Sunday March 11th dawned fine and clear, with the promise of another hot day around 35 degrees.
This was the start of the Northern Safari, a club event run by the Mandurah-Murray branch.
As Safari organiser, Brian Stone led the group of 27 bikes to the hills and into Kalamunda for the coffee stop. Brian’s wife, Annette, followed in the “chase car”, carrying an esky full of bottles of cold water and of course some riders luggage.
That esky of cold water was to prove an absolute necessity over the course of the week, to combat the heat experienced by the riders.
After suitable refills with coffee, the group headed for the Chequers Hotel at Bullsbrook for lunch. Further refuelled by lunch the day riders headed for home to Mandurah, while the “Safarians” continued onto Jurien for the first overnight stop.
Those first two days tested riders’ capabilities, heading into a very strong north easterly wind, together with fairly high ambient temperatures, around 35 + degees. Some patience was needed too when we encountered a bit of price gouging at a roadhouse. A lady rider with strict dietary needs asked for a cup of boiling water to pour into her special noodles. Four dollars was demanded for the water, which secretary Sandra demanded be reduced to $2. Still expensive, but this was the only low point of the whole journey.
It has become a tradition that the night of the lay day (Geraldton) a BBQ is held, usually in the camp kitchen. As for the Southern Safari in 2017, this proved to be another success. Much hilarity, a few wines and/or beers (or both) and quite a few stories emerged to make this night one of the Safari highlights.
Due to extreme heat, about 200 km was deleted from the fourth day’s program. The section from Northampton through Kalbarri & Binnu was deleted and the group headed directly for Mullewa, via Nabawa, the Chapman Highway & South Yuna and then into Mullewa for the night. The run from Northampton into Nabawa was fairly testing with the ambient temperature hovering around 43 degrees.
Because the group was running a little early, the unscheduled stop at Nabawa was extended to include lunch and a few necessary glasses of liquid refreshment. Of course the bikes needed to cool down also!!!
The motel at Mullewa was fantastic, not only providing good quality accommodation and great meals, but also a safe and secure large shed to house the bikes overnight.
Day five into Dalwallinu. That night, dinner was in the local pub, a great meal, a few cold ales and an early night for most riders and partners. Only a couple of riders misbehaved, but being responsible motorcyclists they all walked to the local!
Day six saw a couple of riders head home direct from Dalwallinu, due to prior commitments, one of which was to go bowling (lawn). The other was a deep sea fishing trip. Oh well, I quess it’s a question of priorities !!
Day six into historic York for our overnight at Avon Accommodation. A short walk took everyone into the town centre and the opportunity to check out the local watering holes. A few relaxing ales later it was back to Settlers House for another great dinner.
Breakfast at Settlers saw everyone ready to saddle up for the return to Mandurah.
One of the club stalwarts, Mike the Bike, suggested we call in to his daughter’s place for a coffee on the way home. With all in favour, a hasty phone call organised tea, coffee and a selection of tasty cakes etc., to be enjoyed at said daughter’s home.
Now,. as Mike normally approaches his daughters house from the west, he found it a little difficult to navigate there from the east. Yes, he GOT LOST. He won’t be allowed to forget that for a while !
The rest of the ride into Mandurah was fairly uneventful, with all participants home safely from a 2200km ride that was one to remember.
Brian Stone #64456