Blog readers: You may notice a style change today as Cat's on vacation and I'm filling in for her. -Kevin
We were well rested, our clothes were washed and neatly packed away in Cat's panniers, our supplies were replenished and we had fueled the bikes up the night before. We were ready for the road ahead. We woke up early, packed up our camp and got on the road towards Exmouth, around 1400 kilometers Southwest of us. We were a little sad leaving Broome as it was an incredible town. We have a lot to see in the next month, as we make our way back to Melbourne for Diane, Cat's mum's, 70th birthday. As the day warms up and we rack up the kilometers, I couldn't help but think back over the last 5 months. I'm amazed at what we've accomplished and how we've changed as individuals. We are certainly much more accomplished as motorcyclists and campers.
Ahead, I watched Cat approach one of the many road trains that we pass each day. The road trains in Australia's outback are as common as the kangaroo's, red dust and incredible sunsets. These monster trucks are classified as triple's and quad's. A triple, as it's name implies, is 3 trailers behind the semi and a quad, of course, has 4 trailers. They have up to 21 sets of axles behind the turning wheels. That's 86 tires to change, if you're counting. At up to 53.5 meters long, and up to 200 tonnes in weight, you need to be certain that you are committed before you decide to pass one. Cat downshifts, peeks around the road train, signals and pours on the throttle. She's going for it. If there is any wind at all the rear trailer is usually whipping left and right a few feet and I can say from experience that today was definitely a windy day!
Further down the road a cow and a calf cross the road in front of us. I'm thankful that we haven't hit any wildlife on our journey, so far. I'm sure they bounce right off the road trains, but, they would do a lot of damage to us. We covered over 800 kilometers and then pulled off the road alongside the Karratha River to camp. It was late in the day and we could feel the weather cooling and the moisture in the air. What a relief! As we road along the dirt road next to the river we came across a group of maybe 10 cars and vans that had set up next to the river. They all looked to be in there 20's and I thought how fortunate they were to be experiencing this incredible countryside. Little did I know that I'd be cursing them later in the evening.
Cat and I set up camp just before the sun went down. I had collected firewood while Cat started dinner and we we enjoyed a quiet dinner fireside under a full moon when the music started. I say music, but, it was really more of a tribal beat that repeated itself over and over. Oh well, the kids will tire out soon enough and we'll get some sleep. As we cleaned up the kids were continuing to walk, and drive, by us to the party a few campsites away. Oh well, let's hit the sack. 11pm, midnight, 1am the beat continues. It's really creepy now as we're overly tired and you can't help but feel like someone is being sacrificed the next camp over. I'd like to politely ask them to go to sleep, but, decide to nestle down into the sleeping bag and cover my head. We don't have cell service, we'll just wait it out! 2, 3, 4am, "they have to stop soon right, Cat?" , I asked. "Uhhhh, I don't know, but this is just not fair", she replied. At 6am we got up and got dressed. Everything was wet from the moisture in the air and it's actually foggy outside? We made a quick breakfast, packed up wet and hopped on the bikes. As we pulled out of camp we could still hear the rhythmic thumping, through our helmets as we left the first and last "rave" that we hope to ever camp next too!
As tired as we were, the beauty of Western Australia calmed us as we made our way to Exmouth.