Day 21: I awoke way before dawn, spooked from the midnight interruption. I was determined to leave ASAP. It was dark and pouring rain as I packed up and made breakfast.

As I set out on the road, I knew that I’d have to make up those 40km from yesterday. I had a homestay in Yanchep that I needed to arrive at tonight in order to keep schedule.

It was a long day of pace monitoring. All I wanted was to stop in a café somewhere for half an hour, but I had to keep going.

I ate lunch in the saddle, and only briefly stopped to take pictures of some massive grass tree fields during breaks in the rain.

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Late in the afternoon, as I approached Yanchep, I realized that my phone had died. Not just run out of battery, but died died, unchargeable and unusable.

So without gps, I got lost on the way to Yanchep. Finally, as the sun was setting, I rolled into town, and it started raining. I was so tired, and hungry, and now wet, I just stopped on the side of yhe road for 5 minutes and had a good cry.

It was dark when I wiped my eyes dry. only one thing would save me now: MacDonald’s.

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I rode straight there, ordered a triple cheeseburger meal, and borrowed a phone to call my homestay.

Peter showed up at Macca’s as I was crumpling up the bag of all the food I’d just scarfed down. We strapped my bicycle to the roof of his car and drove to his place. I was nervous about staying with him – it was the first time I’d used warm showers (a bike touring “couch-surfing”-style forum), but he was a lovely man. And he’d actually set out a huge spread of meat and vegetables on a tabletop griddle! Feast! I felt like my stomach had shrunk during my tour, as only a few bites of meat filled me up. When you’ve been living on lentils, actual meat is rich!

I was amazed by Peter’s hospitality. I had my own room, fresh sheets and towels, and even tiny personal toiletries. We chatted about bikes and gear (he’s such a gearhead, we were nerding out all evening and I got a bunch of good gear ideas).

I took 2 showers that evening and slept like a baby. I’d scrubbed off 5 days of accumulated dirt and finally felt warm again.

Day 22:  When I woke up my mood was 180° flipped. I was in civilization again, and had only a half day’s ride to Perth, where id spend a 2 rest days woth Ben and friends.

I followed the bike path along the highway to get to Perth. It spits you out onto side streets as you approach the city, but the whole way is really well-marked.

The best quote of the day was as I passed some schoolkids rheading home. “Watch out, man, there’s a professional biker passing you. Hey, sick bike!”

Why, thank you! My set-up is pretty sick.

I rolled into Scarsborough in the afternoon. Without my phone, I hadnt booked accomodation, but found a nice backpackers’ hostel near the beach and enjoyed an evening with people my own age. So far on the tour I’ve mainly chatted with grey nomads and older Australians. They’re lovely, but I needed 20-something energy.

So its two days of rest in Perth before beginning my final stretch to Augusta.

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