Cycle days 25 & 26 - Willare Roadhouse to Broome - Far too much luggage - CycleBlaze

May 24, 2024 to May 25, 2024

Cycle days 25 & 26 - Willare Roadhouse to Broome

Cycle Day 25 (Friday 24 May) Willare Roadhouse to bushcamp = 99km.  1839km cycle toured so far on this trip.

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Todays high is 32.5 degrees so a bit warmer than the previous few days of cycling.  This mornings low was 13 degrees at 4am when we got up. 

No winds to speak off today and it is 2.15pm when I type this and we haven't got the westerly that Elders said would occur.

On the road at 5.30 and unfortunately it was too dark to take photos of the Fitzroy River.  Just after the roadhouse is a series of bridges (yip 1 way ones!) and about 10km worth of flood plains.  So the main highway is on  a really high levy bank.

The first bridge is a real long one but it has a separate pedestrian/bike part to it so that was good.  As I have mentioned before these 1 one bridges here have absolutely no regulation – needless to say there were massive tyre marks just before the first bridge!  The 2nd bridge had no separate pedestrian/bike access and it was longer than I was comfortable with.  Just as we got there we could hear a car approaching (like with most of these bridges in all their road design engineering they put a corner before and sometimes after it so everyone is basically blind to what is already on bridge – but to alleviate that they reduce the speed from 110km to 80km of which NO ONE slows down to 80 for the bridges) – all except the car driver that realised we were there waiting at the other end for him!  I tell you if a driver ever had a kiniption – it was this one!  We heard like we always do and despite being well before this car we knew that he would be there as we are going across so we waited for him.  We watched him come around the corner – where he should be doing 80km but he was numerically challenged, so we watched him approach the bridge and then just before he got on the bridge he slammed on the brakes – why because he just realised we were waiting at the other end on the side of the road and he realised the error of his ways as he just blindly oblivious to anything oncoming – hence why this WA approach to single lane bridges is very Queensland like so despite Western Australia being the wealthy state they sure aren't investing it in education in road designs – fancy having blind corners in and out of these 1 lane bridges!

So once the bridge is cleared we merrily pedalled across – I don't like them and always pedal across them as fast as I can, uncleated or ready to uncleat so I can “hug” the side should a car get on when we are on at the same time.

It was a pleasant ride through this 10km despite the bridges and as we could see more we could see all the ‘sub’ rivers or lakes created from the flooding of this massive river.  One bridge (2 lanes thankfully) was over something they called ski lake, now I was in front and looking more at the moon which is setting to the west while the sun is rising in the east

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And Neil pulls over to have a look for a crocodile – this is probably the last place we could spot one and as the Fitzroy River is not far from the estuary.  Eagle eyed Neil said there is something in the water, so I went over (lucky no one is oncoming as we are on the wrong side of the road but it is still early in the  morning) and I see what he is looking at – it does look like a piece of wood but it is moving in the water and then it stops so I take a photo of if but it is unclear but we come to the conclusion as it disappears under that yip it probably was a crocodile just not sure if it was a freshie or a saltie.  So I know as I progress through life and in 10 years time this crocodile sighting of ours this morning is going to be told with slight exaggeration and it is now a big 12ft saltie that was in its predator mode hunting for its brekky and had his eyes set squarely on us!

Ski Lake
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Oooooohhhhh it sure looks like one!
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Heather CookEither that or Nessie on an Aussie holiday :)
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2 weeks ago
What do you think?
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I said before this 10km is ridden on a very high levy bank

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It has a wide shoulder both sides and at regular intervals it has these berms that are also like the road high levy banks that are flattened off and they would make perfect campspots.  There was 1 long one with a curve and at the end was an open plain and at that time of the morning you could wake to see the moon setting!

 Further on at about the 30km mark we came across roadworks again.  And we had an escort for 6km.  Basically they were working on creating a very wide shoulder (possibly adding an overtaking lane) and the road diverted but they had sort of sealed it.  The sealed part was both ways but no painted lines on it so they decided to escort us (they drive behind us with flashing lights on).  It was a little rough the patchy road and we couldn't figure out why they felt the need to escort us – I am assuming it is to protect us from cars that want to overtake us with oncoming traffic – are they really that worried that cars can't regulate themselves in situations like this!

But we are thankful that they do this for us and in these situations we appreciate it!  It sure beats Queensland, NSW and Victoria where you are left to fend for yourself when riding through these  long bits of roadworks!

 So the rest of the day was uneventful but in saying that I will probably remember something later on like yesterday I forgot to mention we saw a snake slithering off our shoulder and into some long grass (lucky I wasn't riding in the shoulder at that time or else I would have had a kiniption!) and our loaf of bakery white bread (from Broome) that we bought at the Willare Roadhouse was our all time high for buying a loaf of bread - $8.20 – needless to say we are preserving one of the crusts, bringing it home to mount it in a frame and then to put it pride of place in our house to remind ourselves of the sacrifice we made to buy that loaf of white bread – you are thinking what sacrifice we made – we could have bought 3 loaves of multigrain bread if we had been nearer to a Woolies!!!

 I know you are looking at todays total of 99km and why didn't we continue on for another 1km to make that magic 100km total – well 1km was done backtracking as we kept coming back to look at bushcamp sites so really we only did 98km!  It was becoming increasingly difficult to find a suitable spot – all the mown water run off tracks were really sandy and we can't push the bikes through it and also there was a lot of thick bushes on the side of the road.  We did find a flood plain with small trees in it and then at the end of it there was like a long section of bushes that were like a natural fence line and behind it was open area with lots of shady trees and we managed to find a gap in the bush fence line to go through and here we are!

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A bit too early (lunchtime) to set up the tent  but plenty of trees to offer us shade.  There are a gazillion birds around us and we can't see them as they are not in the trees near us but we can hear them and we are hoping they might come out later in the evening before it gets dark.

tonights campspot
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Cycle Day 26 (Saturday 25 May) - bushcamp to Broome = 78km.  1917km cycle toured so far on this trip.

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Oh back to warmer weather now - a high of 34 degrees in Broome today with last nights low at the bushcamp site of 18 degrees.  Again no winds for us this morning.

Staying at Cable Beach Caravan park - unpowered = $50 per night for 2 and we are here for 3 nights.

Great camp spot last night and we had a visitor late yesterday afternoon and you care probably thinking it is just another kangaroo but we have hardly seen any on this trip and if we had they are super quick and don't hang around to have a look at us so this one I think could smell we were there and we were so careful not to move to attract attention so I managed to get this photo 

Not just another kangaroo but the only one on this trip so far that I have managed to get a photo of!
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Since there was no wind at all yesterday and there is a bit of burning off there was a black haze just above the horizon and made for a nice sunset and sunrise

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We set the alarm for 3.30am so that we could get to Broome before the post office and the one and only camping store closed.  We were on the road at about 4.45am and it was dark.  No traffic going with us but quite a few trucks heading in the opposite direction.

It was only 36km to Roebuck roadhouse and then we come off the main highway and join the road to Broome.  They are doing roadworks at the junction and there is a wide shoulder basically all the way to Broome. 

our 'smooth special' bike lane is back all the way to Broome.
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Quite alot of traffic coming out of Broome and the witching hour is defintely after 8am so hopefully when we leave we will get up early and beat all this traffic back to the junction at Roebuck roadhouse!

Broome is a big place and not one that I would want to live in - my first impression is that it is a shithole of old aging roads, too many oversized SUVs driving around in narrow roads and the town center is a nightmare if you don't know where you are going.  Absolutely no regard for pedestrians or cyclists - which is probably why we never really saw anyone unless they walking to a cafe!

We got to the post office to pick up our warm gear but we suspect we will be sending this back home!  We have a town map of Broome and had a job finding the main street to get us to the camping store - like alot of towns street name signage is non existent!  Eventually we got there and realised the main street (Fredrick st) was old and narrow with useless raised islands in the middle of the road and was no suitable for us and cars so we jumped on the pedestrian/bike path (at least we think it was) and rode on that -not the greatest along this street but survivable (is that a word?)  We got to the camping store and not to my surprise they don't have any self inflating mattresses.  Neil was upset.  However we think we have come up with a solution and had to buy a 4 pack of square foam mats that all the caravaners have (it cost us $37!) and Neil can put 2 of those under is mattress but not inflate the mattress like he normally does.  This will do until we can get one sent to either Port Hedland or Karratha.

So onto the caravan park and again we stuck to the bike path but again the lack of street name signs got us a little confused if we were actually going down the right road.  But at last after alot of saying effin hate Broome! we found our caravan park.

After checking in and we are right down the back of the park on a tiny site at the end of a knub.  Basically you don't want to know what I first said but you can guess.  Oh my gosh I nearly died when I saw what they put us on because we don't have a car - shithole site comes to mind and far out I was so annoyed paying just $5 a night less than a powered site and we get a site that is about 1/4 of the size of a caravan site yet we don't pay a 1/4 of the price.  Gosh it took us alot to calm down.  We have to catch a taxi to use the kitchen but at least the toilets and showers are a bit closer but again the only 2 people in this entire park that DON'T need the exercise to do the long walks well we are doing the furtherest walking to the facilities!

After setting up and realising that it is small but at least we get afternoon shade and the chairs can be moved about.  To be a bitch I am parking the bikes about 1m in from the curb so the caravans don't cut the corner like they have been as our site had tyre marks where they can't turn the corner fully so they go up and over our site - yip they can stop and consider driving properly before taking the lazy option of oh I will just drive my caravan up and over their site!

Needless to say I am having 2 showers a day and will not be having short ones.  I will run the water until I get cold water to drink and wash my dishes under running water!

Not enough room for a pony!
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After having a shower we ride back into the Woolies which is about 5 1/2km away to get some food.  We get tonights dinner plus the bulk of the food for Port Hedland.  We got some bargains - there are some soups in tetra packs that we like that we found in the clearance bin so we grabbed 2 dinners there, plus Heinz have pasta meals in Tetra packs as well and they were on sale as well so we grabbed 2 dinners there.  But our happiest buy were a cooked roast chicken and a chocolate bavarian.

Only managed 1/2 the chicken but we will eat all the bavarian as there is a fridge here but no freezer!
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So I am happy now I have had my roast chicken and we will have the other half tomorrow.  It was lovely to have chicken again - this is the first chicken we have had since leaving Darwin - oh it was delicious but not a pretty sight seeing us 2 devour half a chicken at 3.30pm - it wasn't pleasant at all but fortunately for all it gets so dark here early that they don't have to witness us devouring the bavarian.   

Today's ride: 177 km (110 miles)
Total: 1,917 km (1,190 miles)

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