Thursday, July 14, 2011

Roebuck Roadhouse to Port Hedland

Huh. So much for weather reports. It got to 34C after leaving the roadhouse.
I Just before leaving I met Aitor and Evelin, cycling from Boome south. So we rode together for a bit. Wow. Evelin only started cycling from Darwin. Amazing. Picking to my mind the hardest place to start touring in. Aitor has been on the road two years.
It was hot. So that night I left them and continued my night cycling.
One thing about over here, is that once the day warms up i doesn't cool in the afternoon. It needs the night to cool down. I miss that on the east coast - how its hot in the middle of the day, but cooler in the afternoon.
So cycling at night, trying to find some shade and then rest or sleep in the heat. Tiring it has been. Been some days just so tired, that I have slept for a couple of hours in the middle of the day. But a lot of sleepless times.
On night a car with a trailer passed fast. Two hours later I found them in the bushes on the right hand side. They where okay - and getting the car back on the road and then the trailer out. I didn't stay about as they said I couldn't help. I wasn't going to argue with them.. An hour and a half later they passed fast again. I don't think they learn't their lesson.
Sitting in the shade in the day I see all the small creatures: so many differant ants, beetles, bees, wasps, spiders, lizards, birds. More wildlife than I thought would be about. Cause at night i see snakes and bugs. Not seeing to much of the larger animals. Welll, there was a kangaroo that almost hit me. What is it about them - i'm not going that fast. It bound from the road edge just in front of me across the road. Road kill for sure if it does that with anything else.
Been lucky - it showered one night - not enough to dampen everything. Just enough to give the smell of rain and a hint of coolness.
Then past Sandfire Roadhouse it really showered and rained. Got wet. But was happy it was 15C and cool. Such a releif after all the hot days and nights. I was riding in the morning when it started. That night I slept well. First time in a while. Slept from 5pm through to 7am. Then had breakfast, before cycling in the day for the first time.
Breakfast was in the tent - lots of flies. The pesty ones that walk all over your face and dive onto the spoon from the pot to your mouth. Arrrghhh.. So annoying those flies. Eat in the tent.
DeGray River rest area was the first one I stopped at for a long time. Well not much reason to stop at them at night, and in the morning - just looking for a place to crash and avoid the sun later. One I stopped I stayed. Since I didn't want to stay in the rest area, I didn't stop. Stopped for lunch, but ended up staying the night. Met lots of nice people there. Got given a dish of home made pasta sauce, a packet of buscuits, and a feed of roast potatoes. All from different people.
Today was Port Hedland, and then South Hedland. Hmmm Port Hedland was not pleasant. Busy road, narrow, winds. And there is nothing in Port Hedland. Well, not true - there is the port. Some services. South Hedland has shops. Its a very spread out place. People drive everywhere. The two places are about 20km apart. Lots of trucks, 4x4 and road trains. Busy. It was also windy. So after going into Port Hedland, it was a head wind getting out.
Someone said to me the port started at Port Hedland, but then the town run out of space because of the salt flats - so South Hedland was started.
Whatever, it was a bit dissapointing to hit the first town after leaving Derby and have to deal with Port Hedland.
I'm staying in a van park in South Hedland tonight. All the sweating up north, everything is loaded with salt. So while the last two days have been cooler, everything is damp as the salt absorbs the moisture at night. Washed everything today and dried it. Feels so good to have clean dry gear. The last wash/dry cycle was in Halls Creek - a long time ago.
Plan now is to head down the coastal route towards Perth. Looking at the map today, there are road houses spaced out more - well not too far apart. Towns are a bit sparse, but water shouldn't be a problem. Going to head that way, can always change my mind and swing back inland if I want to.
It doesn't matter who you talk to about how busy the roads will be - someone will always say the other is more busy. There is definitely a lot more road trains about Port Hedland though, than I've seen getting here.
Not many pictures so far, as I forget to take them, and cycling at night, well, I think there is lots to see, but my phone camera won't work so well. I'm still leaving early in the mornings, but should have more day time cycling, so maybe some more pictures from now on.