Theaussiechallenge Post # 76 Ongerup

Day 97 44 days to go. Distance today 73km total 7524km. It’s 7.30pm Friday 12/110/2012 Ongerup. I bet most of you haven’t heard of this tiny tiny dot town. I certainly hadn’t and stopped only to escape the wind when I saw a caravan park sign on the roadside turn off to the town centre. It’s usually a one horse town pretty much, but this weekend happens to be it’s 100 birthday so it’s full of past residents all gathered for the local community celebrations. Many of the past Ongerup-ians are staying here in the caravan park so it’s a hub and hive of happy folk meeting and greeting and enjoying the reunion atmosphere. They’re totally friendly and I’ve spent the afternoon chatting and enjoying the contact immensely. I scored another $20 in donations which is always a wonderful bonus. Many of the towns in this area end in ‘up’ and I asked the young owner/manager Chrystal why. She said ‘up’ is an Aboriginal name for ‘place of’ and ‘Onger’ is a male kangaroo. So I’m camped tonight at the place of the male kangaroo usual population 100 but this weekend it’s seems are bursting hosting about 1000. They have let me camp here for free very generous given how busy they are. xx Chrystal and her husband are from Perth and moved here only 2 months ago wanting a country life to raise their toddler away from the yuck of a big city. They’re already making inroads with the park which has a homely feel with lots of plans as the bank balance improves. They’re here ’til their old and grey so are in no hurry to enjoy the challenges ahead managing a business in a small country town. Today’s been a soul searcher for me and Rubes. It was probably one of the hardest days I can remember and also one of the most significant. We only managed 73km in 8 hours as the headwind was stronger than anything we’ve encountered. When we arrived at Borden 45km into the day, I was wondering what the hell we were doing. We then met Julie in the main street who managers the corner store. She invited us up for a coffee and soon we were enjoying a delish flat white and chats in the kitchen with her and her daughter. She was so lovely and positive and gave us some water bottles that she uses for her bike. She also donated $50 as the ‘least she could do to help.’ I don’t think she appreciated just how much she helped me get my head right today. I realized during the break that my focus had started to be about what money we still had to raise and the kms still to cover each day. The reality is that we have received already so many generous donations and covered so many kms. The experience to date is something I treasure and what I’m taking away from the experience is priceless. I get that this is my good and right focus as it has been….. one day at a time safe and sound with everything else steak knives. Steak knives come everyday and I have an impressive set that any chef would be proud of. So Rube and I continue the incredible experience of our aussiechallenge not for what’s still to do but to honor the folk who support and encourage us everyday. This is the richest of help and paves the way for us to ride with a clear head, positive mind, and energized soul to tackle the everyday challenges ahead. Our country is wild and this corner will continue to show us its bold color over the next weeks through to Port Augusta. It’s so unpredictable which makes planning set kms per day impossible until we’re into it. So we’ll start nice and early and chip away at what kms we can manage given the day on the day with all it’s surprise packages and unplanned events. It’s means we won’t be able to commit to any events that folk want to organize for us, but we need that flexibility to manage the days and cycle into Brisbane on the route that works for the 25/11/2012. So that was the resting place for the soul searching day of it and it’s a good place indeedy. I mentioned those little surprises and there were a couple of cool ones today worth sharing. Firstly I realized just short of Borden that we had taken the wrong road out of Albany. Oppsy!!!!!! The bonus however is that the alternate route took us through the Stirling Ranges and Bluff Knoll which was perfectly stunning. It was every bit as beautiful as Ive read in the Australian Geographic. I was told today that a few weeks back all the canola flowers were out but have since been harvested so we missed the yellow effect. That aside the green paddocks, mountains and blue skies were a treat so I owe whoever intervened to put us on this road a huge hug and thank you xxxxxxx We also stopped where the ranger told us to this morning and I’ll let the photos speak for themselves when uploaded. It was an insignificant crossing called Paper Collar Creek but when you walked down to the banks, they were alive with wildflowers and a tucked away treasure. Another treat was calling the folks when I arrived in Ongerup. I was in need of a debrief and as always they were totally supportive and helpful. I had also asked them via email in Albany to follow up on some local contacts in sandgate to help promote our challenge. They have already done heaps of follow up stuff and running around for me. Thankyou Mops and Pops our chats today were soooo needed and appreciated and your help as always the bestest ever. I’m one pretty lucky daughter and I love you biggest ever xxxxxxxxxxxxxx The campgrounds have gone all quiet with everyone at the local Tavern for the opening evening. A good time to dine and settle before the merry hordes return. Cash donations $2195. Talk soon x

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About shecyclesolo

If you could dream up the most wildest adventure imaginable what would it be? Between jobs and craving new experience, I decided to indulge the challenge. This is what I conjoured with a promise to come home safe and smiling. I hope you enjoy the 1080 days of stories as much as I will sharing them. "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.' H D Thoreau

One response to “Theaussiechallenge Post # 76 Ongerup”

  1. janet says :

    I can understand why so many past residents and friends from Ongerup travel all that way to catch up and celebrate in this small dot town with its warm supportive soul…so special to be apart of it all Ree. So keep on riding on…head clear and heart open. XXx

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