Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Unplanned stopover! Esperance to Grass Patch

Off to an early start at 6.45am and reasonably flat roads, but a terrible head wind all morning. Wore us out and reduced the speed to 10kms an hour at times.
Rained several times. We sheltered under our tarpaulin.
Passed several salt lakes fringed with the eerie white tree skeletons.

Had delicious Mrs Macs pies at Gibson.

After midday the wind lessened and we managed to make up time somewhat.

Roadside scrub is lessening, but still flanked by large, well maintained farmland.
Wheat "bins" are the main feature of each little community.

Roadsides are continually strewn with discarded drink bottles and cans - a bad habit of, I suspect, the Aussie traveller rather than the overseas visitor.

Stopped at a tiny community called Grass Patch to buy an iced coffee from the pub, to have with our lunch.
As we cycled away, Del discovered a problem with his bike.
Thought it was the brakes, but on closer inspection, he discovered a broken spoke - and on the cog side of the rear wheel!
Realising that this was a major problem, we back tracked to Grass Patch.

The publican directed us to a lovely, newly developed caravan/camping/toilet area that the local community had developed.

We set up camp on the only patch of grass in Grass Patch and Del got to work on the problem.

An old local, Dean, called in for a shower and offered some help.
Would you believe it! The essential tool that Del had bought for the job, was the wrong size!

Dean called in neighbour,George, who brought in his ute and tool kit. Cogs had to be removed before a new spoke could be inserted.
Try as he could, George couldn't shift it - though all the ball bearings managed to fall out in the process!

Finally, Dean suggested that his neighbour, Suzanne, who was driving in to Esperance the following morning, might be able to give Del, the wheel (and ball bearings), a lift to the bike shop.
Suzanne agreed - pick up at 8.00am - back by late pm.

Crossing our fingers that it all works out well tomorrow!

Did 77kms today.

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