GPW: End of Week 2

Well we have reached the end of week 2 (plus a couple of days) and are about 16km North of Norseman. Blisters have improved out of sight. We still put patches on them each day but they are not giving me the grief they did last week. The heat has been relentless but the good news is that a cold front is due to hit Monday morning dropping the temps back to the mid 20s for a few days. Can’t Wait!!!!

Wendy has been doing a fantastic job keeping me on the road, without her I would still be trying to direct my way out of Perth! We get up at 4am and she helps me get ready (breakfast, dressings on my feet, cream/cover on my lip) and then when I head off at about 5am she tidies the van, checks the emails etc if we have access and packs the van up ready for hitting the road. She will usually drive about 10km for the first leg and then usually walks back to meet me. We then move forward at about 5-6km stints and she gets me drinks, food, refills my camel pack and reapplies any first aid required. We continue on like this until it starts to get hot and then we just reduce the duration between stops to 3-4km. At the end of the day we find a suitable rest area or patch of dirt to set up for the night, Wendy cooks dinner and updates our social media etc while I rest my feet and then we turn in for an early night at around 7.30-8.30pm, ready to do it all again tomorrow.

20130213_08_first-retired-footyI retired my first footy on Wednesday, it lasted about 560km from Perth to Coolgardie. Not completely dead but I wanted to keep it as a souvenir and didn’t really want it to burst.

It is a bit sad to finish this part of the trip as a lot of truckies do the Perth to Kalgoorlie run several times a week so I had started to get a lot more friendly waves off them and a toot of the horn now and then. Felt like I was getting to know them without actually meeting them if that makes sense.

The support from the WA public and media has been fantastic. Quite a few people have pulled over to the side of the road to have a chat or give me words of encouragement, although several have also offered me a lift which has been tempting at times but also a bit embarrassing when you admit that you are intentionally walking in the middle of nowhere in 40 degree heat! It’s always good to have people pull over and say g’day, it just breaks up the day a bit too.

20130216_10_matt-on-ride-onYesterday we caught up with the guys from The Ride to the Other Side who are riding a ride-on lawn mower from Kalgoorlie to Adelaide. It was great to meet them after giving each other support online for the past month or so and their cook invited us to join them for a meal last night which was superb.

We often get asked whether we have seen much wildlife during our trip and the answer so far is not really, unless you count insects. Last week it was the flys giving us problems and this week it’s the Mozzies. Wendy did see a lizard about 2 foot long crossing the road the other day. Luckily there was no other traffic so she was able to veer onto the other side of the road to avoid it as it wasn’t hurrying for anyone.

Well that’s about all for now. Later on this morning we start the long road across the Nullarbor and will lose phone and internet reception for at least a few weeks or maybe even as long as a month. We have asked a few friends to do guest blogs while we are out of contact so you will have a chance to find out more about some amazing aid organisations, charity projects and businesses who are working hard to see an end to poverty.

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