Cycle day 46-47 Bushcamp - 4km past Billabong roadhouse - Far too much luggage - CycleBlaze

June 22, 2024 to June 23, 2024

Cycle day 46-47 Bushcamp - 4km past Billabong roadhouse

Cycle day 46 (Saturday 22 June) – Bushcamp to 25km before the Overlander Roadhouse = 77km.  3588km cycle toured so far on this trip.

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A warm night last night as the cloud came in, so at breakfast (at 4.30am) it was a mild 16 degrees and it didn't rise much more than that – 19 degrees was our high today but felt colder due to wind and rain!  There was forecasted rain somewhere along the way today – it was a matter of if we could stay behind it or ahead of it!  As it is now – we are in it!

Due to all the cloud we witnessed a lovely sunrise this morning along the roadside.

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But the beauty didn't last long as the day broke completely to reveal heavy grey cloud.  Over to our right is the Indian Ocean and at about 7.30 we saw something that has become a real negative symbol for us on this trip – a rainbow!

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Our first rainbow on this trip was greeted by us in a somewhat jocular or candid mood – you know oh there will be a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, oh it is so lovely ... blah blah blah.  The 2nd time we saw a rainbow it was oh another rainbow I wonder if it will be a full one (then rain that arvo).  The 3rd time was shit a rainbow I wonder if that means rain?  A 4th time was oh I think we might get rain later today.  Now, our 5th time - it has become oh FFS there is an ‘effin rainbow you know what that means for us – sometime during the day there will be rain ... and sure enough there was rain!  But more on that later.


Last nights camp spot was not that far from Wooramel Roadhouse.  Just before the roadhouse we crossed the Wooramel river and we  were surprised that there was water running in it.  Probably from the last lot or rain that we had at Minilya and inland at Karrajini  and the mines area.

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When we got there we did check to see where the rain was if there was any.  We looked on BOM and we could see it was out at sea and coming inland south of us about 100k south.  So it looked like we would miss that one – even when you see the rain still out there in the ocean we could see it was still tracking way south but there was rain and narrow red band coming down that looked like Wooramel would get it and if it thickened once near land it might get us somewhere between Wooramel and the Overlander roadhouses.  So we decided to continue on to see how far we could go before rain forced us into a bushcamp.  We were hoping to get to 80km – for this leg we need to do an average of 90km per day.  So with the extra 10 done yesterday that means we only needed to get to 80km.  But the winds really blew today from the south east so it was a full headwind and to make matters worse for us the shoulder disappeared completely and traffic was heavy both ways.  Not sure where everyone was going as school hols are a week off here but the majority all seem to be travelling either in caravans with kids bikes or loaded up cars.  It is like no one is south of here – they are all heading north!  So with no shoulder it was difficult for all and I suspect this no shoulder is with us for a long time – at least to the turn off to Kalbarri.

So the going was slow for us and at about 75km we felt the first drops and I had said that as soon as we feel some we need to look for a clearing to set up tent quickly as we might not have much time before the rain becomes heavy.  We were so far away from a tower that even at our breaks we could not see where the rainband was tracking – but that ‘effin rainbow I just knew it was gonna rain!  We found a clearing nest to some wind blown mangled shrubs that would provide a good wind break and set up there.  We basically are in full view but the ground is flat and clear and there is no need to waste time do a bit of garden landscaping by removing stuff. 

Editted to add: I forgot to get a photo of our campsite this morning so I took one of where the tent would be and drew it in!  You can see just how close we were to the road!

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We got the tent up before the rain set in.  Everything is in the vestibule and the rain begins.  We didn't manage to have a wash before so we had to do it out in the vestibule in a tiny wee area.

All I can say is judging by the smell in our tent and vestibule – Neil and I are absolutely feral at the  moment that even the feral goats are avoiding us!  But at the moment as I type this we are warm and dry and I don't care that I forgot to bring my clean tent socks in and are wearing my stinky ones – my feet are warm!  No internet so we don't know how long this rain is here for.  The forecast is for 1-5mm but as we know their rain fall predictions are well out so maybe we should just add some 0’s - 10-50mm!

Tonights dinner is yummy Pumpkin Tortelini - see Flo Neil does like pumpkin!

Tortellini pumpkin!
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It was delicious
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Cycle Day 47 (Sunday 23 June) - bushcamp 25km before Overlander roadhouse to bushcamp 4km past Billabong roadhouse = 75km.  3663km cycle toured so far this year.

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Rain finished late last night and we woke this morning and it was about 13 degrees with a high today of maybe 18 as it was a bitterly cold wind - lovely if you were in the sun!

Didn't get of too early as everything was wet and it always takes longer to pack up a wet tent and gear.  The wind got up early as well and we got on the road at about 7.30am and the wind was blowing from the south east direction so again it was a full headwind.  We knew today was going to be tough as the winds were stronger than yesterday and blew an average of about 30km per hour with gusts in the late 30's.  So the going was hard from kilometer 1.  We sat on about 12/13km per hour and at times were down to well below 10km per hour.

Had a roadworks not long after we started and shit that was just a terrible experience for us.  I think the next time we get to road works I will ask what the intention is for us as cyclists.  No roadwork experience for us has been the same but they all want to escort us through.  So today unbeknownst to me we were escorted and then the rest of the traffic followed so it was me, neil doing 12km per hour then the escort and then the traffic.   I couldn't see behind me as Neil blocks my view so we are near the end I am thinking it is just me and Neil then I hear all this tooting and honking of horns and realise it is the trucks and cars behind the escort car telling us to hurry up and get of the road!  Far out I was fuming - why they effin did it that way I don't know - now every vehicle behind that escort car hates cyclists.  I said to Neil I am not doing it that way again bugger their safety - I know what is best for my safety and it is not this!

So that just set the tone for a real shitty day on the road, the shoulder is back but so narrow  and with rumble strips in them.  The traffic is really heavy again and really don't want to slow down for us or move over.  I have read from previous cycle blogs this is a real hard leg due to the volume of traffic, vehicle attitude to bikes and no or very narrow shoulders.

We realised we would not make our required 90km for today or tomorrow and were wondering what to do.  To make matters worse there is rain coming on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday so we are not sure were to go after tomorrow ride - it really depends on how far we can get - we are 200km from Kalbarri or 180km from Northampton.  What we have decided to try to combat the wind is to start cycling alot earlier and to have the bulk of the ride done before the wind picks up to strong at 9am- so maybe a 2am start.  I think it will be also safer as very little cars on the road at that time and usually only trucks which are alot safer to be on the road with than caravans and cars like there are during the day!

Not much to see today - it is the same ole same ole but I did spot this shoe tree

what a wast of shoes!
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As well as flies we are coming across alot of sandflies and guess who has come out with some bites!

Well they are not my hairy legs!
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Yip they have attacked Neil this time.  I have the odd bite but they are not coming out in welts but poor Neil they are itchy but probably not as bad like mine were.

And guess what we saw today (apart from 3 wedge tailed eagles) our very first Emu!  It was a strange one indeed as it saw us on the road and started to run through the bush parallel to the road.  Its' mate just didn't know what to do so we stopped and pulled over to get a photo and to hope it stops too as we always worry they will over panic and cross the road.

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It was a big one too.

At the Billabong roadhouse we picked up 2 more 1.5l bottles of water - this time they were only $6.50 each! and a cold pottle of hot chips.  We decided not to free camp there instead opt for the bush camp just up the road past the internet tower. 

We are close to the road but not visible as we are sheltered in amongst the shrubs.

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Not sure what time we will start - it is 6.30pm now and theoretically I should be asleep if we are getting up at midnight.  Stay tuned to see if we do an early morning rise!

Today's ride: 152 km (94 miles)
Total: 3,663 km (2,275 miles)

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