... when I go fishing.

Trip Start Apr 13, 2011
Trip End Jul 13, 2011

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Flag of Australia  , Western Australia,
Tuesday, May 3, 2011

This is where the rot set in, unfortunately, and why there has been no blogging for a while! It's May 8 in real time, and all I am doing is jotting down notes, so I don't forget completely what's been happening!

Phil from Mount Magnet turned out to be a mixed blessing at this stage of the journey. He had given Paddy a hot tip for a great campground near Geraldton. Great place, out of the rat race, you name it, he had all the phrases down pat by the sound of it. He had Paddy so reeled in that Paddy forgot to process the last four words he uttered. Unfortunately for us, they were the four key words that should have alerted us to a forthcoming adventure ... "when I go fishing". 

Prior to this, Paddy had selected a campground in a picturesque location - beachfront just north of Geraldton, well-placed for our next getaway in a few days. But no, we are in fishermen's paradise and boy, is it on the nose when you first drive in! Luckily, we have been stuck up in the back corner where four little green patches of grass pay homage to the odd camper who braves it out to Greenough River (recently rebadged as "Double Bay" in an attempt to make the new housing development up the road a little more palatable to the locals, we suspect). When we caught up with a friend in Geraldton later that evening, he guffawed loudly when we told him where we were staying and called it a "blowy old hole". Which it was. However, by the same token, we had the prime spot next to the perfectly adequate "abbalutions block", there were no screaming children (OK, there was one, and that's a story in itself!) and there was a multitude of colourful characters to watch. Anyone looking for some ideas for a slightly offbeat book should book in here for a few weeks of very entertaining people-watching. Noone made eye contact with the newcomers, but they were all watching us like hawks the whole time we were there, especially the long-termers tucked away in their little annexes next to their "caravans". We got a good chuckle out of this, trying to spot the caravans buried under all the other paraphernalia and additional structures most of them have added over the years. Good luck to any future new owners of this park if they come in intending to move some of the permanents on or clean the place up! The lady who runs the place, however, was all smiles and charm, and very helpful. We actually felt very at home here, but in the same way a fish must feel at home in an aquarium, I guess.

The morning we left, we decided we had better do something about exploring this area a bit. We had actually planned to stay three nights, but took it as an omen when the lady only charged us for two and wrote down two on the receipt. We had spent the two nights out drinking with a mate of Paddy's, and I don't think any of us would have survived a third, so we figured it was all for the best. We had been told about an amazing little nature walk/ride trail along the Greenough River, so we thought it was time the bikes started to earn their keep. Paddy managed to blow up the foot pump before any of the tyres inflated, but luckily we also have a pump that runs off the cigarette lighter, so we kept our spirits high and set off into the sand. You have to realise that this was quite a brave venture, as we were still using the original tyres and tubes on the bikes we bought from some backyard Mr Fixit the day before we left Melbourne. The bikes are new in a sense - that is, they were new ten years ago - and have been sitting in the back of a shop or someone's garage for all that time. So, although they don't have a scratch on them, their tyres are perished and we don't know what state their tubes are in. Well, we did about halfway through our 17km ride! What was meant to be a leisurely couple of hours on a gentle bush track turned out to be a full-on mountain-biking challenge through deep sand and over rocks - lots of fun, really - until Paddy's back tyre gave out, literally at the halfway mark. It was a long, hot and dusty trudge back to the car, after which we had to hoon north in order to get to Kalbarri before dark. Perhaps we should have stayed in Geraldton another night, but we'd already said our goodbyes and mentally had already prepared for Kalbarri, so off we went...

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Macca on

Didn't you have the vulcanised repair patches??

kyser on

You'd reckon there'd have to be one in at least one of those blue boxes, wouldn't you? But the old tubes were so stuffed, we just went for new tubes!

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