Cycle Day 49 - Bushcamp to Geraldton - Far too much luggage - CycleBlaze

June 25, 2024

Cycle Day 49 - Bushcamp to Geraldton

Cycle Day 49 - bushcamp to Geraldton = 135km.  3898km cycle toured so far on this trip.

Unpowered at Belair Gardens Caravan Park = $34.50

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It was a balmy 3.5 degrees this morning at 2am.  These early starts are really killing us when the weather is so cold but despite the frozen fingers, toes and legs it is quite exhilarating cycling that time of the morning when hardly anyone is about.  Before this tour I had done 0 days riding at night but now I am a convert ... for when it is suitably required!  So it took a little longer to drag our sorry arses out of the sleeping bag.  Funny though as we were getting out of bed there was a 5 minute flurry  of traffic both ways both trucks and cars and then nothing even when we finally got started at 4am there was hardly any traffic at all.  If there was any it was trucks going northwards.

Knowing we start this early in the morning we knew we would cross the Murchison River in the dark but there is still just enough of the moon to show us the river.  The free camping either side looked full!  There must have been at least 100+ vans, caravans etc there.

Continuing on the road becomes more and more undulating with some climbing to do as well as going down them so this is the last thing we need as climbing makes you sweat and then going down the hill makes you freeze as the sweat cools down too much and makes you cold.  So not only do we have frozen feet and hands but now cold bodies!  Ah if only the sun would hurry up and rise to warm us up.

beautiful sunrise
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So the sun popped up and revealed the day and we could see cloud building up (not rain clouds!) but a cloud blanket that cover the sun and makes the morning cold.

So coming along we pass through a town called Binnu and just on the other side of it we find a single swag on the road

what a find!
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Neil got of his bike to take it of the road but thought he would try it out first to see if it was suitable to carry with us to replace his bubble thermarest!

but a tad too big for the trailer!
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You can see the country side is very different to what we had the day before!  Lots of paddocks of crops growing and even sheep.

so green!
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From Binnu it is about 30km to Northampton which will be our 80km mark.  The traffic going north is still more than going south with us.  The foliage is looking familiar now ...

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one of my favourites - kangaroo tail
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It is getting greener and greener as we get to Northampton and it is really like the North Island of New Zealand.  Now we know we are getting closer and closer to civilisation.  We are beginning to warm up and I have commandeered Neils beanie for under my helmet as my ears were getting cold as well.

looking alot like the North Island of NZ
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But what really surpised us riding along is that we went down a fabulous hill and  just assumed we will go up one but we didn't.  We both asked ourselves where did that hill come from? are we below sea level?  LOL no I think in our first day out of Carnarvon we were doing alot of gentle gradual climbing that we could feel in the legs but not necessarily see physically but we just thought all of that was in our minds.

And again we went down a whopper of a hill but then started to reclimb it to get into Northamton.  This is a nice little town, has an IGA and lots of old buildings - a very quaint rural town that supports the surrounding farms.  Quite a few old people out and about.  Has a nice park and toilets - our first flush toilet in 5 days! Bearing in mind we haven't had a shower for 4 days now.  It is early when we get there - about 10ish.

The day before when we finished our ride I threw the idea up in the air (thinking that Neil is probably not listening) that the next day pending the winds we could continue on to Geraldton - that would mean a 130km ride.  Well we get to Northampton and we check the weather and now the rain is to occur on Wednesday early in the morning so even if we stay in Northampton tonight and then continue in the early morning to get to Geraldton before the rain - we still wouldn't make it.  So blow me down with a feather Neil says lets go with your idea to get to Geraldton with the winds behind us!  I was more shocked that he had been listening when I came up with that crazy suggestion!  So we go with that.

Northampton also has a great presentation of all the AFL people that have come from this area ... this is one for the Geelong fans

Just for you Judy!
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There are quite a few from around this area - must be something in the water!

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It was a fabulous presentation of the players and they look really life like!  Since we had decided to continue we thought we would grab something to eat so Neil grabbed something from the bakery - vanilla slice ...

Yeah the pink icing is a bit strange
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It was bland, the pastry was burnt and no where near as good as the ones from Bridgewater or yours Flo.  

No where near as good as yours Flo
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but we still ate it!

And we are off, we had no idea what was ahead of us, we expected traffic since it is only 50 odd kilometers to Geraldton and we had an idea that it might be a bit hilly too.  Remembering we were at the 80km mark for the day at Northampton and we had already done 2 x 100km days and 2 x 75km days and we were a tad weary in the legs we still set off, the mind was there that this was a great idea of mine to do this rather than do it the next day!

Lets just say I got 1/2km out of town and I thought whose stupid idea was this as we climbed out of Northampton and up one munter of a sootie grunter of a hill - so whose idea was this? now how can I pin this on Neil!  LOL just joking - it was not a bad idea but is was a real munter of a hill to get out of this town!  And we were right it was hilly but not too hard that we had to get of and walk them.  They were most definitely rideable  even when the legs were weary.  What was hard was when you go down a the hill and haven't pedalled for a few minutes and then straight away you have to start pedalling up a steep incline - that is when you felt the previous 4 days of hard riding!

There was a narrow shoulder for most of the way with rumble strips in them so sometimes it was safer to stay on the road as you sped down the hill rather than risk going over these rumble strips and trying to control the bike and stay within the narrow shoulder.  It certainly was  picturesque riding through this area and the traffic was pleasantly good to us - probably felt sorry for us!

We can see the Indian Ocean again
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As the kilometers ticked by the body was beginning to feel the long hours in the saddle.  Legs were ok as long as we didn't have too steeper incline.  What was hard was the kilometer markers - we could see Geraldton but the corresponding kilometer marker was still 15km and that meant another hour on the bike - oh it is so cruel when you can clearly see the town and yet it is 1 hour away!  Try trying to occupy your mind with happy thoughts riding that!  At least for that 15km it sort of flattened out!  We rode past Drummond Cove which basically is a seaside resort estate that has now merged with Geraldton.  Looking at the map of Geraldton we can see that it is a big place and has expanded alot since Neil passed through last.

Finally at last we see the all important welcome sign.

welcome to Geraldton!
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and then ride past some important shops - no not McD's - the one circled in the photo ....

an important shop!
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oh if only I was allowed to stop and browse!  But it is imperitive that we get to BFC store to get Neil a new self inflating mat.

We find it but it is difficult to cross the busy road with the loaded bikes so I stay on the other side of the road while Neil goes in.  He is taking forever so I start to drag the ground sheet and footprint out to dry them while waiting.

people may have thought I was going to set up our tent!
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He comes out empty handed and says there is only a expensive one that has the pump system with it.  I said that is strange as the Sea to Summit self inflating mat is in stock a week ago and I doubt if they have sold out.  So he goes back in and then comes out with one!  We could have saved ourselves 30mins if I had just said I will go in and get it!

Then we are off to KMart so I can at least get some leggings to keep warm in the morning or even sleep in them.  Well I was in there a long time -they only had 3/4 length so I had to get them and will just have to pull up my borrowed socks from Neil!  I also managed to get a cotton long sleeve shirt and unfortunately it is this funny brown colour that makes me either look like one of the following - a cinnamon stick, a piece of chocolate or a terd!  It is the only colour in my size!  But it will do and it will keep me warm at least of the bike until my warm gear comes in the post!

The warmth in the sun is draining away and it is starting to get cool again so with a little bit of food (bacon and eggs for dinner tonight) we head of to the campground which is about 4km away past the port.  Here is what we saw ...

riding through the ports - I think the fire boats were practising their fire extinguishing skills
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Finally we get here - very weary and looking our ages!

looking very old and tired aren't we!
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Heather CookNot at all!
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2 weeks ago

We are unpowered tonight and will  move in to a studio with bathroom tonight (wed and thursday nights) for the impending rain.

our camp spot
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In hindsight now we have seen the campspot it is a great one for rain - this is incredibly rare in campgrounds and it has a great camp kitchen and a games room we can seek shelter in.  But I think it is a good idea to have a wee cabin.  

It was great to have a long hot shower to get rid of all the grit and grime.  This is a very old school type caravan park that has a very old shower block like the good ole days - solid concrete blocks with old small mission brown and cream tiles and when you have a shower at peak time (5pm) all but 2 of the showers are going and there is no exhaust fan and it is steamy and warm in there and some poor mother is trying to shower herself and look after her 2 daughters in 2 seperate showers that can't quite make the water just right for themselves - it is either too hot or too cold!

I looked at the laundry as we have washing to do and dry (we will have to use the dryer - must remind Neil continuously that the merino shirts and tights can't go in the dryer or I could be a bitch and tell him his merino tights are perfectly fine to go in the dryer as pay back for carrying all his warm clothing in secret!)  But in the laundry there was a box of free stuff so me being my fathers daughter I start rummaging through and what do you know I find a cardigan with long sleeves that might just fit me.  So I grab it and see that it really is a useless garmet (I don't have a high regard for most womens clothing - I think alot are poorly designed, not practical and made from ridiculous products.  This one was too long in design so not really practical to button up but it was made of cotton so that was a bonus!  I am using it too sleep in at night until I get to Perth and then I will ditch it if we don't have enough room to carry it but at the moment we have ditched all our water bottles and we definitely have the capacity to carry it.  Very happy and warm last night sleeping in my cardigan - but guess what because of the rain it was a warmer cloudy night so I got a tad warm in it!

Wednesday morning now - The rain was early this morning at about 5.30am and had 2 very heavy showers and then another at about 9am.  But the tent is all packed up and relatively dry.  It was a cool night last night - down to about 10 degrees and then the cloud came in and warmed up to about 14 degrees this morning when it started to rain.

Today we are just waiting to check in to our cabin accomodation which can't occur until 2pm.  We have alot to plan and book now we are closer to Perth.

I think the cabin has a TV and without realising it tonight is the 2nd State of Origin game - I am not a Rugby League follower but I do enjoy watching the State of Origin, New Zealand Warriors and occassionally the Melbourne Storm play.  So I might be able to stay awake to watch some or all of the game - lucky WA is 2 hours behind so the game starts earlier!

We leave here on Friday morning - we think the rain will be finished by then.

Today's ride: 135 km (84 miles)
Total: 3,898 km (2,421 miles)

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