Monday July 18
From Broome we back track to the Great Northern Highway and punch into a head and cross wind to the Sandfire Road house. A bleak place but a must do stop for us. We meet up with a husband and wife from Perth on their Harleys heading south like us, we follow along shortly after a good break and make the run to Port Headland. We head into this bustling industrial town to take on petrol and sustenance for us and have a good break. The road trains are covered in diesel encrusted red dust, as is everything else and monstrous locomotives hooked up to iron ore carrying railway carriages that can be kilometres long. Luckily for us they are in siding and not crossing the roads right now. We continue south heading inland on the Great Northern Highway stopping at the Munjina Road house on the edge of the Karuni National Park. We meet up again with the husband and wife Harley riders who are camping here for the night. We still have 190 kays to cover and head off with the setting sun at our backs. The colour spectrum puts on a great light show with the setting sun on the rugged ranges as the cooler night air gives us some relief. Again, its eyes wide open for wild life and cattle, horses etc. We watch a well fed dingo skulk off into the bushes as he hears the bikes approaching. We trundle into Newman right on 6pm, I spot a BP road house open and head there to fill up for tomorrow. The dirt road leading in is pretty rough and I look in the mirror to see Georg’s headlight at a funny angle. He has hit a pot hole that is so deep it stops the front wheel dead in its tracks. Georg is lying on one side clutching his knee. Shit! I race back and pick up his bike. Thankfully he is okay but may have torn a muscle at the back of his left knee as he tried to stop the bike from going over. Only a couple of scratches on the bike and a bruised ego – as any rider with any common sense will tell you, it can happen to us all, it was just Georg’s turn tonight. We re-gather ourselves and ring the local S/Sgt, Shane Sadler. Shane greets us at the service station and guides us to the local SES centre where we have a couple of donga style rooms. Accommodation in Newman is very expensive and hard to find with a typical motel style room costing around $200 a night. Connie from the local SES gives us bedding and states because we are on a charity run, they won’t charge us anything for rooms. Shane let’s us freshen up, picks us up and gives us a cook’s tour of Newman. What a strange place, it goes 24 hours a day, lights up the night sky with the constant glare of lights from the mines and ore processing plant. The view from the highest pint in town is quite amazing at night. Then it’s back to Shane’s house for a home cooked BBQ the lovely Sue complementing the food with some baked potatoes, followed up with a warm pie for desert. Life’s tough on the road!!
Shane is on the board of WA Police Legacy and organises the “Bloody Slow Cup fund raiser at Newman for Legacy – It’s a great event that we should try and get back to one year. Shane runs us back to the SES and we turn in for the night.
Another big day 1070 kilometres, a dropped bike and a bit of sight seeing.
Tuesday July 19
We get the earliest start of the trip so far after a couple of muesli bars and a coffee. Despite the offer of a free bed, we leave some money for Connie and the SES boys and girls; they do a great job and need everything that comes their way to continue their community service. We hit the road with the rising sun, with only the road trains for company. A stop at the Kumarina Road House to fuel up Georg’s bike and it’s off to Meekatharra. We get there before lunch and pull up for a good break. The local BP service Station has Asian people running the kitchen and the food is really quite good, Georg’s looks on with a bit of envy at my ‘burger with the lot! South of Meekatharra the road is under water and we slow down as a fool in a 4WD hits the water too hard and almost aqua planes. He disappears in the water spray and comes out the other side a lot slower than when he went in. We trickle through the water and give the underside of the bikes a good wash. It’s an easy run to Mount Magnet for more fuel and then off to Wubin and the start of the WA wheat belt towns to the North of Perth. Georg and I marvel at the change of scenery and on the bike you get to feel the changes in the air. We come into undulating hills and sweeping corners, but the tighter roads make passing the road trains more difficult. We roll into Wubin, fill up the tanks and make our way to the Dulwallinu Hotel – our rooms for the night, again organised by Russell Armstrong and his team at the WAPU. A good feed in the very friendly hotel we meet up with a couple of fellow travellers, a father and son in law team doing a ‘road trip’ – the son in law has obvious cancer and their little bonding trip is doing him wonders – he loves raced horses and gives us some tips for the local races on the weekend.
Another big one today, 960 kilometres.