It’s not all beer and skittles!
I’m an optimist by nature, but there are times when your resolve is put to the test. The storm started up about 5am followed by the thunderstorm and icy wind. Thankfully I remained warm and dry in my impromptu camp.
I packed up then waited for a break in the weather. By 8 am the fearsome storm seemed to have passed. With some trepidation I rode off under heavy skies for Jerramungup some 85 kms up the road. I stopped at Boxwood Hill roadhouse for a tea and a wee, as one begets the other. Make that two teas and some pleasant conversation with Jill the proprietor while I waited for the latest wave of showers to pass.
“I think it’s clearing” I said to Jill as I left and momentarily the sun came out. I could have cried with happiness until the freezing wind picked up, going straight through me, throwing me around like the proverbial ‘rag doll’. I know in conditions like these I need to work hard to keep warm or hypothermia could become an issue.
It was head down and tail up crunching through the gears. As I climbed the next rise that banked around to the left, a road train passing a light truck came straight at me.
I was left standing shivering as much with shock as the cold. Then I felt squeamish, nothing for it but to saddle up once more. What’s that they say about falling off a bicycle then getting right back on?
Bone cold and sore, I rolled up to the Jerramungup Caravan Park, as another ominous storm front rolled in. Tent sites were open and exposed to the elements and no cabins were available: “You might try the pub.”
Today also had moments of sheer exhilaration and beauty: Wattles, wild flowers, shrubs and trees along the roadside are coming into flower.
Australia really is ‘A land of droughts and flooding rain’. It is the middle of winter! Moisture in the soil translates to money in the bank for farmers, but there has been so much rain, that even this thirsty sandy country can’t soak it all up. Along the road verge creeks, billabongs and lakes have formed and come alive with frogs insects and bird life.
Tomorrow it’s 115 kms to Ravensthorpe.