Perth to Caiguna with Detours

After finishing the 50CC on my Super Tenere early this morning I’d had four or five hours sleep and was ready to ride.  My plan from here was to head east with some detours to Port Augusta and then ride to Darwin, another 4 days. (Note: the plans changed two days from now)

I’d organised to meet Gus and Skidoooo at 6.30am at the hotel at Cottesloe, it was nice to see the beach but the sun was coming up from the wrong direction.  I had my usual breakfast, oats, sultanas and other stuff from my stash and I was feeling great! I’m pretty sure Gus insisted on coming because he wanted to make sure we left town  Thanks again Gus for your help and getting us to the Freeway safely.

Today was to be a bit of fun after a couple of hard day’s riding but looming high in the back of my mind was that 6.30am here was 9.30am at home which meant that 6 hours of day three  were already gone with no kilometres covered. The plan today was to pick up Cowaramup, Grass Patch and Norseman for tsome photo ops and back on to the Nullarbor and hopefully spend the night at Caiguna for between 1500 and 1600kms.

Riding south to Cowaramup I noticed that Skidoooo was hanging back a bit, I got onto the UHF and asked if he was OK, but he wasn’t on air.  When we arrived at Cowaramup he told me he’d decided to stay local and have a poke around but before I left he was going to see if he could fix my LED’s.  Gus had given me a couple of relays (a relay blew when I was in QLD which is why they needed to be fixed before I left for this trip).  Have I mentioned I don’t know which end of a screwdriver to use most times.

Thankfully Skidoooo was able to locate the relay and I was on the phone to Clive, who fitted the lights, getting some instructions.  The relay was fine, it was the fuse.  The 5amp fuse was replaced with one of Skidoo’s spares, it blew.  Replace with a 10amp and I had lights  I really wasn’t looking forward to tackling the night riding out there with nothing but the Super Tenere’s high beam!  Thanks Skidoooo, you are a legend!  So we said our goodbyes, I got the photo and a corner docket and headed back north. 

Here’s a photo at Cowaramup

Super Tenere at Cowaramup

My ride plan was to take me back to Bunbury then turn right to Wagin and Ravensthorpe.  I got lost and ended up going through Donnybrook and Kojonup collecting corner dockets along the way because I didn’t really know where the corners were.  Nothing like winging it!!!!  I encounted some really interesting roads, it was really good riding although I have to admit I was glad I was on the Super Tenere this trip and not my Harley Davidson. Here’s one of the roads

Super Tenere Country

I also stopped for a bacon and egg roll and some chips and lots of drinks at Gnowangerup where the dining room at the roadhouse is a shrine to the King. 

Elvis is in the room

The temp was in the very high 30’s low 40’s for much of this part of the ride.  As I got closer to Ravensthorpe and headed towards Esperance it cooled a little but the wind whipped up.  Pretty much normal conditions so far for this ride.  Some really beautiful scenery though

Between Gnowangerup and Ravensthorpe

I arrived in Grass Patch just before dusk which actually caught me unprepared, I had anticipated getting further than this in the light but my ride plan was a little sketchy and thin on the ground because of leaving home a couple of days early.  Photo taken at Grass Patch and a short hop up the road to Norseman in the dark.  I took a snap at the Post Office thinking I should have just taken the photo yesterday on the way through, oh well.  Then I went to the Caltex, fuelled up and made the first mistake of the whole ride.  I was hungry but so focused on getting to Caiguna as soon as possible to give me a good start for the morning I had a cherry ripe, powerade, water and pushed on rather than a proper meal.  It was still very warm.

While I didn’t see any wildlife between Norseman and Balladonia I knew it was there.  I was however really impressed with the LED’s that were finally working. They even lit up the moon!

Lights on

Other than an ambulance who overtook me and three trucks going the other way I had the road to myself.  I stopped at Balladonia, it was shut which was expected. I refuelled from the jerry under the lights and the ambulance guy was there.  He asked if I was continuing on and I said I was going to Caiguna.  He said I was nuts and that there were roos everywhere.  I thanked him and rode on, there wasn’t many corners between Balladonia and Caiguna.  I only saw one live roo about 5 k’s out of Caiguna.

I arrived at Caiguna about 1am, feeling pretty tired but also still pressured for a quick turn around to keep on track.  Mistake number 2, I fuelled the bike, went straight to bed and didn’t have my usual late night meal.  Don’t stay in the budget rooms at Caiguna 

Budget Room in Caiguna

Tomorrow (or rather later today) it’s time to ride back across the Nullarbor.