It took me a while to get moving...I had a rough nice thanks to a minor medical problem thats not worth describing on a public blog...when readers might be eating. So moving right along:
Today I cycled North up the Esperance Highway, a few hills at first and through some farmland and into the village of Gibson. You know when you enter some small towns and they have a sign up saying "Gateway to...blah blah", well I think that roughly translates to "The next town is better, hang in there!"
Although to be fair, Gibson had by far the best little roadhouse/gas station/ coffee shop of the tour so far. Lovely spot and the coffee was great.
North of the town the land seemed to slip into greyscale the further I cycled, and it looked like a fire had swept the area recently which added to the effect. Today was always going to be a short day with only 2 possible places to stop: Grass Patch or Salmon Gums. The former is not that far from Esperance whereas Salmon Gums about halfway, so it made more sense to stay there.
Just before the town there were beautiful green lakes, which turned out to be Sulpher Lakes.
The campground at Salmon Gums is very basic, but $10 for a shower and place to pitch a tent isn't too bad a deal. Except the ground was as hard as concrete so my tent pegs pretty useless. Ended up using the bike, and rocks as deadweights.
I wandered across to the hotel for some dinner...Cyclist Mark Beaumont describes a scene at this hotel in his "Man who cycled the world" book, when he passed through town on his way to break the world record for cycling around the world in 194 days. (Though a kiwi Andrew Nicholsen then smashed that record and the challenge is currently set at a staggering 123 days). And it sounded interesting.
The hotel was a super friendly place and a few rough as guts, but salt of the earth locals passed through and they were all up for a laugh. Apparently the smallest farm in the area is 9000 hectares...sounds big to me!
After dinner I was spent, by 7pm, but had trouble sleeping again and the tent was pitched badly. Bah!
Distance cycled: 108km