Posts Tagged ‘Wandi’

March 13, 2010
Location: Perth (Wandi), WA

I really, really, really wanted to get moving by today, but H wanted to stay put for one more day. I’m a little frustrated, but I did drag H all the way to Perth with me, so I need to be accommodating to his schedule. He had originally planned on turning back at Adelaide with F, and that was 6,000 kms ago. Hahaha. Then he planned on having his bike transported from Perth and flying back home, but I convinced him that it made more sense to ride up to Darwin with me. HAHAHA! I do feel a little guilty though. There is a significant language/communication barrier between us so I can’t tell if I am being overly pushy, or if I am simply enabling him to do things that he wants to do but wouldn’t otherwise do on his own.

Either way, we need to start heading north soon, because at some point H is going to have to go back to work, and I have to go… do what? I don’t know. Working on my XT600 reminded me of my 2-strokes, and I felt a little homesick, but then I remembered that I have no home.

March 14, 2010
Location: Perth (Fremantle), WA

I had been feeling totally exhausted for the past week, and I think I’ve finally managed to shake it off. Today we went to a chilli (that’s how it’s spelled here) festival in Fremantle. There were lots of chilli tastings, and I gave myself really bad heartburn, which I’m sure will be even more fun tomorrow morning. After the festival, we went to the Little Creatures Brewery, and then spent the rest of the afternoon and evening walking around the city of Perth.

Here are some shots from Perth.

View from where I took a nap in Kings Park

More Perth

March 15, 2010
Location: Lancelin, WA

Perth is the last major city we’ll be in for awhile, so we spent the morning shopping and restocking on oils, fluids, and other supplies. We rode north on Hwy 60 along the coast to Lancelin. It’s just at the foot of a heap of sand dunes, so after setting up camp in Lancelin, I rode out to the dunes to see what damage I could do. I’m not so good at sand, and my bike kept trying to bury itself, so I ended up just hiking up some dunes on foot.

View from the top of a sand dune: my bike and the coast beyond

My shadow on the other side

March 16, 2010
Location: Geraldton, WA

After leaving Lancelin this morning, we rode through Nambung National Park and the Pinnacles Desert. The Pinnacles are limestone rock formations. We continued north up the North West Coastal Hwy, stopped to have a picnic on the beach in Jurien Bay, and then arrived in Geraldton. We are traveling quite slowly these days. I’m sort of hoping to stall for time so that hurricane season will mostly be over by the time we get to Darwin. Just kidding, I have absolutely no sense of time anymore.

You can barely see the ocean just beyond the desert

March 17, 2010
Location: Shark Bay, WA

I like the name of this town, Shark Bay. We’re on a peninsula on the west coast. We punched in over 600 kms today, and it was the first high-mileage day we’ve had since crossing the Nullarbor. This morning, we departed Geraldton via the North West Coastal Hwy. We took a detour on a loop that went through a few ports along the coast.
Stopped at a pink lake in Port Gregory, and then had lunch at Kalbarri. The afternoon was hot and we needed to cross 400 kms of desert to get to Shark Bay. I think the rest of the trip will involve many vast expanses of desert crossings, as the country is far more sparsely populated as we head up north.

In the evening, we stopped by a store and picked up some wilted produce that was about to be discarded. It had been awhile since we barbecued anything, so H grilled them up and made them delicious. Living like a homeless person never tasted so good! :)

Pink lake at Port Gregory. It looks a little purple in the picture because of the blue sky reflected in it. I don’t know why the lake is pink; maybe I’ll remember to look it up at some point when I have internet access. Oh, and there is a rock under my sidestand. I’m finally learning…

Beautiful Kalbarri!

We climbed down the side of one of the sandstone (?) cliffs and found our own little secluded beach.

We strongly considered setting up camp on the beach, but it was a little too early in the day to stop riding, and H reasoned that it would be difficult to get all our camping gear up and down the rock walls. Oh well, I guess I have a reason to come back to Kalbarri someday.

Unfortunately, Kalbarri is under development and it is turning into an expensive resort town for rich people. I just don’t belong here…

March 18, 2010
Location: Coral Bay, WA

I got up at 6 am this morning to see the dolphins, but I did not see any dolphins. They must have been sleeping.

Today was long and hot. It was well over 40 degrees, and we put down about another 600 kms of highway. I had forgotten that, because we are down under, it gets hotter and hotter the farther north we ride. Towards the end of the day, we took a turnoff towards the coast so the ride finally cooled down a bit. We set up camp in Coral Bay, which is a little tourist town, and went for an evening swim. I got a bit scuffed up from all the coral growing in the shallow waters. Tomorrow, we are going diving in the Ningaloo reef!

We stopped by Hamelin Bay early in the day. The water is so clear out here!

Coral Bay

March 19, 2010
Location: Coral Bay, WA

We went on a boat-diving trip in the Ningaloo reef today. Aside from visiting a wildlife park back in Tasmania, I think this is the first touristy thing I’ve done all trip, and by that I mean it’s the first thing that I had to pay money for. But, the Ningaloo is supposed to be one of the best dive spots in Australia, right up there with the Great Barrier Reef, so we had to do it.

It had been many years since my last dive, and I couldn’t remember how to set up my regulator or any of that crap. H set up my equipment for me on the first dive, and then closed my tank without telling me. There was just enough pressure left to inflate my BCD and take a few descending breaths before I realized that I had no air. I had to swim to the surface and kick frantically as the divemaster opened my tank back up. I should have checked my own equipment, but I gave H a good deal of grief for that one.

Anyway, we were on a boat all day. We did two hour-long dives in the morning and then snorkelled off the boat in the afternoon. I got massively seasick. I hate boats. My underwater pictures did not turn out very well because I had the wrong setting on my camera, I think. I was too busy trying not to hurl to get things figured out.

Our boat in Coral Bay

Heading out to the reef. They call this the turquoise coast :)

Some dolphins swimming next to the boat

Big turtle

Reef shark. There was another shark getting its teeth cleaned by a wrass, but that picture didn’t come out.

All in all, I didn’t think the Ningaloo reef was that great compared to diving in the Caribbean. There are supposed to be occasional manta rays and manatees in this area though, so maybe we were just unlucky today. H has done a bit of diving in the Great Barrier Reef and said that it wasn’t that much better than the Ningaloo, so I won’t feel too bad if I can’t make it to Cairns.


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March 6, 2010
Location: Albany, WA

It was another cold and wet day when we left Hopetoun. We took trails through Fitzgerald National Park and Stirling National Park after passing through Borden. Trail conditions were corrugated and not that great. I was a bit tired from staying up late last night stoking my campfire. We ended up in Albany, which is a (relatively) large beach town.

March 7, 2010
Location: Albany, WA

I was all packed up and ready to hit the road again at 8:30 this morning when H asked if we could stay in Albany another day. He wanted to visit this fresh fish market that is held on Sundays. I gave him a hard time, but eventually relented.

I went to Torndirrup National Park and visited some more of Western Australia’s wonderful coastline, which is all starting to look the same to me now. Also stopped by the Albany wind farm and rode around the wind turbines.

In the evening, H and I cooked up a pile of live yabbies that he bought at the fish market. Well, he cooked, and I tried not to get in the way. Yabbies look like little tiny lobsters. H cooked them up with white wine and cream and eggs and leeks and asparagus and I forgot what else.

Albany Wind Farm

Windmills are bigger in person


March 8, 2010
Location: Pemberton, WA

I had left all my stuff out last night because the sky looked clear, but when I woke up it was raining and everything was soaked. Ended up leaving after noon because I needed to dry out my things before I could pack. Rode along Hwy 1 via Walpole. Stopped to look at some big trees.

Camp site next to a creek in Pemberton.

March 9, 2010
Location: Gracetown, WA

Rode from Pemberton today via Augusta. Stopped by Cape Leeuwin, the southernmost point of Western Australia. We are now near the Margaret River, home to a bunch of wineries. We set up camp and H and I went 2-up on his bike to do some wine tasting. I left my bike parked at the campsite because I don’t tolerate alcohol as well as he does.

Later on, I was in my tent poring over some maps when H quietly dropped off an open bottle of very nice chardonnay that he had picked up at a winery today. He came in to look at the maps and then knocked the open bottle over IN MY TENT. Who on earth DOES that??? It was a pain in the ass to clean up, and now the floor of my tent is sticky and it smells like chardonnay in here.

Cape Leeuwin

March 10, 2010
Location: Gracetown, WA

My tent smells really bad. There are ants in here. ACK.

H and I went wine tasting today around the Margaret River area. I insisted that we walk instead of ride, since I’m such a responsible person. But the wineries were a lot farther apart than they looked on the map, and we ended up walking over 20 kms today. The walking was okay when we were hopping between wineries, but by the end of the day we were pretty far away from our starting point. So we hitched a ride back from a nice couple visiting from Melbourne. I was quite surprised at how many cars *didn’t* stop while I was trying to thumb a ride. I thought people were supposed to be hospitable out here!

Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree…

March 11, 2010
Location: Perth (Wandi), WA

We made it to Perth today, hooray! We took Caves Rd up to Busselton this morning, and H insisted that we stop at a few more wineries on the way out. I thought that arriving in Perth would be a hugely momentous occasion, but it seems a little anticlimactic since it’s been drawn out for so long now. I am not feeling very well, probably because I have had too much to drink the past few days. I didn’t take any pictures today, sorry.

March 12, 2010
Location: Perth (Wandi), WA

A very nice Kiwi allowed me some space in his shed so that I could work on my bike today. It was 40 degrees C out today (that’s 104 F for you Americans), and about 5 degrees hotter in the shed, so I ended up working mostly outside. I replaced all the fluids, adjusted the valves, and took care of a few other things that needed attention.
I was surprised at how good everything looked, considering the age of the bike!

Ready for work

I didn’t actually have to remove the tank to get to the valves. Everything is so easily accessible on this bike! Way to go, Yamaha!

Intake side. The valve clearances were already within spec, but I readjusted them anyway because everything always runs better after I touch it. Right….

Exhaust side

The XT600 has had a long journey, and another one lies ahead. I’m getting a little tired, but the bike seems to still be going strong!

Next: Week 6 – North by Northwest

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