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Blog 132 39kms before Corrigin to near Hyden

9th February

Yet another cafe in the Shires, this time the cafe bakery at Hyden and it was a gem. Custard slices sat next to fresh cream cakes and florentines. I ate cake while I charged the batteries for my bike. It was a kind of heaven. Clearly I was on a tour of cake based cafes around the world. Nearby the ICA supermarket supplied everything I might need from isotonic drinks to all-in-one coffee sachets, this was turning into an adventure of my own choosing, except I bought a potato, an onion and two cans of braised steak but nothing else that I really needed. Then a fellow turned up, bandanna, shades, shorts, ute, dog and we chatted. I now what I'm doing but he lived in the bush, 20 miles away off the main bush route, notable because of a large chained up gate. he wouldn't let me film him, "too shy mate, can't do it." So why does he live separated as he was. "Wife died, never the same again. I come into town once a month and then I stay out there. 3000 gallon water tank, me swags are all over my land so when I want I live in a different place every night." Did he like being alone? A German woman comes to stay, 'nothing between us,' he said, s'he doesn't like people either'. He paused and looked over my bike, 'we do our gardening, couple of sea containers for storage, happy as can be, I'd invite you over but she might not like it.' We paused and it was quiet for a moment.

I like swagging, it's like the walkabout, I have 2000 acres sold off 20,000 so I feel walking between them is like a migration of a pilgrimage.' I told him how he was almost quoting a writer I like, Bruce Chatwin. "Never heard of him," he said, "what I do know is that it's a hard journey and these ways are a leveller. I needed it after my wife's death".

Chatwin also talked about the hard journey, the 'leveller' on which the 'fit' survive and stragglers fall by the wayside. He wrote about the journey pre-empting the need for hierarchies and the way usually men posture for dominance and it is true that strong men of the animal world who live with more than the need whilst the 'anarchists, as always, are the 'gentlemen of the road'.

I didn't get the invite which would have been so interesting so rode onto the Wave, a formation of rock that was 'must-see' in these parts.

I left Corrigin and the surfer doods suddenly turn up and ask me if I’m ok. They are in a little camper van, two guys and a girl. They are off on an adventure of a lifetime eschewing the traditional way of being subordinate to the system.

The Surfer Dudes

Map of the Day

(correction: should read Corrigin to Hyden!)

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Happy memories of my final road trip with my dad who lived in Albany around the Southern Wheatbelt in 2013.

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