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December 2009 Club News

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Big Trip Up North - from October issue

Story & Pics by Antoinet

Big chunks of machinery on the road up NorthWednesday the 8th of October, after saying goodbye to Wendy’s friends we headed off at 8.15 am. We got some supplies and fuel in Karratha and left for Dampier. We went to a gas plant, and spent some time there looking at photo’s and DVD’s, very interesting.

At about 11.00 we left Dampier, it was very hot, about 40 degrees and very humid, not nice at all. Andrew and Wendy were struggling, especially Andrew, his feet got so hot because of the engine. I drank so much water while we were riding straight through the helmet, sometimes water flying everywhere, this gave a bit of relief for a couple of kilometers. We were so glad to see Fortesque Roadhouse and to drink nice and cold and expensive water. We couldn’t really stop earlier because there is absolutely no shade on the parking areas.

When we wanted to leave we saw another motorbike rider coming. He was wearing jeans and a singlet! He had left Carnarvon that morning and was heading to Port Hedland.

When he took off he went in the same direction as where he came from, we shouted and he realized and turned around. I think he had heat stroke.

Our next stop was Nanutarra Roadhouse where we paid $2.06 for a litre of fuel. They charge $6.50 for a can of beer and $6.20 for a bottle of water. There is nowhere else to go so people are spending it anyway.

We rode another 72 km and stopped at a rest area near a river bank. Six years ago we stopped at the same spot. It was quite sandy where we stopped and Ronnie lost control of the bike and went down. He was only going slow so it didn’t matter, it was hard to get the bike back up though with all the gear on it.

Lots of lightning that night and some rain. I had to go to the loo heaps because I drank so much water during the day. My ankles swell up big time because of the heat of the exhaust so that is a bit uncomfortable.

Thursday the 9th of October, I walked to the road this morning because the rest area is so sandy. Ronnie rode behind me and thought he had a little twig on his helmet, he brushed it off with his hand and saw that it was a huge huntsman. The young couple who were camping in their little campervan told Andrew and Wendy: “Look at what your mate had on his helmet!” We took off on the bitumen and realized that our handle bars were all crooked. We stopped and Ronnie pulled them straight, this happened yesterday when he dropped the bike.

It wasn’t far to Exmouth but there were lots of clouds above the town and it was still very humid. We saw the Qantas airplane which had to make and emergency stop a couple of days before at the airport.

When we had some morning tea and coffee there were huge raindrops coming down. Andrew ran into an old workmate of his and he told us that it had bucketed down with rain the previous day. We got some supplies and went to Ningaloo National Park.

We found a nice spot at Ned’s camp for $6.50 per person per night and we had to pay $5 for the motorbike. Geoff had left us in Roebourne so we were probably not going to see him again. He wanted to go to Denham and was going to give Ningaloo a miss.

The camping spot didn’t have any shade which was a shame. We found some shade under the trees behind the boundary but a couple of minutes later Andrew and Ronnie both had a big kangaroo tick on their foot so we didn’t stay there for long. Ronnie, Andrew and Wendy did some snorkeling and saw a big turtle. I took photo’s of the beautiful sunset.

The next day we had a very relaxing day at Turquoise bay, swimming, snorkeling and sun baking. The last thing wasn‘t so good because Ronnie and I both forgot to put on some sunscreen on some areas. The back of my legs were pretty red after snorkeling and Ronnie‘s back was quite sore, silly Dutchies . . .

The next day was again beautiful and we got up early to pack up. We left for Coral Bay. Andrew and Wendy had enough of putting up their tent so they booked 2 nights in a backpackers hostel. Ronnie and I put up our tent in the wind. After a couple of minutes the inside of the tent was covered in very fine sand. It all blew through the mesh and there was a thick layer on our sleeping bags and everywhere else.

A had a great dinner at one of the restaurants and Ronnie and I ran into a friend of ours from Pinjarra. She was holidaying with her kids and grandkids from Paraburdoo. We had a lovely day the next day, just relaxing, reading, walking and snorkeling.

We got up at 5.15 on Monday the 13th of October and packed up our gear. We took off at 7.00 am and filled up with petrol at Minilya roadhouse. Took lots of photo’s at the Tropic of Capricorn sign and headed for Carnarvon. I would love to stop and pinch some bananas, so many banana farms along the way. We had a big hamburger and a coffee in Carnarvon and did some shopping.

Another big day ahead and we rode till we came to the Murchison River rest area. They had done it up a bit since the last time we were here in 2002. We are heading more back down south and we could feel it in temperature that night. I woke up cold and decided to put my thermals on.

The next day we filled up at Geraldton and took all the back roads through Mingenew, Three Springs and Moora. It got very hot and some stretches of roads I found pretty boring or maybe I was just ready to go back home.

The whole trip we didn’t have any bugs but it started here, heaps of them crashed onto our helmets. Ronnie was wearing an open face helmet so every now and then I heard him yell: “Ouch!” I was laughing my head off with my visor down.

We had a look at the old monastery in New Norcia and rode through Bindoon. It was a bit of a shock to ride through all the Perth traffic after such a nice holiday but it was good to arrive at Wendy’s house. We had a beautiful shower and some yummy Thai take away. I slept like a log in the comfy bed. The next day took us back to Albany.

The weather beautiful and it was good to arrive back home. The next day we were all wondering why we were here because all it did was rain!

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