Updated: May 26, 2019
Loren and I spent last night a few hours from Steep Point, in a small sea side town in Western Australia called Denham. We got in at about 7:30 last night and grabbed some fish and chips from the local fush and chup shop (apparently that’s how us Kiwis say it), the food was delicious. It was almost the best fish and chips in Australia, but they served it in a single use polystyrene box so they lost some serious Brando points with their packaging. “If you do go there take a newspaper and ask them to wrap it for you!” We had a glass of red wine with Marija and Jason before Loren went to bed.
Before I slept I got up and headed down to the ocean, just to look, listen and unwind.
In the morning we filled our water bags grabbed all the electronics that had been charging overnight and loaded the rest of our gear into the truck.
Shark Bay road, out of Denham is tar sealed, so we made good time in the vehicle. After about 50 minutes we took a sharp right onto Useless Loop Road. The road immediately turned to a corrugated dusty mess, Jason lowered the tyre pressure in the truck to make the drive more smooth as we made our way towards Steep Point, the most western tip of mainland Australia!
The road turned into more of a four wheel drive track that went over massive sand dunes and through thick scrub. It was daunting seeing the truck bounce all over the place knowing we were about to tackle it on push bikes. When we arrived at the local ranger station we dropped in to let him know what we were up to but unfortunately he wasn’t home (we will just have to catch up with him on our way back).
Marija and Jason must have been getting sick of the drive at this point as it was very bumpy and went on for what felt like forever, finally after about 3 hours we made it to the edge of Australia!
It’s crazy how much effort and time I have put into making this adventure a reality. The phone calls, the emails and the organizing are all things I don’t really enjoy but now I’m here and it’s the day that all my hard work pays off. It’s Monday the 20th of May and today Expedition Dust began, after we unloaded the truck we said our farewells and waved as the vehicle drove away.
Suddenly we were alone, with our two huge piles of gear. I danced with excitement and yelled at the top of my voice “WE'RE GOING ON AN ADVENTURE”. We walked to the top of the cliffs to the edge of the land to take a final glance at the ocean and have a moment to take it all in, it’s a sight we won’t be seeing for a long time.
At around 3pm, we took the first step/pedal, staring at the slightest first hill ahead. We both took off and within about the first 10 seconds, Loren fell off her bike (classic), and shortly after I ended up having to push my bike up the hill as well. We then realised even the smallest hills were such hard work and sand is really not our friend (at least it’s soft when you fall off though).
About 4 hours later and we had only traveled 700 meters... and we had only made about 5 full rotations of our pedals each, we were pushing the 200kg bikes and trailers through the sand dunes very slowly.
At one point we had to remove the trailers, push the bikes separately and then both of us drag the trailers up together. Loren really struggled with the bike tipping and falling over on the hills and having to attach and detach the trailer so she could pick it up, I found myself ahead of her and traveling back to help her pick everything up and get going again. She’s like me and feels bad asking for help.
The sand dunes really sucked but there was a beautiful sunset over the ocean, we pushed our bikes a bit more into night time, and then believe it or not it started to rain! So we set up camp, got all our gear under shelter and cooked our first dinner of the trip.
It’s safe to say that tomorrow is going to be a huge day, but I’m sure that we will make more ground than what we did today.