Saturday, July 14, 2007

Karijini National park

From Port Hedland I turned left, inland on the road #95. Expectantly, it was now pedaling against the eastern wind for about 80 km. Then suddenly the road turned south, climbed a little pass (yes, there are passes in Australia) and my dearest tailwind was with me again. Not only that, the scenery became amazing, now there were gentle hills all along, with little Ulurus and Olgas doting the horizon. This stretch through eastern Pilbara range was the most beautiful part of the road so far. Some 100 km further I veered right toward the Karijini national park and its famous gorges. I practically fell through the first 35 km to the Visitor centre, but then a hell of the dirt corrugated road started. I really didn't expect to find the worst imaginable road in one of the most beautiful national parks. The traffic is quite high here, much more then on Gibb river road, lifting clouds of red dust, so at the end of the 100 km trip both ways to and from the gorges I was looking like an Indian. I also devoured a record number of chocolate bars, as that was the only food available at the N.P.

A day after the visit to Karijini, as I looked down my back tyre, I saw a wobble in the wheel. That can't be, I thought, this rim - despite its slim look - is strong as a rhinoceros. I set out to true it, and discovered that the problem was in the tyre, the sidewall of it had cracked and it bulged at the most severe place. Bad news; it was 3000 km mark then and still some 1500 km to go. The tyre may blow out and it will be the end of the trip, as I don't have a spare. I made a tyre boot with duct tape and hoped for the best.

Day 18: 157km. Day 19: 130km. Day 20: 93km. Day 21: 142km. Day 22: 100km. Day 23: 147km. Day 24: 203km. Day 25: 164km. Total 3620km.


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