Cycle days 53 & 54 - Carnamah to Dandaragan - Far too much luggage - CycleBlaze

July 1, 2024 to July 2, 2024

Cycle days 53 & 54 - Carnamah to Dandaragan

Cycle Day 53 (Mon 1 July) – Carnamah to Bushcamp near Namban = 90km.  4197km cycle toured so far on this trip.

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9 degrees this morning when we got out of bed at 6am.  No need to get up earlier as we had to go to the local IGA to get some food as we knew we would be bushing camping tonight somewhere on the road to Moora.  It was a cool morning but not a freezing morning.  We just waited for the sun to rise and kept watching the sky to see if any clouds were coming in like yesterday and the day before!  Alas it stayed sunny all day – it was delicious!  I thought we would become like a vampire when the sun comes up and cringe and shrivel up like a vampire does with daylight since we haven't seen sunny days and what feels like forever!  Todays high is 19 degrees.  Winds were cross headwind for the first 40km then becoming a tailwind for the next 50km.

 The IGA in town is small and has limited stock of stuff but I managed to scrounge together something for tonights dinner – the usual – soup and rice!  We headed off just after 8am and the road to Coorow goes south east and the winds are primarily blowing from the east (with a little north tendency as the morning continues) it is open and rolling but we are sitting on a bout 14km per hour so it is ok. 

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Coorow is another small town and we continue on for another 13km and take our coffee break.  Still sunny and becoming warm so all the layers start coming off.  As you may know we the person at the back wears the reflective vest - we got one from the op shop in Port Denison and the only one they had was an XXL – for me that is about 5 sizes too big so when I wear it I have to cross it over in front and peg it.  Neil scrunches it at the back and pegs it!

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Just after the 40km mark the road does veer south and continues this way for the rest of the day in fact all the way to Moora.  The wind is beginning to swing to a north easterly and we can feel it assisting us sometimes.  The road is now undulating for the next 20km but ok for riding.  There are long hills up and long hills down – all gradual but you still have to work the gears.  The roadside has heaps of trees/shrubs and from August to November this would be just full of wild flowers.  We can see some of the Wattle trees flowering now and a few of the banksia trees have flowers on them.

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We have our lunch at 60km on the road side like we normally do.  The traffic is light as usual and it is very pleasant riding and we are glad that we have taken this road – hilly ... yes, cloudy and cold for the first 2 days on this road ... yes but now we are use to the hills and love that today was warm and sunny and hopefully tomorrow it will be the same – although I think our winds are changing again! 

The next 20km to Watheroo is really undulating and the legs are beginning to get weary.   The wind is becoming less and the hills are more sheltered from these tailwinds.  Relieved we get to Watheroo and decide that we won't make Moora (there was the hope that the road today was going to be absolutely flat and blow us there!) so we thought yip we'll find somewhere 10km down the road from Watheroo.  From Watheroo the road flattens out completely and we still have a gentle tailwind so we do that 10km easily and find a lovely spot next to the railway line.  It is not grain season so hoping a train doesn't come like it did the other night when we were near Mingenew – this is still the same train line. 

When we got down the track we saw there was a big enough opening among the Ti-trees for our tent

lovely sunny spot
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about half way between railway line and road
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This has been our best bushcamp for a while.  Like last night was our best campground on this trip - Neil thinks it is almost perfect.  His fault was the kitchen just needed an extra side to cover the exposure to the weather.

Tomorrow we go through Moora to pick up food and then continue west on to Dandaragan.

Cycle Day 54 (Tuesday 2 July) - Bushcamp to Dandaragan = 66km.  4263km cycle toured so far on this trip

Dandaragan Pioneer Park (community type campground) = $20 unpowered.  Fabulously hot showers!

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9 degrees this morning and it was cloudy and damp when we got up.  Not cold but liveable.  Didn't look at todays forecast and in hindsight we probably should have as it was a wet ride to Moora and todays high was only 16 degrees here in Dandaragan!  We had no wind this morning but by lunch time a medium southerly wind was blowing but we didn't have to cycle in it for very long as we got to our destination.

Have to say that my morning abulutions were pretty spectacular today - gotta love bush pooping!

Loo with a view!
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Managed to get on the road at 8am and there was a few clouds about but nothing that indicated rain until we got about  13km down the road and we could see south of us had either fog or rain - as it turns out it was rain. The road was flat still and there was no wind so we were doing quite well but the first drops indicated that there was something more than a passing shower so we put all our gear away and put the raincoat on and the for the next hour we had light constant rain to Moora.  We got there just as it was finishing and a local said that the worst of it has gone and there is nothing more today!  The sun was trying to shine through the heavy thick clouds and when it did come through it began to dry things out and warm us up.  

I popped in the local IGA to pick up 3 days worth of food to get us to Perth and came out and we found the local park to have bit of a dry out and a cuppa.  Some of the local birdlife came down to sticky beak at us!

local at Moora I think it is an Australian Ring Neck Parrot
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Thinking that was all the rain we were going to get and checking the BOM radar we got everything back out and began our ride west to Dandaragan which is a further 34km from Moora.  The road is really quiet and it was lovely riding.  Mainly flat road with a few rolling hills in it.  

Grey skies threatening to rain again!
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It did seem to want to rain and we felt another few drops so we stopped immediately to put everything away but it was a false alarm as that was all it was a few drops!

On the sides of the roads there is water lying everywhere and it is really black water with alot of tannin in it.  Plenty of sheep and cattle about now and they all think we are unusual looking animals and have probably never seen a pushbike out this way every!

Got to Dandaragan early afternoon and there is not alot here but has a community type caravan park that unfortunately the council now makes you book and pay online so we did that when we got here.  There are less than 10 powered sites but unlimited unpowered site and we chose our site hoping to get some warmth and less condensation by being under a tree.

nice campspot under a tree to hopefully help with warmth and condensation
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yip that is the dump point in the top right corner of the photo again! - this time it is a voluntary campspot due to tree shelter
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It has a laundry with a free washing machine but no dryer so we could only do our essential laundry like my wet socks  and cycle knicks and hopefully they will dry tomorrow as they forecast sun, 18 with a low tonight of 5 so that must mean clear and cold skies tonight!

One thing I forgot to mention yesterday as we were riding along my bottom bottle cage sheared off from its mount

bottom bottle cage sheared right off - mount left attached to the bike
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the bottle cage and bottle came off - rescued the bottle!
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I hear this clunk and heard the bottle fall to the ground as I was riding along and sure enough the cage had sheared off completely.  I think all the constant vibrations from the road and going over too many rumble strips has caused the cage itself to seperate from the weld to the mount.  Hopefully Neil can find me another one in Perth as it is handy to have that small bottle on the bottom of the frame underneath.

I don't know why we didn't remember doing this in past cycle tours but I just mentioned that maybe we should take a couple of the coke bottles and fill them up with hot water from the laundry to warm us up in bed like we have done before when we are cold.  So that is what we have done and it is just like having a hot water bottle with you!

hot water from the laundry warming up the feet in the sleeping bag
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Tomorrow is another ride on back roads - we do rejoin that Brand highway for about 3km then go west on another back road but tomorrows roads are predominantly southward bound.  There is a caravan park in the middle of no where and that is our target but if we can find a bushcamp site near or before there then we will take that as this caravan park charges you alot for unpowered, but if nothing is available then we will go in and do another bushcamp the next day to get as close as we can before reaching suburbia or the civilisation of Perth surrounds.

Today's ride: 156 km (97 miles)
Total: 4,263 km (2,647 miles)

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