Stats: I have ben traveling 40 km every day since Cocklebiddy and this brings my average on day 95 to 30.15. There are 715 km to go at an average of 32 km/day.
This blog is thanks to Teresa Wade who has lent me her computer. Not only that, but also free accommodation with spa at the lovely old Railway Hotel in Norseman. Not all tough on the road.
The following people have stopped to talk and assist where they could:
Debbie, who rode across once for leukemia; June and Bob Pearson; Elizageth and Grad;
Sue and Allan from the Balladonia Homestead sent out a baked potato au gratin with Bob, the Nullarbor postie just as I was leaving Caiguna – and it was still hot! I stayed with them at the homestead in 2009 and they left instructions for me to stay again. Unfortunately I could not find them in the dark. It would have been very welcome as the temperature was below freezing so the tent had to be folded very carefully to avoid damage as it was frozen. We had dinner at the roadhouse together. Allan said a prayer of thanks and I suggested we hold hands the way we do at home (Mary Ellen’s influence). It was priceless to see Ben the drover’s reactions. They are getting ready for mustering as the station is very much a working station; it is amazing to me that their land goes all the way to Derby in the north.
When I was at Eucla, Macca suggested I see the wather station so I stayed a little longer and Mike, the new manager, gave me a tour and explained all their equipment. A lot was familiar; painting in dry dock uses similar techniques of checking dew points, ambient and steel temps.
Harry agave me some chocolate
The walk is among other thins a walk of thanksgiving; the pain in my knees and legs really makes me grateful because I am still able to walk. Many have gone past the time where they can walk; in the same way I can no longer run. But I could have kept up a level of fitness to keep running.
Met a happy bankd from Mandurah: Tony and Lyn and Wayne and Anne. Watne and Anne are brother and sister, travelling to warrigual in Victoria chasing their roots. Wayne showed me the documents of their ancestor Captain Anderson, who gave the best account of the Battle of Trafalgar as he was Captain of the Prince.
Met: Lyn and Gary from Bendigo, Jonas Bertsen and Cyril; Sue and Ron Baxter from Hamilton; Leone and Bill Sunney; Colin and Carol Creely from Devonport
Met Barbara and Lindsey. Barbara broke her lets on the second day of their holiday. They were very complimentary about Royal Perth hospital; Ron and May from Roleystone;
Kevin, who gave me an alarm clock in 2009, introduced me to another caravaner, Malcolm who made coffee and I supplied biscuits. I will see them again on June 26, along with Matt and Kylie, travelling from Melbourne and staying at Spearwood.
Gary Clark, from Pooncare on the Carling River, was going to see the first grandchild; Steve and Jean from Rutherglen were going to meet their daughter in Perth to travel with her; Raymond was going up to the mines in Carnarvon
Vin and Robin are going around the country – great for their four children (Jordan, 12; Adam, 9; Ben, 8; Jasmine, 6). They have a blog http://www.ausroadtrip2011.blogspot.com
Ian’s father Mick told Ian and Gayle to say hello; margaret and John were from Lake Munmora; Jean Gubbins’ grandfather Jack cycled from Fremantle to the Easter States inn 1906 – imagine what the road were like then! Edmund’s son lives in Melbourne; Chris and Michelle from the UK made me a cup of tea with a Timtam; Roy, who drives for Apollo and is going to see his grandkids, gave me a beer and some peaches; Geoff and Kath and Robert and Sandy were TAE teachers together, who shared tea and nut cakeand a very pleasant talk; Graham and Helen from Bunbury
Sunday May 29
I met Albert MacDonald, who once cycled from Darwin to Adelaide; Di Mills and Mike Roberts from Udunda, north of the Barossa; Trevor and Joy, going to see Esperance and Albany – another one crossed off the bucket list; Nial from Dublin and Juliet French chatted about how Dublin’s millennium and our 200 years coincided; Grant McKern is going around Oz on a motorbike but he once rode a penny farthing from Melbourne to Albury for charity and rowed the Murray at 60 km/day
Melvin, who has just completed his PhD in neuroscience, came along on a recumbent cycle as we were talking. He camped in the donga next door and has a blog (but I’ve lost your business card Melvin – send it on e-mail).
Monday May 30
I met Carol and Dave Cato; Tom and Rhonda from the Gold Coast who were going home to take some stuff back but are going around again; Melvin at the 30 km mark; I had woken him as my alarm goes off at 3am.
While I was with him Joy Norling drove up, supplied food and medicines and had paid for accommodation at Fraser Range paid forward.
Woodsey, from the guys from the Tophat Trucking, stopped for a chat.
Walked another 10km and to bed.
Tuesday May 31
I had to walk 50 km to get to Fraser Range. I met Minek and Grace from Adelaide and originally from Poland; Richard Everly and Sharyn Bagios, a delightful couple who are exploring their spirituality; Lisa and Dell who have a business called http://www.soundgaragedoors.com; Mike and Jo Foote; Don and Clare; Peter in a coaster going to Geraldton to stay with his daughter
At Fraser Range they ahd a huge fire going and a pleasant group around it. They all seemed to know each other. Pat played guitar and ha d a lovely singing voice. They all dipped into their pockets and we raised $100. Len and Margie Sydney, originally from the US, have three children named after stars: Antaris, Orion and Rigula. Sheryl and Andrew are from Newtown in Victoria. Alan and Mary are going to Broome to see the birth of their seventh grandchild. I met two very interesting women: Sue works with AIDS sufferers; we must remember there are still many people dying of AIDS. Helen has worked with the Indigenous and still has an open house in Adelaide where they are all welcome, especially the ones with health challenges. I had a very enjoyable evening AND I got my washing done which always makes me happy.
TOne of the truck drivers who has been trying to stop because he lives in Ceduna, Mick Cowley, wanted to offer accommodation. This time he did manage to stop and made a nice donation.
I hang Ian Glover this morning; he rang back and said he wll contact The West Australian. I rang Adam from The Kalgoorlie Miner; no response yet.
Janice from norseman brought out a coffee and at the end of the day made a meal of cheese and tomatoes on toast. This is the first time I have had anything but white bread for a month.
Two Polish photographers, Steve and Peter, one on a motorbike, the other in a car, took some photos; they are from The National Geographic.
Curtin Radio rang and made an on-air spot for June 30. Troy the Truckie gave me a large bag of goodies and said, “This is your play lunch.”
[Ed: here, abruptly, endeth the lesson; but wait – there will be more…]