We’re woken in the wee dark hours of early morning by rumbling thunder! Chris jumps up and checks out the window for rain – the bikes are parked on a driveway of dirt! Thankfully no rain, just the entertainment of distant thunder – phew!
Breakfasted (such as it was! NO COFFEE!), packed, we head off in the direction of Esperance, the sky ahead growing darker … about 100ks down the road we come to the little place called “Salmon Gums” – I need to stretch the left leg and we’re hopeful of a real coffee … HA!! Nescrapé or teabags! In ‘desperation’ Chris opts for ‘crapé and in ‘protest’ I dig my heels in and have a Tetleys … that’ll be $5, thank you – cough!???
Grumble grumble grumble … off to Ravensthorpe, and the sky ahead is looking threatening. We’re not more than 10ks down the road and it starts to rain, accompanied by a fabulous display of lightning and thunder from a spectacularly formed leaden cloud formation! If only there’d been an opportunity to stop somewhere for some pics but we pushed on, dropping the speed somewhat to concentrate on wet and unfamiliar roads … forgettable ‘scenery’ (what I saw of it) as we’re now in rural WA. Compared to the Nullarbor, the vast rolling paddocks were totally boring!
Then finally, the rain takes a rest and we have dry roads!! Even better, the final 40ks into Ravensthorpe are winding sweeping undulating “twisties”, with not a car or truck in sight! As it turned out, we had the road all to ourselves to have some respectful fun with!
Ravensthorpe and we pull over opposite a little Café called the “Stuffed Cocky” … Chris gets his helmet off and is wearing a huge ear to ear grin – priceless! The 40ks of sweeping twisties had more than made up for the shitty wet roads beforehand ;-) We wander across to the Café …
“A REAL COFFEE MACHINE!!!” is the first thing I say inside the door, to the great amusement of the two young girls in charge ;-) AND they have great food on offer! No bacon and egg sandwich with Red Bull lunch for us today! Chris opts for lasagna, and I have the frittata, both served with fresh Greek-style greens!! Yumm yummm! And after being deprived of any decent and REAL coffee the past few days, a mug of lovely strong coffee from the Stuffed Cocky was total heaven!
Now feeling very good in the tummies and skies clear, just another 110ks to cover past the Fitzgerald River National Park to the next fuel stop at Jerramungup … not long out of Ravensthorpe though it starts to drizzle AGAIN! And by the time we get to Esperance, the wind has really picked up and makes for fairly stressful riding – poor viz, wet strange roads, and where the F is a servo!?? In looking for a servo, we get moderately lost … in all the towns we’ve been through so far, there’s a servo just before or within the entry/exit of the town, but no, not shitty wet windy Esperance! Hehe, I’m sure it’s a lovely place to stay, we just didn’t get to see it’s “good side” today ;-)
Finally a BP presents itself, the attendant is very helpful with directions, and off we head (into more drizzle!!) for an overnight in Emu Point, Albany … of course we get mildy lost looking for the accom but hey, it’s all part of the adventure!
Poor Chris, he’d had a terrible day in the saddle in trying conditions – his main concern? Me. Not only did he have to contend with navigation, wet windy unfamiliar roads, but also keeping a constant watchful eye on me … he was exhausted by the time we got to Albany, so quietly I determine to treat him to a relaxing dinner: York Street is the ‘place to go’ for top-notch eateries and we cab it to the “Mean Fiddler” … it’s busy, but we’re in luck as a table for two had just been vacated! Chris orders Pork Belly, I have the Veal Saltimbocca, along with a recommended (I’ll tip it down the sink if you don’t like it, says the Italian owner) Castelli Cab Sav … generously loaded plates of scrummy food arrive in good time, and we assure the owner the wine doesn’t need to be tipped into the sink ;-)