Fitzroy Crossing to Broome was a short day of 400kms and by now I was genuinely ready to just blaze through to Broome and get off the bike for a few days. We were mustered out the front of the Fitzroy River Lodge (another generous title methinks) for another videoed group start and were soon on the way. It was a slow ride up the road in formation past the camera and then we were left to our own devices for the open road. We all had Tony Roberts in our thoughts as we passed a sign for Fitzroy Hospital.
There isn’t a lot to say about this day, the scenery had turned from magnificent to fairly uninspiring, it was very hot and the kilometres couldn’t go by fast enough. I did amuse myself now and then by taking photos of other riders, and I also stopped for some more Boab trees.
I have to say I am really taken with the Boabs, they are just fascinating with every one being that bit different from the last. Sometimes they are alone and maybe a little bit forlorn, sometimes a couple will be close to each other almost touching but not quite, and sometimes they are in thick clusters of three or four. The different shapes of how they grow are also amazing. Occasionally you will see Boabs that look like they have been lovingly manicured into shape over
the past hundreds, or even thousands of years. Others are twisted and gnarly, looking like something that would pass for the Whomping Willow out of the Harry Potter books, if you are into that sort of thing. A lot of the ones directly next to the road have been scarred by thoughtful passers by with things like “Johnno 1999” and other such vandalism, but the ones that are a little ways off the road are often very special. If you do happen to stop and look, have a chat to the tree, they are very very old and I’m sure they would enjoy the company for a moment.
It was not long after 12pm local time that I reached Broomeand received my first sight of the Indian Ocean in almost 30 years. With the sun blazing in the sky the waters were everything from a light through to an azure blue, so sharp and clear I’m sure if I was swimming out there I would see all the way to the bottom no matter what the depth. But it was hot, bloody hot so I wasted no further time and went in search of the motel.
I’ve now been on the road roughly 6,850 kilometres which is near enought to the half way point for the full 14,000kms that I’ll do. Tomorrow will be the first day of the third week, and we still have another three weeks to go until we reach Thredbo on November 5th. It has been such a great trip so far, everyone is getting on well and we’re all finding our own little places in the world.
I’ve enjoyed taking time out to go exploring and I’m really glad I have been getting off the bike for the photos as much as I am. If I was to give only one bit of advice about photography on the road it is this – stop and take the picture! Look I know that’s really obvious but in the first few days I saw some great things but neglected to stop, or turn around and then later regretted it. So I’ll say it again – stop and take the picture. Walk off the road and take the picture. Climb the hill and take the picture. Turn around, go back and take the picture. Sure it will make the day that little big longer if you do, but it is time well spent.
The next couple of days will be summed up in a single post in the near future. There’s not a lot to do in Broome in the “low” season, and I plan to take time-out and just relax a bit.