Day 25          10th June          Corrigin to Esperance via Wave Rock.

Bugger, we’re all used to waking up early and it’s 0545 and most are stirring. Up showered and a continental breakfast in the pub and we are ready to roll. Down to the local service station and John Laird has a problem with a strange noise coming from the back wheel. Spike and I figure it’s coming from the disc brake. I loosen it off and find that the inner pad is not positioned correctly so a bit of fiddling and all’s well. Lairdy’s shout tonight!

I’ve put the liners in and I’m glad about that. The wind chill factor is bloody high. Heated hand grips and thick gloves are the order of the day. I’s a nice run out for about 110km to wave rock on highway 40.  We’re a little disappointed that we can’t get the bikes near to the wave rock but okay I get it. You don’t want to disturb this really unusual erosion formation. I find it awesome. Water erosion billions of years in the making. If you can’t get inspired by what natural beauty Australia has to offer, there’s something wrong with you in my opinion. Our rugged beauty and sights like wave rock are what make this country and get into your soul if you’re a real Aussie! To me, a big city is a big city anywhere in the world. Sure, some have really great man-made features but our country is so diverse and spectacular you’ve just got to get out there and experience it.

Anyway, back to the ride. We’re battling the wind and it’s knocking around the fuel economy yet again. Lairdy and Huddo need fuel at Lake King. There’s not much there so we leave them to it and press on to our scheduled stop at Ravensthorpe. At the service station there’s a plain highway patrol car with two officers sitting having lunch. We don’t want to disturb them but the conversation gets around to our ride. They’re impressed at our efforts and wish us well and cruise off. We have burgers…. The biggest we’ve had for a while and then head off for the final 200 odd kilometres into Esperance. It’s not a bad ride apart from the wind when it’s not a tail wind. I notice the scrub giving way to green pastures with fat cows lazing about as we get closer to the coast and the rain that comes in off the Great Southern Ocean. Just as we ride into our motel it buckets down yet again. Ah well, time for a nice hot shower and yet another night with good mates.


Day 26          11th June          Esperance to Caiguna (on the Eyre Highway)

Rain, rain and more rain overnight thrumming on the tin roof. But we wake up to cloudy skies but no rain. We had a great Chinese feast last night and a walk on the mostly deserted streets of Esperance. Lairdy took some great early morning photos of the old wharf with the sunrise and cloudy sky. We decide on a lightish breakfast and pull up outside the café right opposite the police station as the lady is opening up and putting garden furniture outside. A nice coffee and a chat with a local police officer is a good start to the day. We see blue skies and decide on a short ride up to the lookout over the town and open ocean. The island off Esperance disappear into the sea mist further out and white breakers indicate a big swell out there. It’s so good we take the Ocean Drive that winds around the coastline for about 20km. We stop, take some photos then turn around. The group move off and I hang back and take a few more photos. I head out of town towards Norseman. I cruise along with a strong cross wind coming from the West. Again the sceneray changes dramatically from the coastal low lands where they get plenty of rain, to scrubby bush then open paddocks with expectant farmers tilling the fields hoping the rains will germinate their crops. Then we move into Mallee country, that’s right, this far West it’s exactly the same mallee trees you see around Mildura and the Victorian /South Australian border inland areas a thousand or more kilometres away. Watching the GPS the elevation is not much at all and there’s little doubt even this area was probably part of the inland sea a million or so years ago.

I don’t catch up with the others until Norsemen. We don’t always travel together and find it nice to just cruise off at our own pace and meet up at the next agreed stop. It’s not hot but really pleasant to be on the bike and as we turn onto the Eyre highway to head due East we have the breeze at our back. The bikes are humming along and the 200km to Baladonia Road house seems to go quickly. A coffee and a look through the small museum is a must here. They’ve got some Space junk that came down in 1979 I think when a space craft got off course on re-entry and crashed into the outback near here. The enterprising locals gathered up bits and pieces and a a piece the size of a car bonnet is on display here. Also the fuel price is $2.20 a litre! Ouch.

There’s also a story board on intrepid motorbike riders who tackled the West/East crossing in the 1920’s on Harley Davidson side cars.  It’s a lot easier these days. Again we all head off to cross the 146.6km straight. That’s right the 90 Mile straight is just that. It’s getting a little late and Luke Lairdy and myself have to brake for long legged water birds sitting on the, probably for the warmth. They’re slow moving and there’s a couple of groups of them. An eagle feasting on road kill takes off lazily and for a moment heads in my direction before wheeling away. B double semis are pulling up getting ready for the night as are grey nomads pulling into 24 hour way side stops. We roll into our Roadhouse accommodation for the night at Caiguna just before 5pm. I decide to ride out and try for yet another sunset shot. Turning off the bike in the outback there’s not another sound other than the ticking of the cooling engine. I just love it out here.

Back to my room for the night, a quick clean up and it’s down to the bar for a feed and a friendly (sort of) game of pontoon for matches gets a little rowdy between Huddo, Luke, Spike and Georg. Lairdy and me watch the cricket World cup before turning in.  damn near 600km for the day… not a bad run. Tomorrow is a short day.