Day 24 - Auski to Foothills Bushcamp 124km
What a contrast the last 2 nights have been. From the silence and serenity of Karijini NP to the roar of massive road trains constantly passing closely by at Auski Tourist Resort. It made for two very different sleeping experiences!
Today started promisingly with a magnificent sunrise and a breeze that felt like it would be in our favour, After an atypical roadhouse breakfast of cereal, and eggs on toast, we celebrated Maz’s birthday with a rousing version of Happy Birthday before we packed up and began the days cycling heading north east back towards the coast. After a few days in the rolling hills reaching an altitude of just over 800 metres, today was mostly downhill. Combine that with a nippy tailwind and we found ourselves rolling along effortlessly at sometimes 40km/hour.
We are travelling on the Great Northern Highway which carries many, many, MANY road trains. The road trains here are the biggest we have encountered so far. These enormous vehicles with 4 trailers travel 24 hours a day along this route from the mining towns inland to Port Hedland. 23 wheels long x 4 across makes for 92 wheels all up. You start to understand how BIG these trucks are.
With our support vehicles in constant communication with the truckies we found most to be very polite, slowing down for us mere cyclists and giving us a wide berth.
In no time at all we had ridden 45km to morning tea then in a blink of an eye we were at the 92km mark for lunch, an hour earlier than expected! The weather and terrain were definitely in our favour! Just before lunch we cycled past possibly the fattest snake I have ever seen. It was road-kill and the hawks were circling. We are pretty sure it was a python.
The only real hiccup in the ride was after lunch when Wagstaff hit a small rock causing him to puncture his back tube, and leave a big tear in the actual tyre. Never fear JB was near! JB is our amazing bike mechanic who sits at the rear of the last cyclist in his mini van and gives us assistance when required. Of course he is far more than that. He lets us know when big vehicles are approaching, carries weary cyclists, fills our water bottles, gives us a rev up, and is an all round good bloke. In no time JB had a new tyre and tube in place and we were on our way again.
30km’s down the road and we arrived at our bush camp. Mmmm where is the toilet? Where is the shower? Where is my glamping tent? Oh you mean there aren’t any? Nope! There was nothing there! NOTHING!! We set up tents a in a lovely scenic spot next to a water hole and surrounded by a rocky outcrop of boulders, just far enough off the highway to not feel like a road train was passing through our tents.
We settled in to a lazy afternoon before the open fire was lit, and a magnificent dinner of spag bog was served by our versatile and fabulous Lou.
I wasn’t really looking forward to camping again but all things considered it has been good fun so far. Still looking forward to a proper shower and roof over our heads when we reach Port Hedland tomorrow night. Lets hope there are no live pythons in camp tonight!
Happy Birthday Marion Ruth Carter!
5 days to Broome and the countdown is on!!!