Friday, April 9, 2010

Wednesday … Kalgoorlie to Madura …

Much to our disappointment, a modern establishment like the Overland Motel DOESN’T have REAL coffee but help yourself Nescrape! :-/ A fruit juice and cereal downed, side step the fake coffee, bikes packed and we’re off down Hannan Street to fuel up. The top end of Hannan Street takes us past the Kalgoorlie Super Pit … we didn’t realize how close this mine was and with a long day ahead, it’s a pity we don’t have time to stop for a gander … “peak-hour” out of Kalgoorlie – several caravans, utes and 4W drives, and a road train for good measure ;-)

Fuel stop at the Norseman BP … while Chris is fueling his bike, I check the coffee options … OMG! They have a real machine!! Two strong c’lattes ordered, Chris decides we need curried egg sandwiches too and a quick fuel up becomes a ‘major’ stop … but boy didn’t we need it!!! The coffee is superb and has for me redeemed Norseman somewhat from its backwater status … Onwards to Balladonia …

100ks up the road, Chris spies a PAVED roadside stop/parking bay off the road, in amongst the trees … what a grrrreat place for a stretch! The bush was so dense with trees that’d you’d easily lose sense of direction, the air beautifully fragrant with gums and intermittent sound of birds … lovely!

Balladonia fuel stop, before tackling that psychotic bean-counter’s straight stretch of 146.6kms again! SO glad we had the sun behind us by then near to the end of our journey for the day, and NOT facing into the sun over that straight road!
Nullarbor …

About 60ks out of Balladonia, we came across two guys on the opposite side of the road WALKING! Each was towing a light-weight (aluminium?) high-wheeled ‘rickshaw’ with camping gear and other necessities … we figured they were probably into ‘day two’ of their four-day trek across part of the Nullarbor Plain … what were they thinking! I’d want to be sponsored for a charity fundraising before considering such madness! ;-)

Cocklebiddy as a rest stop got skipped in deference to Caiguna instead … from there it was a short skip to our overnight at Madura. After the relatively flat Nuallarbor, coming down through the Madura Pass was special, with the flat landscape opening up to the Madura Tablelands! Getting the bikes parked in front of our room though was perhaps a little too interesting on the shifting gravel drive, for the end of a long day’s journey ;-)

Nonetheless, we determined to climb the hill that fronted the Motel, to get what we hoped would be some good sunset pics … it had been cloudy for most of the day, and the clouds had thickened to the colour of lead by the time we got to Madura … we hung around on the top of the Pass waiting for the sun to do its thing with the clouds ...

Thinking that the sunset was going to be a non-event because of the extensive thick cloud cover, it turned out we didn’t wait long enough up there as the sky put on its best show once we were back down near the road! Bugger! Oh well, its beer o’clock anyway ;-)

Evidence that the sea really was way up here!

Yummy Barramundi lightly pan-fired with side salad for dinner, and an early night – it’s another long day in the saddle tomorrow

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