Monday – Albany, Western Australia
I needed to get some tyres today, so after a quick breakfast I said bye to the other two riders as they were heading to Perth before Albany.
Of course I ended up not finding any tyres, both shops had none but could order some in, but I decided I would ride on south to Esperance on the coast, there would be more chance there I reckon. So much for the rumours of tyres in this town! It was only 200kms to Esperence and of course I had a small rain event on the way, but once there I found no tyres here either. Nor when I tried could I get an internet account to work with the ISP I wanted, bummer. But, I did find some brand new batteries for the SPOT, and once again I found that the red light would flash pretty much straight away, so it looked like I had a faulty unit :(
So, after a quick snack for lunch I headed west again and decided to right on to Albany, like I had much choice, but the tyre was holding up OK. I found more and more riders on the road and even a large group, who -as I have noticed in the past- ride to close too each other. This makes passing difficult and dangerous, especially when they are under the posted speed limit!
But, eventually late afternoon I arrived in Albany and my first stop as I happened to be passing them, was a “Hardly Normal”, where I spent an hour or so with the patient girl there, trying to arrange internet with the modem I had from last year. I was told in the end to try it in an hour or so and it should work, so I maybe could be on the net soon :)
The next step was to find the AGM check in site and this was easy as it was fully signposted along the highway. Check in was quick, I had prepaid online and asked for my documents to be held here at the desk and they were :)
Next step was to find a tent site, I rode around the campgrounds for a while, but did not spot anyone I knew, so I just picked a vacant spot near a fence(a good place for a midnight walk) and set up camp.
Of course once I was set up, I bumped into someone I knew very well, Des from Cairns, we had been to Darwin, and to the Philippines and sailed a boat up the east coast, so socialising looked to be off to a good start :) He is now part of the trailer trash community; he would not have done this but had suffered a stuffed back from a silly prank played on him by a friend.
I headed off over to the bar at the hokker where there was music while he was setting up his mansion and bumped into a few people I knew and some I didn’t :)
Eric and Alison were a couple I met on my trip around Oz the other year, I had stopped at their place and wired up some farkles on his strom, nice to see you again. Ted was a chap who had found my website from someone else and was an avid reader during my travels, he just happened to spot me as I walked past and so I stopped for a chat, nice to meet you finally Ted :) After that, as it was getting quite cold, I grabbed a few beers and snuck them past the beer nazis(the security chaps at the gate stopping alcohol entering and leaving) and went for a few beers with Des and the clan from Cairns. He has been travelling with another 2 blokes for ages and was not in a hurry to get home apparently.
It was not a late night and at the prices they were charging for beer at the event, I would need to find a better solution, but that was for tomorrow, after I sort out tyres!
Day –699 km and 434 miles
Trip –4,465 km and 2,775 miles