I was awake quite early, it must have been the early night I had. It was quite cool and overcast and I wanted to get on the road as soon as possible to try and beat the rain. I said cheerio to some of the other campers I had met and off I go with all my gear on including thermal jacket liner. I was glad I did as it was quite cool at 110kmh. I had not bothered with my waterproof over pants at this stage as I was hoping to get to Yellowdine to fuel up; this was just prior to the turn off and was 190km away. As it turns out I was busting for a leak at about the 100km mark where there was a rest stop, so I took the opportunity to don the over pants, just to stop the wind-chill going through my mesh pants. I was fortunate as not 3kms down the road it started to drizzle. I also passed 3 BMW riders getting their rain gear on. I had seen heaps of other bikes all heading the other way, I found out later there was a Poker Run out that way for the long weekend.
Anyway, it was getting colder and wetter all the time and my decision whether to turn left or not was made for me by the local council!
Dang it, that meant an extra 170km in this weather, brrrr. I stopped at the truck stop in Southern Cross for a free Driver Reviver and a hot snack. There is a motorcycle club called Southern Cross, it has branches throughout Australia and this is where it was formed and has its headquarters. The BMW boys were not far behind me. They were just in from Sydney and doing a lap, heading to Perth and south around the coast before going home. They had some nice bikes as well, but they are way too expensive for me, especially as I am prone to dropping things :)
After a warm up and a chat with them I headed on until I got to Merredin where I fuelled up, the rain looked like it was set in for the day and I was quite cold by now! :( My boots are great in the dry but I had wet feet as the air vents let in water. I need some waterproof over boots or something I think.
Only 160km to Hyden so I might as well get it over with, but I was seriously thinking motel. The roads were quite good even though they were back roads, a lot of water causing some aquaplaning, but I eventually got to Hyden around 1.30pm. I went straight out to Wave Rock as I figured, maybe I could get some photos now while I was wet, but as it turns out it is a major resort type thing and you have to pay to enter and then hike around a 3km trail. I was not doing that today, I was wet and frozen. The rain was supposed to stop tonight, so I booked into the only motel and only blinked once when she said $98 a room, I also grabbed a hot pie and had a hot shower. I would do the walk tomorrow so I do not rush things and there was no reason to get to Perth that afternoon anyway. This is the view I like best, me in the warm and dry indoors, Strom in the cold and wet outdoors :) At least it was washing all the dust and bugs off from the past week or so!
After a bit of reading I toddled off to the pub which is part of the motel and partook of a few ales and then a few rums. I met a great chap called Richard who was on his way home after 3 months surfing on the east coast, he had bought a block of land near Moree( he is on the right), also chatted with a young local lad(middle) for a while before having to hit the sack as I was a bit shattered :) Richard had been giving me ideas on where to go in WA down this way. Besides the Valley of the Giants which was already on my agenda, he mentioned the Sterling Range road, a 50km dirt ride which is supposed to be spectacular. That is on the way down south near Albury, I will only do it if the road is dry, but it sounds good.
The best part about being cold and wet riding in the rain today was that I had an idea for waterproofing boots that could have potential :) I think the only way to fully waterproof your whole body is to use a one piece over suit like I had years ago. The waterproof pants are good but the wind blows the water up over the waist and onto your clothes which acts like a wick. The jacket liner lets water flow down and because there is a gap, it gets into your clothes as well. There has to be a drier way, besides using a car that is. Anyway, it has made me think and there could be some dollars in it you never know :)
Day – 510km
Trip – 13,100km
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