Nature in every way is unbeatable. With hard work and technology, we can fight it or work with it. Yet what it comes down to is that nature holds more power than any one human or any one civilization full of humans. I left Munglinup with the intention of fighting nature. The head wind was 15 to 25, the hills were long, and the rain stinging, but intermittent. I was only cold if I stopped moving.
Twenty minutes into the ride, I was reminded of nature’s power; not through some profound event or realization, but by the steady work of my legs that reminded me I needed to accept the weather, submit to it and work with it.
The road however was manmade and rose up to meet me with its challenge. The only thing I was going to beat to get to Esperance was myself. So it was on to my work. When the wind blew, I peddled slower. When it rained, I zipped my jacket. In another 45 km, I sat down behind a tree for lunch and used it as a windbreak. I wanted to sustain the energy I had. The flame of the stove whipped with the wind, and the road trains pummeled past - somewhat more terrifying when viewed from the side of the road and not on it.
60 km seemed like a hop, skip and a jump, but I still committed to resting and stretching every 20 km to keep from stiffening up.
With the rain, I had rolled around the idea of where I should sleep for the last 40 km – hotel, motel, hostel or bush camp? Each held its own appeal. I decided that if it stopped raining and I found a beach, I would bush camp. "No" on both counts, and I was grateful that my first call to the Esperance guest house was successful.