Theaussiechallenge Post # 72 Shannon National Park
Day 93 48 days to go. Distance today 120km total 7170km. It’s 7.30pm Monday 8/10/2012 Shannon National Park. We so landed on our feet and tyres again tonight big time good fortune. It poured down rain for the last hour so we were passed relieved when we reached what I thought were going to be campgrounds. It’s a camping area but self registering with minimal facilities and no power or running water. Thank goodness we were able to charge our gear up last night at Greeenbushes and thank goodness for Jeff, a fellow camper we met staying here who kindly offered to filled our water bottles. Another great bonus is that there’s a tiny hut with wooden bunks that works on a ‘first in’ basis. Being a Monday and I suppose with the weather being a bit crappy, there’s no one else to share so we have the belly stove to ourselves. The stoves been lit and the wet gear laid out to dry and now I’m sitting on my bunk posting you fine folk. It’s an end to a mixed day but overall really interesting. The scenery continues to show off bigtime. Dave Alley the white ribbon Ambassador for our fundraising challenge, was telling me that the south west is worth the extra effort for the hills and he was spot on thanks Mate for the tip. Jeff is an interesting man. He retired from plumbing some five years ago when his doctor recommended he do his Australia tripping he’d been talking about for years. He was suffering a bit of stress and his doctor authorized his golden retriever,Shannon as a ‘companion dog.’ This means Shannon can travel with his dad anywhere including National Parks. What a very happy couple of lads having a ball living their dream. He is a keen diver and flys a parachuted plane and carries it all in his caravan to explore Australia by land, air and sea. He showed me his photo album of his dive and flying expeditions. He’s got the best shots including sunken WW2 ships, 4 meter Bull sharks, a pod of orcas, and aerial shots over lake Ayer, the Ocean Road and 80mile Beach off WA, just to name a few of plenty postcard quality stuff. All the while Shannon’s nearby and it was special seeing the clear adoration between the men.
I then worked out our kms to Warrnambool. It looks like we can realistically get there by the 6/11 so I’ll email Roxanne when I have reception with the date.
We had an awesome ride today despite the legs complaining from the last days of hill work. Soon out of Greenbushes we past a roadside patch of wildflowers that had french lavender growing amongst other varieties. We got some cool micro shots. It’s fabulous seeing plants that we have in our gardens growing wild here. We reached bridgetown at the 20 km mark. It’s a historic town with buildings dating back to the late 1800s all lovingly restored and functioning as originally purpose built. We enjoyed the atmosphere and checked emails over a cuppa then headed through more dairy, stone fruit and vineyard countryside just beautiful. We passed many historic homesteads functioning still as farms dating back to the early 1900s and restored grand and clearly loved. The gardens are exquisite and a real feature is the purple flowering wisteria growing over barns, verandas or some feature in the grounds. Of course the red tailed cockatoos continue to keep us company by the roadside eating their gum nuts. Hopefully they check for any fairies before noring away at their favorite native treats. The scenery then changed for the last 50kms. Instead of grassy farmlands we came into the National Parks of dense pine forests then towering grey gum bushlands. The road narrowed but was smooth with good roll that made going down the hills bigtime fun. The sky had been threatening all day and we were managing to dodge the rain until our luck ran bout an hour before finishing bugga. It’s quite cold in the overcast conditions I’m guessing 10 to 15 degrees and the rain made it super chill bill. So it was good to get out of the wet gear and into the thermals and grape when we arrived. That’s about it for today and I’ll finish up with a copy of some emails I got from new and old male friends of mine. The guy I talked to yesterday his name is Ben thanks for the email mate and I look forward to keeping in touch. John is an old work colleague of mine who’s just got back from holidaying in Iceland with his wife and another couple. The women ran the Iceland marathon which I think is sooo quirky and super amazing. A couple of cool woman and very inspiring stuff yay. Talk soon x
‘Hi Maree, Nice to see you again,Hope you got to Bridgetown OK.Couldn’t believe we bumped into you again keep on going and keep your spirits high.I Will keep track on your progress and have a chat every so often.Looks like the weather will be in your favour Good Luck BEN’
‘Your ride is amazing. I look forward to reading your blog. Keep safe and look after yourself and Rube. JOHN’