Three months. Just three months have passed since my last blog and our resurrection of Pixie…and I’m experiencing a severe case of dejapoo.
I have a feeling we’ve been through this shit before…
Our travels over the last three months have been rather blissful. Obvs, up until this point, smart ass. Leaving Melbourne behind after making that somewhat painful decision to postpone our trip to Tasmania, we found ourselves leaving everything behind. The stress of Pixie’s breakdown, the frustrations, the worry and yes, even dreams of Tasmania. The immense relief at just having my wheels back in order was enough to restore my spirits. I spent the first few weeks anticipating…something. I always have, with my beast. Yet within a month I’d finally relaxed, confident that Super.Pixie.2 felt as revitalised as I did. She runs differently, now, she prefers to purr along at 100 rather than 75, she’s zippier and far smoother than she’s ever been.
I guess Puck became resentful of all the attention showered on new-and-improved-steed.
In hindsight, the choice to skip Tassie altogether proved to be a genius one. I froze my nuts off meandering through the Wheatbelt Way last week and detested the rain dance we had to endure in the southwestern corner of WA at the end of April. I dread to think we would have been forced to miss out on all this beauty because of the encroaching winter cold.
Western Australia has astounded me in ways I never thought possible. At the risk of sounding judgemental, the coast on this side of the country totally shits all over the east. Lost in this remote, unspoilt and inherently rugged world, I feel as far removed from the overly built-up east coast as if I were in the Atacama Desert. A friend recently posted photos of Surfers Paradise on Facebook. The skyscrapers, the people, the civilisation. I let out a groan. I don’t think I could ever look at an east coast beach the same way again. Not after discovering what’s on the other side.
We’re as happy as a couple of pigs rolling around in the proverbial youknowwhat. Our days are spent exploring side tracks, quaint little towns, finding 1001 glorious bushcamp sites and nudging forward at literally only 100km a day. There’s just so much to discover here, so many distractions, so much startling natural beauty. Yet winter is coming and neither one of us is keen on too much suffering nowadays, so we make a right-hand turn and head up to Perth for a month of housesits, work, and even a sprinkle of socialisation. We catch up with friends, mind baby whippets and I – surprise surprise – bake everything under the sun for a whole month.
By the time we leave Perth the mornings are positively freezing yet we decide on a Wheatbelt Way loop suggested to us by new friends Tam and Xander, of Overlander Adventure Equipment fame. It’s gloriously quiet, out there. Apparently, we were the only idiots camping out there on what was arguably the coldest week of the year. I made a resolve, a couple of years ago, that I no longer do -2 but riding through Australia we feel this incessant nagging thought: will we ever get another chance to see this? To go there? To do that? Trust me, overlanders who don’t admit to occasionally suffering from FOMO are lying to you. Of course we do. It may not last long, and we’ve become apt at reasoning that ‘we can’t possibly do/see/discover it all’ and moving on, yet that inherent need to just see what’s around the corner is ever-present.
So now here we are, on the side of the road about 400km north of Perth. Our loop has come to an abrupt end just as we’d ridden north enough to wake up to 10 degrees Celsius. Bugger.
The funny thing is that we ain’t even that stressed, to be honest. Our conversation went something like this:
C: Puck is dead. He just died.
L: Oh. That’s unfortunate…
24 hours later
C: Ok, he’s really dead. Maybe I’ve cracked a valve. It’s serious. We’ll need to get towed back to Perth. We’ll probably be backtracked for a bit.
L: Right. Never mind. I’ll bake some more. Fancy some lunch?
That was it, basically. A call for help to Tam and Xander, a long ride day and here we sit, with a fresh loaf of thyme and garlic bread baking in the oven. Dejapoo can sometimes be a welcomed relief. Oh yeah, whatever, been there, fixed that. She’ll be right.
Because sometimes, you just have to really roll in that pile of crap to find your true zen.
We’ve now spent two beautiful weeks with Tam and Xander. We’ve chatted, relaxed, gone riding, celebrated my birthday and probably piled on an extra couple of kilos each. Or possibly just me. It’s been an absolute highlight spending time with them and getting to know them better. Those silver linings – the ones we already knew to await – have been flooding us from every side. Two more weeks of work, two more weeks of rest and two more weeks with beautiful people What more could you ask for out of a shitty breakdown, I ask?
Puck is back in business with a new valve and new piston rings thanks to a great mechanic friend of Xander’s, and I’ve had a chat to Pixie to make sure she’s also doing fine and not contemplating any tit-for-tat reprisals. She’s had two lovely ride days, her chain has been polished and I’m contemplating dropping a spoonful of Nutella in her tank to make sure she’s as happy as can be. That normally works for me.
So north here we come, aye?