Cycle day 37 - Karratha to Fortesque River Roadhouse - Far too much luggage - CycleBlaze

June 10, 2024

Cycle day 37 - Karratha to Fortesque River Roadhouse

Cycle day 37 - Karratha to Fortesque River Roadhouse = 106km.  2873km cycle toured so far on this trip.

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A warm night at 15 degrees with todays high of 29 - crikey it was a warm one today!  Winds were light starting with a south easterly and then swinging around to a north easterly.

Fortesque River Roadhouse = $35 for unpowered (powered is $45)

Had a good rest day in Karratha yesterday as we didn't have to ride back in to the shopping center to get any more food - we got it all on Saturday.  I did spend the first half of the morning packing away all of this 8 days worth of food.  The food bag is heavy and busting at the seams and I struggled to get it closed up.  Mind you I have 6 dinners, 15 double serves of muesli (over 3kg worth and some will become dinner as well!), SPC fruit, wraps, nutella, honey, cheese, crackers, biscuits, fruit cake and muesli bars... so by the time we roll in to Carnarvon my red bag will be absolutely empty with possibly a few serves of  muesli left and honey!

The Discovery park is a nice one and we did have issues with the tent section kitchen.  There were 2 types of tenters in this area - like us the overnighters/passing through and the long term backpackers.  The park has 2 kitchens a big one in amongst the caravaners that is open 8am to 8.30pm and is locked outside these times by the park management.  The one at the tent area is a smaller one and is predominantly used by the tenting area.  The kitchen has a park policy of being open 24 hours and is small and cramped but has a sink, taps, toaster and jug the rest of the area is full of the long term back packers food.  The fridge is chockers so we put ours in the big kitchen and took it out before 8.30pm as we have an earlier breakfast.  So on Sunday morning we got up and saw the tent kitchen was locked with a padlock and thought ok the part management has changed the policy but hasn't taken down the notice.  That is ok as we had our brekky and then waited until 8am for the other one to open to boil a jug for our coffee.  So that was that until later on in the afternoon when Neil was gone for a while and I thought oh yeah he is chatting to someone.  It was around  I stuck my head up and saw he was chatting to an Aboriginal guy and then a few minutes he came back and told me that while he was chatting to the guy he noticed the padlock was back on the tenters kitchen and he made the comment to the Aborignal and he just looked at Neil and moved his eyes to one of the tents of the long term backpakers.  Neil knew instantly that it was them that was locking the kitchen when they shouldn't be as it means people like us, the Asians that were there, the Aborignal guy all couldn't use the kitchen.  So Neil said he went up to the tent and told the girl to unlock the kitchen and she said it is locked as people steal their food, Neil points out that she can't lock it as the kitchen is suppose to be open 24 hours, she says she works there at the park and he said that that doesn't matter and to open it and not to lock it at night as we will be getting up at 6am to use it.  She said she will unlock it before then.  So he is telling me all this and  said which is her tent and I will sort her out ... Neil stops and wouldn't tell me the tent - a certain memory popped into his head - remember Lake Bolac!  So he wouldn't tell me for fear that in my somewhat Menopausal State I will really make this young chick pay for locking the communal kitchen the selfish dweeb.  I know he is thinking of Lake Bolac and I wasn't even Menopausal then and look what I did as a form of revenge.   I did suggest that lets get up at 3.30am to teach her a lesson!  But what really got up my goad about all this was the Aborignal guy Neil was chatting to.  After  telling me and then grabbing our gear and going over to the other big kitchen to use the air fryers we passed the tenters kitchen and here was the Aborignal guy cooking his meal for him and his family as his food was locked away in that kitchen while he was chatting to Neil.  He had a smile on his face to Neil to basically say thanks for getting the kitchen open.  So I said to Neil that the Aborignal guy knew who was responsible for locking the kitchen but was obviously to scared or to worried about asking the young backpacker to open it -now that really got my Menopausal hormones going - far out was I going on like a pork chop about it.  So I said to Neil that if he isn't going to reveal the tent and the kitchen is locked tomorrow morning when we get up I said he will have to approach the girl and get her to open it.

So this morning just before 6am that damn kitchen was padlocked.  I passed Neil on the way to the toilet and said he has to ask to get the kitchen unlocked.  Apparently the effin French boys are also in on this padlock kitchen as they knew the code for the padlock - far out I was getting angrier and angrier and I just said this is not right and we need to let the management know.  Neil agreed that before we leave we will notify management.  But I have to say I am proud of Neil because in the middle of our breakfast he did something that I never would have thought of doing since all I care about is revenge - he walked over to the kitchen and took the padlock.  That way it couldn't be locked again as the Aborignal guy still had his food in there and may be a late eater.  Anyway that brought a smile to my face, a little bit of revenge on the Italian Backpacker girl but I still would have prefered to get her out of bed at 3.30am to unlock it.

So we didn't see management as we left before the office opened but there was a woman there who said she also worked there and would pass on the message about the tenters kitchen and even she said that is not right.  So hopefully the saga is solved and everyone gets to use the 24hour kitchen and the self righteous effin backpackers get what they deserve - either sacked or kicked out the filthy bastards.  Lets just say that backpackers are not my favourite people at the moment!

So onto todays ride.  Not an eventful one.  We left late at around 8.15am as to let the bulk of the traffic go.  There wasn't alot of traffic around but enough to still be busy.  It was like this until we passed the Red Dog highway which is where most of the mining trucks went - this turnoff is not long after you joint highway 1 again.  Then there was just a few quarry trucks to contend with and then by 10km it was all over red rover.  We had the roads to ourselves with minimal traffic.  This is the lightest traffic we have had for a while and it was nice.  but also look what else is back!

look at what is back!
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Oh is was delicious to ride on and so smooth - it is like having our own bike path and not be hindered by those pesky divots!

Not alot of see today except the red hills but we did come across 2 gas plants - the first was this small one 

For you Dad to remind you of your lovely gas ducted heating down in Bendigo
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Dad you should print this off and then stick it near the on and off button of your gas ducted heater!
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It is still in use and further up the road was a larger one but that seemed like there was no activity there so maybe that one is decommissioned?  By now the shoulder divots were gone but we still had the smooth bike lane shoulder so that was good

still a noice shoulder and no rumble divots
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But alas that nice bike lane shouder went by our 50km mark and we were back to a narrow shoulder for the rest of the day.  The shoulder is about 250mm wide so there is no way we could ride and stay in such a narrow piece of road so we stayed in the lane.  But since there wasn't much traffic is didn't matter.

At 60km we pulled in to a parking bay and a road train driver came over to chat to us as he had passed us earlier this morning just out of Karratha.  It was an interesting conversation with him.  He worked for Centurion which has lots of trucks on the road.  He was telling us that Centurion have very high safety standards.  In all their trucks are 2 cameras - 1 focused on the eyes to monitor sleepyness while the 2nd camera is focused on the mouth to monitor yawning.  All this data is collected from all the trucks while they are on the road.  So he has a smoke and opening his mouth constantly to smoke indicates a yawning action, then he exhales and blows smoke in his own eyes and this makes he blink abnormally.  He is also on the phone to his wife.  20 mins later he gets a call from his boss in Karratha and his boss blasts him for still being on the phone - he informs the driver that his cameras have set the alarms of in Queensland, he then rang the Perth office to inform them who then rang his boss in Karratha who ultimately rings him.  He said that normally it would be an instant dismissal but he was lucky and got away with it as he didn't deny it and took ownership of it.  Now we know why so many road train drivers give us a wide clearance - company policy.  Gosh if only all drivers were like that!

So that was it for us today - not alot of spetacular scenery, although we did notice that as we go more and more inland that we are going up and down some micro hills.  We initially wanted to do about 100km and we have a look at the free camping at Fortesque river rest area but that was yucky and way out in the open so we came to the roadhouse about 1/2km further on and it too was yuck but it was so hot today that I would have done anything to have a hot shower so we came in paid our $35 and had a nice hot shower which is just what we needed after a long day.  There is a big difference between riding in 26 degrees and riding in 29 degrees.  We have the same temps tomorrow but we will start early at day break and get more kilometers in when it is cooler.

green grass but lots of 3 thorn jack plants everywhere!
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yip the flattest part was right near the ablutions block!
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We will be bushcamping hopefully 70km before Nanutarra Roadhouse.

Today's ride: 106 km (66 miles)
Total: 2,873 km (1,784 miles)

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Sharon O'BrienOh god that was funny about the locked kitchen, good idea Neil taking the padlock lol 😆
Was wise to limit the information provided to your menopausal wife lol 😂 Heck that Italian backpacker & her French friends got off lightly!!!!
Remind us was Lake Bolac the time your revenge meant throwing that guys keys in the bushes?
Great adventure guys, you doing so well & nearly made the 3000km mark. Am loving reading the blog, it is like an adventure from the comfort of my armchair ❤️
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5 days ago
Janet O'BrienTo Sharon O'BrienLol yip Lake Bolac was the keys in the bush ... had I been menopausal then it probably would have been keys in the lake 🤣
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5 days ago