|Journal for 20-Sep-2003 : Auski RH+45|
No so early start as we slept through the alarm. We carried the bikes and panniers separately across the sand back to the road.
I saved a reluctant Blue Tongue Lizard from the road.
Nth, Middle and South Bea Bea Cks all looked to offer descent camping.
Light NW tailwinds came up so the late start didn't harm us much.
Met a(nother) German cyclist heading north. Like most German cyclists he carried too much gear, but he had a half-decent excuse. He was originally travelling with someone else who baled out of the trip just five days out of Perth. So we was carrying a two man tent, cooking facilities for two etc.
We climbed over the Chitchester Range, and felt pretty good about ourselves for doing this. The scenery is still improving, so much so that the road now travels through the hills that previously were only just visible on the horizon.
The Fortescue river was crossed on a 10km long floodway, without no real bridge over anything resembling a permanent water course. No more tailwind here, just bumpy road.
Showers and lunch at the Auski Roadhouse at the foot of the Hamersley Ranges.
Started climbing after leaving the roadhouse. After 10km of gentle climbing we reached East Munjina Gorge. This was about 7km of not so gentle climbing through what can only be described as the best scenery of the trip so far.
I've described a lot of scenery as magnificent, but this red cliff gorge is a site to behold. We spent three quarters of an hour suffering up the hill, only taking our eyes off the incredible scenery watch the roadtrains struggle to hold their loads on the descent. It was absolutely magnificent!
The lookout at the top of the climb turned out to be 2km back down a steep, windy, sandy dirt track, so we gave it a miss.
Unscrewed the lock nut of a padlocked gate to camp up a cow track.
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