Sunday 23rd March
Brockman Rest Stop – Margaret River
We rose nice and early at around 5am. We decided to get up early and then we can get to Margaret River to do some washing and organise a few things. The Easter bunny left us each a Chocolate Cadbury Cream Egg. I didn’t realise chocolate would taste good in the morning.
I rode in a jumper because the morning was cold. We sat on a good average of around 20kms although my legs weren’t to happy about more cycling. Even after my super pasta the night before, and a good sleep, there was still no quick and easy way to refresh my muscles.
After around 30 or 40kms we pulled up along a slim windy little rode surrounded by lush paddocks and grazing cows at a small little store as we were both quite hungry. We decided to have some Chocolate milk being Easter and all. On our way back to the bikes we came across an old Italian bloke who was really inquisitive into our travels. He asked us questions about the weight, balance, and some general questions about the bikes and the gear we carry. Now retired at around 70, he and his wife live on a small little hobby farm. He told us of how he used to do triathlon, but one day his ticker (heart) just went crazy and he had to go hospital. He can’t do strenuous exercise any more, but he said he bought himself a bike and he still rides a return trip weekly of about 100kms to Augusta and home. Not bad for an old fella. We left with grins on our faces, finding some sort of joy and inspiration in what he had to say.
The hills we existent but they had somewhat mellowed out. The worry now was directed at the Easter traffic on the road. People rushing around to get somewhere along the same busy road, that we just happened to be cycling down.
It felt like a long ride because we were eager to get to town for some breakfast. We rolled into Margaret River around 10am and sat down at a café for a combination of eggs, bacon, mushroom, spinach etc. How delightful.
We both stank as it had been a while in between showers so we decided to go check into our room at the venue and change out of bike clothes. Bike clothes are great on the bike but you soon get sick of walking around town in lycra bike shorts, getting strange looks from everyone.
The room wasn’t ready yet so we found some Internet access and caught up with what was going on across the world. We returned to the hotel and checked into the room. It just happened to be some kind of deluxe suite or something. Everything was made of dark polished wood, and looked as if it was fit for some kind of royalty. Harv headed to the bottle shop and got some celebration drinks while I had the best shower in the world. We kicked around in the room and made some phone calls to friends and family. Once again we forgot to put the washing on, and eagerly headed into town for some beers at a local tavern. There was a Sunday music session on the veranda so we hung out to watch a few tunes.
Whilst sitting around we randomly met a girl named Sally who buy chance told us that she to had taken part in a cycling mission, only she road from Fitzroy Crossing down to Perth, raising money for a charity. We sat around and compared stories from our cycling journeys. Sal introduced us to some of her mates including a girl from New Zealand called Michelle. Michelle is a singer, piano player, and also teaches vocal training. We hung out while she played a few awesome songs as part of the veranda session. Her friend Carol played saxophone during the songs and as a duo they sounded great. It was a shame we had to leave, but we told them to come up to the pub for a few drinks and watch me play a bit later on.
We sat down and had a meal at the hotel, before I set up my gear for the show, and Harv headed off to get the washing into the machine. The room I was playing was quite empty and the manager told me in a relaxed manner that they didn’t think many people would be coming. That’s ok, I was just happy to sit and play some guitar.
I started my show and there were a table of 6 people having dinner. I played some easy listening stuff and worked on a few ideas I had been looking forward to working on. Its interesting playing to a pretty empty room. Sometimes it can be really disheartening, and sometimes it might be one of the best gigs. I wouldn’t say this was the best gig, but I still really enjoyed playing. We had spent so much time on the bike, that there had been no time to play my guitar. Eventually Harv jumped out of his seat and got up for a dance, which put a big smile on my face. On leaving the room, one of the blokes who was having dinner got up and handed Harv $20 and said good gig mate. Harv informed him that for $20 he could have a cd, so he hooked him up. They left the room just as some more crew turned up. Only another 6 or so people but it was nice to have some faces in the room while I finished off my set.
I packed up my guitar and leads etc, and half expected the manager to be quite disappointed with the way the night went. He was actually just happy to get home after the rush of Easter weekend. We threw the gear upstairs in our room and headed off to see if the tavern was still open. Everything was shut, including the late night kebab shop. With a bit of luck some random bloke started knocking on the window of the kebab shop and they opened the door. The guy inside told him he could only buy Turkish bread for $3.50. I jumped on the trend and we bought a massive Turkish bread and headed to the room for a feast. The bread was massive, at least a few foot long. We didn’t really need it, but its just so much fun to eat food late at night after a gig.
It was no drama drifting off to the land of sleep on such a full stomach.