Coral Bay and Exmouth (21.5.17 – 03.06.17)
Well Murray Morrell, you were correct! You said the generator chain would by the thorn in my side throughout this journey, and you were right haha! The contortionist I can be, but choose not to be, has to very cleverly manoeuvrer parts of my body to be on both sides of Ella to get the correct tension. Ohhh! and you told me to watch out for the little ‘viewing plug’ on the generator case cover, whereby you have to remove it to feel the tension of the chain. Then you tell me ‘be very careful when replacing the plug to ensure it does not get pushed inside the casing’, ‘brrrrrrr…. Oops oh shit, its disappeared’. Now having to remove the casing, loosen the generator, adjust the ‘adjusting bolt’ to tighten the chain, make sure all nuts n bolts are tightened, if not (which has happened twice now), the generator comes loose and you have to start the process all over again. Ohhh not forgetting to put the casing back on ??.
The joys of tinkering on the old trojans I feel is definitely a passion that today’s modern motorcyclists so dearly miss out on. Getting to know your chariot inside and out is quite special, once a nervous task for me to undertake, now becoming more enjoyable as time goes on. Maintaining the ol’ girl is crucial for her to be able to see this trip through so before heading off to Karratha – a 550km trek, I will give her the once over – all over, because if I dont, I assure you something will rattle loose as has happened in the past.
Ahhhhh Coral Bay, what can I say, absolutely stunning place, a divers/snorklers treat. Three days spent at Bill’s caravan park, walking distance to the bay, I thought would be a peaceful experience in a tranquil setting, ‘brrrrrr…’ wrong. Tranquil but peaceful? No. This place was mobbed with people, packed in like sardines, okay if your wanting to socialise and party, but not when your wanting time out. The only time I was peaceful was when I took myself snorkelling to the next bay, then scrambling up into the sand dunes to sun bath and watch the sun go down – ahhhhh, only then was I in my elements.
Bloody Ella, I curse her sometimes because she draws so much attention that while in the caravan park, I had to hide in my tent because every man and his dog (literally) was wanting to talk or take photos to the point where day three I decided to pack up really early so as to not draw attention. ‘Wrong again’, nothing worse than trying to pack up with a several of people hanging around waiting to hear you start your bike up ‘gaaaahhhhh’. ‘Phew’, finally out of Coral Bay, loved the place, love people but love my space even more.
Cruise onto Exmouth at a steady speed of 85km, when 20 km off the main highway and bang, Ella dies. What looks like in the middle of nowhere (no I didn’t panic), I get off the bike and see petrol pissing out of my fuel bowl. Damn, turning off the fuel taps I look to see what happened and low and behold, the little nut at the bottom of the bowl had rattle loose. Another thing to check when doing a maintenance check before leaving. A lovely couple and their two little ones, stopped in a flash to see if all was well, and offered petrol and to follow me into Exmouth. It turned out they were also bike riders, which shows me the comradery ship and support that the motorbiking community has for one another is very strong, reassuring me that I am not alone.
‘Well hello Exmouth, lovely to see you again’, and ‘hello to my very special hosts Digger and Chris’ who have opened up their home and hearts to allow me the peace and space needed to rest, and do my work on the book, which I might add is coming along very nicely. I came at the right time, just in time for the whale shark festival. I was allowed to set up a stall to promote ‘The Silent Tour’, and had been intouch with the local Spirit FM radio station as I heard they were going live at the festival. I had a live interview with them which is always interesting being put on the spot. Caught up with one of two of the Pilbarra Motorcycle Sisters – Tangiora & Rose, who just so happened to be at the festival on a mission for GWN – local TV station and who very obligingly spent some quality time with me over the weekend. These girls are amazing advocates promoting and standing up for the fight against ‘family and domestic violence’. I look forward to meeting the ‘sisters’ and continuing on the mission of raising awareness for our youth affected by this sad affair.
Ningaloo Coast World Heratige Area: I could not come to Exmouth again and miss swimming with our wondrous Whale Sharks. I thought ‘fook it’, I bit the bullet, blew the budget, and before I knew it I was booked on the day Whale Shark tour out to Ningaloo Reef, what an unforgettable day. After 2 very unresponsive whale sharks which dove down as soon as we saw them, leaving us disheartened, finally came across one very accommodating gracious whale, that obviously loved the attention, allowing us to swim with him ‘over the coral reef’ so we could see him at all times. Forty-five minutes later and this weary little mermaid got plucked out of the ocean, not before seeing a small Reef shark, Lion fish and Green turtle. Two Dugongs and three Humpback whales were all captured on our video which was very cleverly done by the lovely Italian Sarah from the Exmouth Diving Company.
I come to the end of my stay here at Exmouth feeling extremely refreshed and spoilt by the lovely Digger and Chris. Fish at hand, excessive amounts of Pork Crackle (a delicacy favourite of both Digger and myself, cooked purrrrfectly by the lovely Chris), ending our nights outdoors in singlet and shorts, with a lovely wine and a playlist of songs which Digger so proudly downloaded – classic rock!
Thanks to all those in making my stay here at Exmouth very pleasurable and memorable. I now see why Digger and Chris spend 6 months of the year here. It really is a small paradise. Good luck Chris with your ‘Busselton to Mandurah’ Charity Bike Ride, a two day 200km pushbike ride. I know you can do it with Ken in the back of your mind – you can achieve ANYTHING!