Saturday July 16
It’s up early again, Vince sees us off as he heads of on his push bike to the Gym – he can ride two wheels but hasn’t graduated to something with an engine, we need to work on him! We fill up on the outskirts of town and return back down the Stuart Highway to Katherine, the bikes again seem to be labouring; maybe there is something in the low quality of fuel up here? A quick pit stop at Katherine and it’s off towards the Western Australian border along the Victoria Highway. The country side was fairly lush and the Victoria River spectacular. We take a break at Timber Creek and head for the border. At the WA Checkpoint the Inspector wants to open my panniers looking for fruit, that’s fine by me, you shouldn’t carry anything that could spread crop diseases… We get to Kununurra at a reasonable hour and are surprised at the quality of accommodation the Western Australian Police Union President and good mate Russell Armstrong has arranged for us at the Kimberley Grande. A great pool Georg and I take advantage of a couple of quiet beers to wash the dust down and early to bed again. Darwin to Kununurra – 830 kilometres.
Sunday July 17
Breakfast as early as we can and we hit the road, we fuelled up last night to get an early start, this is the first of a series of long days in the saddle so we push on. The road and traffic is okay with the ever present road trains and their exceptional drivers who are in the main, very, very good. There are also plenty of grey nomads who are on the roads from about 10am, adjourn for lunch at 12 and then travel a bit before most getting off the roads by around 3 or 4 in the afternoon. A big eagle is a bit slow taking off from a piece of road kill and I have to duck as his talons clear my helmet by about 6 inches – they are a magnificent creature but I’d hate to hit one. It’s a break at Halls Creek, another at Fitzroy crossing, another at Wilare Bridge road house and then a dash in the fading light for Broome. A bloody great snake crossing the road in front of me opens the eyes a bit wider than normal!
We eventually find our hotel – another good choice, the Mangrove Resort. As we unpack a band starts up, we go around to the grassed area overlooking the mangroves and there are people everywhere, it’s a full moon and they are all waiting for the moon to rise over the shallow waters with the reflection creating a ‘stairway to the moon’ effect. The haunting sounds of a well played didgeridoo accompany the moon as it peaks through the clouds. A nice feed and it’s off to bed with the band calling it a night at a sensible hour.
1045 kilometres travelled today and a ‘moon show’ to boot.