The day started well in the clear early morning light the Salmon Gums had a copper like hue. I called in at the roadhouse for a Mrs Macs traditional pasty and cup of tea. I needed to get something hot into me
“Have you seen the paper?” the proprietor asked.
“No” I said.
“Well I say they should all be rounded up and executed” he didn’t elaborate and I didn’t want to ask. “They have the devil in them pure and simple.” I choose not to respond busying myself with breakfast instead.
The headwind was quite testy. Here’s hoping it isn’t a portent of things to come. A steady south westerly would be nice when I turn east tomorrow across the Nullarbor.
Road Signs warned of stray animals, including wild horses, but I wasn’t dragged away.
While taking a breather, I saw the goods train approaching. Three engines at the front then a row of carriages. It was at least 1/2 a kilometre long, then there were 2 more engines and still more freight cars. I had to fight the irrational urge to drop everything and hop that freight train to heavens knows where.
As the clouds began to build the wind dropped as the showers became more intense. After giving me a good soaking the rain moved away to torment somebody else. Pushing on into the afternoon, the road rose and fell through nicely forested country. In no time I was on the outskirts of Norseman, a once famous gold mining town now a last stop or first stop for travellers on the Nullarbor.
Riding through town a group of indigenous people were picnicking under some trees and called out “Good luck fella” and “Keep peddling!” “Must be fit.” I waved back and gave them the thumbs up.
The Norseman IGA is the last store for supplies for some time. I pulled up and there was a group of young indigenous boys firing questions at me: “Where ya coming from?” “Where ya going?” The usual kind of stuff.
When I came out of the shop five minutes later, the boys and my Helmet were gone!!!
I scouted around town but to no avail. With no bike shop in town and none where I’m heading, I went to the caravan park and I looked for vans with bikes because I thought I could buy a helmet from someone. But couldn’t find any.
I was feeling a little deflated. I shared my tale of woe with the Park Manager asking him to keep an eye out for a Van carrying bikes, as I was willing to pay for a Helmet.
Ken, a retired Doctor and an interesting man in his 70’s arrived at my tent, carrying a new you beaut helmet. He refused any offer of money, he just wanted to help out. What a wonderful man.
Ken was doing his first Caravan trip alone since loosing his wife to breast cancer in February and was headed to Geelong to visit his daughter and grandchildren.
Having to rely on the kindness of strangers has proved both rewarding and humbling.
I have used up my allocation of good fortune for today, it’s Fraser Range Station tomorrow- fair winds or foul!