It is simply breathtaking.

I don’t have many photos unfortunately: there wasn’t really anywhere safe to stop and besides still pictures can’t do it justice. Video perhaps. Regardless, you must experience this for yourself.

Pemberton

I spent the first night at my uncle & aunt’s house in Pemby. Last time I was there it was a typical wooden house is the town. Now it been rebuilt on the same site.

Had a great night catching up. It was a cast of thousands. It included Trevor, Maria, Renee, Justin, Ian (Jade’s hubby), & Seamus (Renee’s fiance).

Unfortunately, Jade couldn’t make with her kids (who I’ve never met). We were trying to remember the last time I saw my cousins… I think Renee was 14, Jade when she was only about 2, and I don’t think I’ve ever met Justin before. How bad are we!?

The major reason why they were all there was because it was Seamus’ bucks night. The lads were heading off to the Donnelly River for some fun.

Next month they all head off to Ireland for the wedding.

This is their back yard view…

And other typical wooden houses in Pemby…

 

Augusta

I arrived in Augusta at about 3:30 and headed for the Lighthouse. I would have liked to do the tour but I was running out of time – I needed to be in Pemberton by about 5).

It still has that little country-town feel about it and hasn’t been commercialised to much.

While I was having a drink a nice old bloke called Bill came over to admire the bike and checkout where I was heading. He told me he bought an “Indian” in 1947 for a 100 pounds – a lot of money back then – and rode it all over WA.