Bike Odyssey
Around Australia 2003

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Journal for 13-Sep-2003 : Broome+188

Got a very early start. The alarm went off at 4am, but I'd been awake for an hour before that (divesting myself of my home cooked meal - mental note: go back
to getting takaway). On the road by 5am with a setting full moon lighting the way out of Broome.

We'd had the idea of freezing our water, which worked fine the first few times we tried it, but this time all our extra water bottles leaked condensation all through half our panniers.

After the Roebuck Roadhouse we took an hour to ride across the Roebuck Plain (no trees, just a few cows) where we first spotted the ocean. In fact it wasn't the ocean, but the sand hills of the Great Sandy Desert.

The Great Sandy Desert is a great expanse of rather sandy country. But it's not yellow sand dunes, like photos of the Sahara desert, nor red sand dunes like photos of the Simpson desert. In fact most of this desert is a slightly off colour green, from the dominant species here. The only plant that grows absolutely everywhere in Northern Australia is the introduced weed: the Madagascan Rubber Vine. I'm starting to wish I'd never learned this was a weed, even if it does provide better shade and wind protection than spinifex grass.

Once we hit the desert proper the road headed south west and our battle with the wind started. After several hours of uninspiring riding, a caravan pulled over offering us water. We met Lorraine, Pam and Cas (the dog) and enjoyed some cold water(our frozen water had long since melted).

We carried heaps of extra water on this leg, probably too much rally. The hills on this road are very very gentle, over sand dunes with a wavelength of about 10km and a height no more than 30m. However they seemed like mountains when carrying 27ks of water as well as our usual touring loads.

Delicious frozen juice at lunch (especially since I'd forgotten we had it).

Passed the turnoff to the Bidyadanga community. Someone had made an informal enhancement to the sign by transposing the B and the D to read: Did ya bang a? And it wasn't me (I'm not that clever)!

As the sun started to set we started trolling along looking for a camp site, or more accurately a track to get us and the bikes puncture free well away from the road. We rejected quite a few ordinary sites early on, and ended up in a terrible spot right near the road, a parking bay and thus an open air toilet.

Passed mile post 2020 (km to Perth).

Very little wildlife today. Not even that much road kill, crows or kites. I guess there isn't enough ground water.

Nine hours of riding today, and most of it hard going into the wind at that. Way too much to do on 5 hours of sleep. Way too much to do anytime really.

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