You can plan your day, in fact, it’s necessary to do so, but with cycle touring as in life, it’s important to be open to possibilities.
I had a comfortable camp set up at Middelton Beach in Albany. I suppose the rowdy backpackers who woke me regularly during the night can be forgiven, it was Saturday night after all. I awoke for the last time to a clear sky. While the heavy dew made everything wet, no matter, I took my time while deciding if I should stay in Albany another day. There’s certainly a lot to do there, however, the weather forecast is for rain. I thought its best to make hay while the sun shines, but not that quick, I joined the Sunday breakfast crowd at Anchors Cafe by the beach for my usual: English Breakfast Tea and fruit toast.
The fruit toast was a sourdough rye filled with whole figs, apricots, raisins and served lightly dusted in icing sugar, more for effect than anything, but delicious. I could have stayed, allowing breakfast to become brunch.
I dragged myself away and followed the bike path once more back along the cliff tops which were peppered with morning walkers, while the sparkling views of the harbour took my breath away. I stopped so I could help a family take a family photo.
By the time I navigated out of Albany to join the road to Esperence some 480 kms away, it was already 10.30 am. Headwinds and some fair climbing was making my plan of reaching the intended camp at Cape Riche 120 kms away unlikely. The road was straight but lumpy. Farmland gave way to low swampy scrub land of wattle and mallee gum. My new plan was to ride 100 kms then find a clearing of sorts to camp in for the night in the bush. Just me the Kangaroos, along with the several fat foxes that I have seen today. This would make tomorrow’s ride to Jerramungup 80 kms.
I had ridden about 99 kms and I came to the hamlet of Wellstead . A general store, petrol station and post office all in one. With a further half a dozen houses in close proximity, as if for support. There was nothing else there except a toilet block and a historical horse driven wagon from the early pioneer days of settlement provided courtesy of the Wellstead Progress Association.
When chatting with the owners of the Wellstead Store, I asked if I could camp under the covered historical display. I toild them I’d be happy to make the necessary contribution to the Progress Association. “No worries” said Rick, “you can have a shower too if you like for $2.00.”
So here I am, showered, fed and camped under cover . I won’t have to worry about the rain or heavy dew tonight. The store closes at 7 pm but reopens for breakfast from 6 am. Things have a way of working out and I thank my good fortune, along with the generous, open hearted people that one meets along the way.
Note: I wrote this yesterday evening but due to limited mobile coverage I posted it today.