Day 18 - Nanutarra to Cheela Plains 182km

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Well today when I said I would write the blog, I didn’t think that I would be sitting down at 5.00pm with a beer in hand having had a shower and the washing complete. Today was the longest day on the trip for everyone travelling from Perth to Broome, 182km and fortunate for us for most of the day the weather was in our favour.

We changed things up this morning to ensure we could leave a little earlier than the scheduled departure time of 7.00am. Bags on the bus before breakfast and bikes ready to roll, ensured that we left the Nanutarra Roadhouse on sunrise. 5km’s down the road saw us turn off the Coastal Highway onto a much quieter side road toward Cheela Plains, our destination for the night. It was important to hit the road early with such a long day ahead.

Riding at 19km/hour for the first 64km into morning tea, some of us were quickly calculating how long we would be on the road for the day. I didn’t do the exact sums however it meant we were going to struggle to make it in whilst it was still daylight. Travelling north east into a 30km/hour north easterly wasn’t fun, especially after yesterdays long day in the saddle.

At morning tea I asked All Trails crew member Lou if she could turn the fan off, or at least down. Her response wasn’t quite what I wanted but it was hard to expect too much. As we rolled out of morning tea, we were pleasantly surprised. With the wind mostly at our back for the next 70+ km into lunch, most were in cruise mode however the heavens opened which meant out lunch stop was short and sweet. All Trails café was set on the side of the road which allowed us enough time to find the wet weather gear, eat lunch and find a toilet. A short turn around and we were back on the road.

The weather fined up and the winds continued to be favourable, which allowed most the chance to look around properly (and not just focus on the wheel in front) and take in the ever-changing scenery and landscape.

Before no time we all reached our turn off to Cheela Plains Station. A family run cattle station of 200,000 hectares owner and operated by Evan and Robin Pensini. We were welcomed with ‘coffee and cake’ for afternoon tea which was followed up by an amazing roast dinner with salads. Can’t wait for the omlettes in the morning…

A huge congratulations to all riders today for getting through a massive day on the road. If the mind is willing the body is able.

Richard Cooke