Day 23 - Karijini to Auski 133km

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An air of excitement filled the small hamlet of Auski. The villagers rose quickly from their beds quickly moving about with the anticipation of a fun filled day ahead. Children darted about, women sang and the men folk whistled as they went about their morning tasks. In the main street, bunting was blowing, balloons and streamers swayed in the gentle breeze. Some of the townsfolk had been out in their deckchairs along the main street overnight, to be certain of gaining the best view. Yes, today was THE day. The peloton was coming!

Meanwhile…

As sun was breaking at the Karajini National Park, leaving behind a blanket of stars that had filled the sky, another group of people were rising from their slumber. They too held great hopes for the day, but first there were things to be done. Bikes had to be moved and bags packed. A breakfast had been prepared to satisfy the hungriest of riders. As the group were becoming accustomed to in these more remote parts, bikes were “driven” a few kilometres down the unsealed road to meet with the bitumen before the riders set off for the day. One hundred and thirty kilometres of riding through the rich red ranges that rise up stretching along both sides of the road.

The first part of today’s ride took us across Karajini Drive, ideal cycling terrain. We were met with gentle uphills and some fantastic downhills. The road surface was great and traffic was quite minimal. We stopped for morning tea at the 52 km mark, but most of the group were keen to make good with the conditions and quickly re-mounted and set off for the next 50 kms to the lunch stop. Our food while at Karajini National Park was fabulous, and today’s lunch came from there too, so I think everyone was pleased with what they had to eat.

With only 30 kms to ride from the lunch stop, once again the riders were off and keen to make an early day of it. Traffic conditions changed somewhat on the Great Northern Highway. The road trains seemed to have got bigger and faster, but as usual, the drivers seemed to show us a certain amount of respect on the road.

We all arrived at Auski a little earlier than had been anticipated which illustrates the terrific conditions that we rode in today.

I think most riders will take advantage of the facilities here tonight given that tomorrow night is our second bush camp…but that’s another day,

Richard Cooke