I actually enjoyed a surprisingly good sleep in Halls Creek despite the fact that the town itself gives me shivers. The room I stayed in was about $60 more expensive than anywhere else I paid, for the simple reason that security is a luxury here. It's the first time I completely stripped Sheba bare of all the gear (other than Perth for fun times) and I'm glad I did.
Leaving Halls Creek I was reminded that I'm in Outback Australia when I was met by 5 wild horses standing on the road. They had a certain look about them that told me they ran free. They were a bit tentative to approach Sheba and I, though the feeling was mutual. I took a quick snap of them once they trotted off the road, curiously looking at me one more time as I got up to speed again.
The scenery started off a lot more toned down than the ranges on the West side of Halls Creek. The floods were welcomed by the flora in the area and it certainly didn't remind me of any Outback photo I've seen.
I was told by a Halls Creek local that this ride would be one of the most beautiful in all of Australia. And being a mountain girl myself, it was. About 50km into the ride, ranges appeared on both sides of the road, shifting the landscape with every kilometer. The roads were fun and curvy, and I could honestly say it was the most fun I've had on the road since coming into Perth. There is minimal sign of human life, which is a strange feeling coming from the city. I think we get some sort of comfort in knowing other people live here. But properties are so big in WA that it may take DAYS to drive around to different parts of your own private land. The largest owned property by one person exists in Western Australia, which is bigger than the country of Belgium.
What I thought was a flock of small yellow birds turned out to be a painful nightmare. The locusts were back in full swing, this time in broad daylight so I can actually watch the thousands of them zoom across and pelt my body with their heads. I felt like I was in a timewarp going through stars, although this one wouldn't make it to the box office. This was sheer nastiness.
Definitely not birds.
I took my time, stopping at every bridge and watching the water run past under my feet. That, and to use a stick to pick off the insects in clumps. Whenever Is stop, it would be complete silence aside from the current below. It's quite liberating to be able to stop and stare when you feel like it without fear of someone behind you with their hand on the horn. I could stop for half an hour and nobody would come past in either direction.
One of the many bridge stops. Wild!
Coming into Kununurra reminds me a bit of Jurassic Park with all the green hills and the river (lake?) Below. It's a left downhill curve with some of the best sights I've seen in this country.
Kununurra is my last stop in Western Australia. I parked in front of the motel and strutted in, dripping wet from the act of parking my bike in the humidity, and covered head to toe in insect organs. The front desk girl started to do my paperwork but her manager, looking at me with empathetic eyes, said "put her in the 400's". Then she turned to me and said "sometimes you get lucky".
My rainy dashboard. Looks confusing to the non rider but it makes 700km go a whole lot quicker. GPS, music, dashcam, and keys to freedom. It's all there.
As it turns out, they upgraded me to a $200 room instead of a $65 room and it came with air conditioning, a fridge, and literally a bench inside for my bags. I unloaded half the luggage and dropped it off inside, then walked back to the front desk to give her my best smile. She knew. Thank you front desk lady.
I plopped facedown on the bed in full gear and before I knew it, an hour had passed. There was some sort of loud knocking on the door so I went to look... there was noone. Instead, the path was covered in water from the downpour that just started. Things happen fast up North. Oh shit my bags!
I went out and retrieved the last half of the bags and used the rainwater to quickly remove the layers of dead bodies on Sheba's fairings. Between riding, taking photos, and removing bugs, I had completely forgotten to eat lunch and realized it mid-wax-off motion. Then when I went to look for my wallet, it was in none of my pockets or bags. Bloody hell!
Just short of calling the K9 search unit I found it on the inside pocket of my jacket - a pocket I never once opened since buying the jacket when I was 16. I think after paying for the room at front desk, I was in such a haste that I stuck it anywhere and hopped back on the bike. Heat avoidance is a Canadian's priority when traveling through one of the hottest areas of Australia.
Due to blasting my entire budget on steak last night, I settled for chips and tomato sauce. I straight up lied to the server. Twice. "I'm not that hungry " and "I haven't had chips in ages". Anyone who has traveled the Nullarbor can write a short novel about the type of potato used to make chips. I guess she made an exception because I walked in wearing hippie pants and wet hair.
As I got ready to shut down for the day, I thought about why we hold on so tightly to things that don't matter. I'm trying my best to focus more on things that do. And it's so much harder than it seems.