Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Mullewa, and its so cold!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Mingenew

The days over the weekend were quiet. Not a lot of traffic on the roads, and the towns were like ghost towns. I did start to wonder if anyone was still living in them. Not a sole to be seen. I'd roll in, find some water and roll out. Had my first over 100km day in a while. Wanted to stop at the 80km mark, but no where to camp. Low lying land, with out any bushes. With the recent rain, it was also damp. When I did find a spot, it was near the road, with old tin cans scattered about.

From days when tinnies where really tin. Not sure if the aluminium cans will rust away. Mingenew was the first populated town. It has the distiction of having the largest grower supplied grain store in the southern hemisphere. Last year over a million tons was harvested. So much that some had to be discarded, there wasn't any storage left.

Its also in the area for wild flowers, but I'm about a month too early for that. With all the grain, you'd think it would go by rail.

The building looks too small and dated. And the rail like is too. Trucks rule the transport here, following the unused rail line into Dongara. Todays ride, Dongara and back. A nice 80km mail run. I didn't warm to Dongara at all. Was happy to get the mail, but, it was too busy. The Brand Highway passes through it. Lots of road train traffic, then all the caravans and camper vans. I had my tent out drying in the park. Council worker come to tell me I couldn't camp there. All the taps have no handles. And the servo's charge for air. The only thing anyone could tell me to see was the marina. In the end, to touristy for me. I headed back out to Mingenew. Its been fine the last few days. Going to miss it. Rain is forcast again.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Toodyay to Walteroo

Well I left Perth with a severe weather warning. Gales of up to 125km/hr expected. So another change of plan was needed. Instead of going up the coast, I started inland a bit. Still it was windy. When windy, trees are not your friends. The best place is sheltered behind a dense bunch of shrubs. My first night I thought I'd found the best spot. But someone else beat me to it

Couldn't move them, so hunted about and found another spot, not as good. It wasn't as bad a night as I was expecting. Toodyay was the first town I stopped in. It looks the place that gets lots of visitors on the weekend. Monday morning, it was very quiet.

The next few days were uneventful. Pedallying, and hiding from the wind at night. Though, it wasn't that windy. Then I let my guard down. That night it was windy. I'd stopped not quite on a hill top, but sheltered behind some bushes. I checked later. Winds were over 60km/hr that night. And the thunderstorm. I was bounced about in my tent like a pea in a drum. Lightning was striking within a few km of my spot. I was trying to decide how much insulation my sleeping mat would provide if there was a strike nearby. I decided not enough! That was a sleepless night. Working on that it couldn't happen again, I stayed in the same spot the next night. All batterned down ready and it was dead still. The farmer nearby was out. All night had the drone of machinery as he worked the fields. Big empty fields out here. Wheat, barley, oats...

Passed through the town of Bindi Bindi. There isn't much there. Not a shop, petrol station, or park. A few houses and a war memorial. Was some art work on the way though.

Miling was a nicer place. Chatted with the owner of the shop, while having a large serve of hot chips. Favourite would have to be Watheroo. Woke up to clouds and fog, but then the day turned into sun and blue sky for the first time in ages. Rolling into town and they had a park with benches and tables. Water tapes even. Sat down, dried off the tent, cooked breakfast, read for a while and soaked up the sun.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Narrogin to err Perth.

Well the weather has been cloudy and windy. Boy has it been windy. Missed that spending all the time down in the gullies. But up top now, sheep, cattle, wheat, oats and canoloa fields, lots of space for the wind to get up some speed. Its not holding back. There is a real roar to the wind in the trees. Cause, that isn't helping my forward speed at all. No matter how many bends I go around, it almost always seems to be a headwind. A few side winds for variation, but never(?) the dreamed about tailwind. 

Ah the wind. With a poor choice on the camp site, the flapity flap, flapity flap of the tent added some music to the night. 

Showers and rain joining the wind, and they are going to be keeping company for the next few days. The farmers will certainly looking forward to the rain. Not sure that I am...

Then a surprise. After updating email in Narrogin, Jen messaged saying she was coming for a visit. I thought it was a long way to drive myself, but sat about chatting with the guys in the information center until she arrived. 

Jen is not a camper. I tented, she slept in the car. (Actually, didn't sleep). Then the plan on what to do was bandied about.. Jen was very persuasive. She brought cookies.

 

We did a bit of a road trip. Stopped in Pingelly for some food. Looked at some of the old time buildings that haven't been painted in a while. 


Then stopped in Perth for a day or two. 

Not surprisingly the south is increasingly cold, wet and windy at the moment. North should be warmer, dryer, maybe not as windy? Actually, its going to be just as wet and windy for the next week up there as well. But it won't be so cold.  

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Wandering

At the Bidjar Ngoulin hut, on the way to Collie, i decided that I was over the Munda Biddi trail. Number of reasons. It was increasingly like a tunnel under the trees. It was cold and damp. And probably the most important one: I was tired of following those little markers. While there were less trails to get lost on as the Munda Biddi progressed, there where many times when I was lost, and had to back track. Other times wondering if I was on the right trail, as it had been a while since I'd seen the. marker. The mining and logging diversions also was annoying. There was another near the hut that I would encounter if I continued. So, after looking a the map, I returned to Dwellingup and headed west. I immediately felt much better about the trip. Also got away from the set routine of making the next camp site. This is my time to pick a point. The info for the Munda Biddi says the purpose built campsites are an easy day apart. They are not. There are other campsites you must use, that don't have the hut and water tanks. All up the ride was good. I was told that further south it opens up a lot more and isn't so hilly. Maybe next time I'm back over this way I'll try again. I do think that the time I was riding it isn't the best. It was dark, cold and damp a lot of the time. Anyway, I'm off it and heading east. And a town i just had to visit was Wandering. Not that there was a lot there. Even the post office was getting renovations so wasn't open. The caravan park was shut for the long weekend. But still, it was a good ride.

Dwellingup

Dwellingup was a nice little town. Though getting to it as damp. I passed the POW camp, but it was showering at the time.

This guy at the information center looked how i felt at the time. Still, heading out towards Collie, the trail was nice and easy for a while.

With all the modern cons. The local area is now big on mining, but it orginally was logging. There is still logging today though. I stopped and saw King Jarrah. Looked a lot like this tree:

But standing upright. It also had green leaves, the bark was alive.. Okay, not a lot like that one. The one above is called "Whim". I didn't find out why. It was 600years old when they cut it down and mounted it in the park.