Day 10: Kununurra to Wyndham - Katherine to Perth 2022 - CycleBlaze

July 28, 2022

Day 10: Kununurra to Wyndham

It was exciting to get back on the road, even though I know I’ll have to come back to Kununurra. I left a disturbingly large amount of stuff in a locker at the hostel: dehydrated & other food, second water bladder, spare tube & gas bottle and half my clothes. I’ll have to re-evaluate whether I actually really need all of that when I do head west. 

I rolled down to the servo, bought another 1.25L water bottle to up my frame carrying capacity and finally rolled out of town a bit before 7. I rode over some more thorns due to poor route choice and was very grateful for my tubeless tyres. I passed a hitchhiker sitting by the side of the road just out of town. Someone told me they’d seen a hitchhiker near Victoria River and I wondered if it was the same guy but not hard enough to stop.

It was still not too busy at that time and I made pretty good time to Molly Springs, about 30k west. 

It was still early and cold in the water but how could you not swim here?
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Big boab on the road into the springs
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By the time I made it back out to the road the traffic had picked up but it was only 20k to the Halls Creek turnoff. The rest area didn’t have any water, we are not in the Territory anymore. 

The hitchhiker turned up and I went to talk to him. He seemed like he’d passed the point of not fitting into normal society. He said this was the fifteenth time he’d hitched around Australia and it used to be better before they built bypasses and installed satellite tracking in road trains. I couldn’t quite work out if he objected to being tracked or if the trucks drivers would get in trouble if they pick people up. It is the same guy though as he told me he got stuck staying Victoria River for 3 days. He was travelling very light. 

The road to Wyndham got less busy but also had less of a shoulder. The escarpments running along the road were really spectacular. I continued on up the road until I got very hot. 

So I found some even colder water to swim in
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The pool is in the otherwise unremarkable looking gorge behind the sign
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There would be a waterfall in the wet and they reckon the pool is up to 100m deep and never sees the sun. It was not busy when I arrived so I had an actual gourmet lunch of cheese & hummus on vitawheats overlooking the little oasis then got changed and went down the steps to the water. There was only one other family there. I swam the length of it, maybe 20m, and sat in the bottom of what would be the waterfall until it got too cold. Then I sat for a while reading in the patchier shade at the other end. I started to get very busy by about 2 so I decided I would head up despite hearing some voices from the top. Turned out the voices were from an entire tour bus load of people. The lady at Kununurra information centre told me no yours went to Wyndham, then here they turn up, scuttling my plan to get changed. I had to duck down the side of the gorge a little so I could get out of my togs. 

They had widened the road almost all the way into Wyndham which was very nice of them. The road went over possibly the biggest hill I’ve crossed yet and it had some very nice picnic tables at the top looking down into Maggie’s Valley. 

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Down the other side, they were  burning off. I don’t know how they started it or controlled it but there were smouldering logs and tiny spot fires for at least 5k. At one point, the grass caught on fire right next to the road as I was riding and I and I saw a couple of trees on fire. I did not want to be that dickhead who gets burnt taking a photo of the fire so did not stop. Would much rather be the unfortunate cyclist who was caught out. Obviously nothing happened.

The road opened up onto the spectacular flood plains. I was struggling a bit and was relieved to hit the 60kph sign and a tourist info sign. But that was all a lie! The shops & caravan park are still several k down the road. There’s distinct zones: the port, presumably 0 mile, then the shops and caravan park at 3 mile, then another little settlement at 6 mile.

The caravan park is really lovely and has the best equipped camp kitchen I’ve seen in a while and a freezing pool. I only dipped my legs in, deciding two swims was enough for the day. I was very tired so went straight to bed after dinner and fell asleep while writing this before 8pm. I’ve had to finish it the next morning at the Wyndham bakery. 

The apple turnover disappeared before I thought about taking a photo
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Today's ride: 100 km (62 miles)
Total: 745 km (463 miles)

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Kerri KarayanLoving the daily entries Clare! Hope the wheel works out. I’ll keep reading
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