Theaussiechallenge Post # 43 Cockburn Rest Area
Day 48 94 days to go. Distance: yesterday 126km today 165km total 3432km. It’s 8.20pm Friday 24/8/12 Cockburn Rest Area. Hi there fine folk and welcome to the Kimberley’s. The Victoria River Region was the warmer upperer. Since then we’ve entered a land of rolling hills, boabs and red rock escarpments and formations. It’s rugged and wild and beautiful. The rock is all water marked where during the wet season waterfalls run freely and gather in the floodplains along the Savannah. We passed that way yesterday and for the first time moved through an area devoid of life now during the dry, apart of grasslands and sparse trees. It was so apparent the missing birdlife through the floodplains. Rube and I spotted one tweet tweet bird but he was clearly lost and out of there before we could say ‘hello mate.’ This part of the ride was hot and slow creepy inclines with heavy duty bitumen that had little roll. Therefor the first 100km was well well earnt and we did it tough. So much so it was time for Ipod tunes. I was absolutely rescued by music specifically the countdown wonder years. Thankyou Janny love this CD you gave me years ago gave us such a natural high we literally danced and sung our way for the remaining 26kms. Big fun!!!The power of Aussie countdown hey? It was about this time that the enscarpment we’d been looking at a distance all morning came into its own and we found ourselves in the Kimberleys so so magical. A family stopped ahead of us on the roadside who we had met in Mataranka. They wanted to say hi and offered us their fruit and honey leftovers as they were traveling onwards to the WA border. There’s strict quarantine regulations coming into WA so we happily accepted the assortment of treats and got some pickies yay. The Saddle Creek Rest Area we stayed last night was the nicest yet. It was tucked at the base of sheer red rock walls all water washed and glowing orange, pink and red as the sun slowly set showing off it’s magnificence in that landscape. I met really cool people last night so much so it was late o’clock by the time I finished chatting and I just fed the starvs and passed out for an early start this morn. Firstly I got to talking with Sue and Paul who gave me a coke when I first stopped. yum!!!! no really yummy!!! They also donated $20 thankyou and shared some of their fruits. They have invited me to stay with them in Geraldton WA which is very cool and so appreciated. There were two other cyclists staying at the rest area ‘Sal’ and her male friend. They are alternative lifestyle folk on a spiritual journey that has lasted already 2 years and not ending any time soon. They work as needed picking fruit with the seasons and were so endearing characters. As an example Sal thought the toilets at the BP Kununurra needed cleaning so did so just to help out. She accepted a free shower as payment but pretty much is about karma an unconditionally helping where she can as she travels. What a beautiful soul. We sat under the shelter talking for hours along with Julie and her husband who made us all coffee and shared in the quality chats. Julie nowadays lives in SA but spent a significant proportion of her childhood in Darwin and grew up with the local indigenous families sharing their cultural experiences like fishing and walkabouts and eating off the land. I listened to her stories in awe and her appreciation for culture and country is still so apparent. Sal also grew up across this area and the two bounced off stories and reminisced of a lifestyle in the 70s and 80s so fascinating it was a pleasure to listen and be part off. Sal and her friend headed off when the sun went down as they cycle in the cooler morning and evenings so we grabbed so pickies before they left and exchanged details. They have $50 old Melvin star bikes but their add hoc approach works beautifully for them. I wish them a continued safe journey and thank you so much for our time shared. I also exchanged details with Julie and I hope we keep contact she’s a very special and very very interesting and fun woman. Happy travels guys and I may see you when I come through SA. This fella came over as we were saying our goodbyes and said he and his partner had passed me now about four times. They invited me to sit and we chatted a while and exchanged travels stories. I can’t remember their names bugga but hopefully will get an email from them. They shared their stir fry veggies and mashed potato left overs which were just yum thank you!!! There’s been a group of 3 stars I have noticed in the sky that I haven’t seen before and they make a perfect triangle and are a clear feature. I had thought it unusual that I didn’t know them as I’m a star gazer back home. He was explaining that they are mars, saturn and a star that are unusually aligned and slowly the triangle will start to change shape as the planets move.
This morning I got off to a 6.30am start and rode with the sunrise which was stunning!!!! We we stopped again along the roadside by a couple Peter and Phyllis from Horsham near the Grampians and north of Portland Victoria. They met Igor earlier in his travels near Hughenden. Sue and John had told them about us and they were keen to meet which is really cool. We crossed paths a couple of times today before Kununarra and they gave me some cold water which was delish in the heat which has turned up the last couple of days. We’re staying at the same rest area tonight and shared a coffee and bicky and some wonderful conversation over sunset. They have also donated $10 thank you darlings!!! You are incredibly kind and generous folk with the coolest troopy set up and I hope we’ll be seeing each other again as we both travel now down WA. They are very big Igor fans and we joked about wearing ‘where’s Igor’ t-shirts until the lad pops up again on the radar. Kununarra was very pretty and a big dot town renowned for its waterways which are beautiful. For those lucky to be traveling with boats they are apparently great to explore by water. We topped up on supplies and were approached by another couple donating $10 outside of Coles thank you!!!! There’s a few ants and mozzies about so I’m going to set up the grasshopper fly for a good night sleep after dinner. With the amount of fruit I have eaten the last 24hrs Im inclined to hang from the tootsies from the rafters under the shelter like a big fruit bat 🙂 With the $40 cash donations over the last 2 days that makes it $1224.35 yayayay. Talk soon x