Finally, the day for us to depart has arrived! After a night out at ACDC to see us on our way (and yes, our ears were still ringing when we woke at 5am), we did the final pack, hoping we had thought of everything, ate breakfast and headed over to our starting point, Kings Park. Once one of the friendly Park rangers had satisfied himself that we were not intending to block off several car parks for long we were given the all clear to leave car and ‘the Pod’ (KT’s name for the caravan) illegally parked for an hour or so. Joined by a couple of our good friends, Vince and Carol, we headed off for a farewell river lap – it quickly became clear that between the ACDC concert, and a little nervous anticipation I was not quite my usual self as I kept missing turn offs on the well worn route! After a haul up Mount St (which was walked by at least one of us..) it was time to get on the road out of Perth. While Miranda enjoyed a coffee with Carol before driving down to Lake Clifton Caravan Park, fellow cycling nut, Chad, a friend from work, decided to keep me company for my first day’s ride setting off just after 8am.
As many of Perth’s cyclists will attest, it would be surprising if there weren’t a significant head wind to ride into and the very strong southerly did not disappoint us all day. As I was still feeling somewhat worse for wear for much of the day I was very grateful for Chad’s hard work out front for most of the 135km southward journey. Of course we refuelled at the famous Miami bakehouse. After a tough day we rolled into camp around 2.30pm. Meanwhile Miranda had arrived by 10.30am, checked in, parked the van unhooked the car and gone to sketch the famous thrombolites of Lake Clifton from the Yargolup National Park Observational Jetty (see here and here). Walking to the jetty from the car she was greeted by one of the little blue wrens found hereabouts – surely a good omen! However, the same wind that made cycling difficult also made setting up to sketch challenging and after an hour or so struggling to hang onto cap, paper and items various, returning to the campsite seemed the wiser (and certainly easier) option.
Once we had reunited and seen Chad off on his return journey to Perth we erected the shade tent that will be our living quarters out of the sun as our little van is little more than a bed on wheels with a kitchenette out the back. Exhausted by the ride, it was time for a shower and kip before a visit from daughter KT, her partner Michael and his mother Brigid later in the evening. We have been taken by surprise by rather cold weather especially after heat waves everywhere and have snuggled into the pod with warm sleeping bag at hand …
Photos and video coming soon (when we have a wifi connection)