In the morning Mona cooks me breakfast, makes me sandwiches, and repairs my trekking pants.
I’m off, tackling this long stretch of 42 kilometres on gravel road. It is not all flat but not that bad either. Just before arriving in the town of Kalpowar, I have to go over the range.
I push the bike in the rain whilst listening to some old BBC documentary about nazism and a war I’ve never heard of with Argentina and the UK. At times I’m not listening when the road is too steep. It takes too much of my concentration.
I arrive in Kalpower. This town has two streets and only a phone booth as public facility. In 40 minutes sitting there having lunch, I only saw one ute driver come in and out. Apart from that not a cat moving, dead silence. Many houses are actually for sale. I would not want to spend the night in this town.
I look up my route notes and there is a 30km section to get to the next town and campsite. It goes through many private properties and I’m warned there will be some closed gated that I will have to open using a plier to undo the wire. Not my cup of tea really at this time of the day. I don’t want to risk getting stuck in those lands late in the afternoon. I decide to take the bitumen road.
It’s a lovely ride and I don’t see many cars. Although one truck coming the opposite direction nearly miss a wild pig the was crossing the road. I’m glad I wasn’t at the same spot at the same time. It could have been a disaster. Overall drivers are friendly and giving me heaps of space. It was such a good idea to take the road.
I make it to the pub way before it gets dark. They offer free campsite to anyone.
Behind the counter is a French backpacker. I’m usually reluctant to chatting much with backpackers as it sounds like the same story always. But Charline, the waitress, is very chatty and I must say I’m impressed. She loves talking to customers and customers love her for that. She has been living in this ridiculously small town where only 5 people live, including her. I’m thinking this girl has got some balls. That is not the first time she lives for months in a very remote location on her own. That is an excellent way to learn the language and get to know the rural Australia. Not all backpackers are willing to do that. Charline is pretty much managing the pub on her own, and will wait for the last 2 customers to leave. It has been a quiet night for the pub, being Tuesday.