Charlie got me out of bed early and made a beautiful breakfast of porridge, followed by sausage and vegetables. I rode into town and went to Woolworths, then to Pioneer Hotel for a massive two-beef-patty burger with the lot plus chips for just $10. A guy I chatted to in the laundromat yesterday had recommended the meal. I went to Dome to make Charlie a thank-you drawing and stopped off on the esplanade to put it in a frame. I met Mark again at Woolies (I had come across him on arrival in Esperance yesterday). He is back home after a troublesome cycle tour in Argentina. I stopped and talked to Max who had a beaten-up bike and trailer made from junk parts. He has been meandering through Western Australia for a while now. I saw two pretty German girls who I had chatted to at the laundromat yesterday, but only from a distance so didn’t say hello this time. Today I truly felt like a traveller in my own country, cruising around meeting interesting people, bumping into and recognising fellow travellers, writing, pondering. I am in it now. It’s happening. What a wonderful feeling of freedom. Charlie is at church at the moment (“I am old and single so I gotta be a part o’ somethin’. So I go to church every Sat’dee night. But I’m not a religious fanatic. I just like the company”). He will be home around 8pm and we will be having cheeseburgers for dinner. Actually, he is just pulling up now. What a wonderful life this is.

Day 9 (pic)

Max

Accommodation Charlie’s farm (old caravan in a shed)
Distance ridden today 0km
Total distance ridden 553km