Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Test Ride Trangia 25/8

The arrival of our new camping stove was the only excuse we needed to load up the bikes and go for a ride to Pemberton. The simplicity and safety of these stoves had caught my eye many years ago when we were camping with another biker. We bought the Trangia 25/8, the set with the big pots, all hard anodised, and a kettle.

We couldn't manage to ride past the Waroona bakery without stopping and we left the bikes in the shade while we sat on the veranda eating pies and drinking coffee. Then we were on the road again enjoying the curves through the Ferguson Valley.
Great to be back in the tent.
The little town of Balingup provided our next pit stop. This is a great place with a great vibe and there are eateries everywhere. Then the Blackwood River Road led the way to Nannup. Unlike Balingup, Nannup is so laid back that nearly all the coffee and souvenir shops displayed "closed" signs in their windows.

The road south to Pemberton was open and honest and as we rode through pockets of tall timbers it was like magic, the trees towering above as we glided along. The caravan park at Pemberton was welcoming and by 4pm we were sitting at our camp, smiling all the while, with a beer in one hand and a fly swat in the other.

Curry Cook.
Even though there was a camp kitchen not far away we were determined to cook our curry and rice on our new, single burner, methylated spirit stove. This how we went about it:
·         Boil water for rice and place in thermos.
·         Cook curry and set aside.
·         Boil rice and set aside.
·         Reheat curry.
·         Serve dinner.

The wind protection on these stoves is second to none and our meal was cooked without any fuss. The pots were easy to move around with the clip on handle and they all cleaned up with the use of a soft cloth; I was impressed.

Steve and I are big tea drinkers and at breakfast Steve took on the role of "hot water manager." The little 900ml kettle worked hard to keep up with our daily requirements but by the time breakfast was over we had boiled over four litres of water; I never thought boiling water could be so much fun.

Now know why it's named Windy Harbour!
After breakfast we took the bikes on a local run to Northcliffe and Windy Harbour. It was blowing a full gale as we looked out over the southern ocean and our tea cooled quickly in the howling breeze. When we arrived back at Northcliffe I opened my top box, grabbed my bum bag, closed it again and then exclaimed "what's that smell?" I quickly opened it again to find that the bottle of red wine had broken free and amongst the broken glass lay a red dyed mess of hessian bags, magazines and Steve's towel. We weren't meant to suffer too much for this incident as only 10 meters away was town water. As we rinsed I could hear Steve mumbling, after all it was my fault, but I didn't take any notice. The worst thing was that some of the fragments of green glass were the size of small gemstones and were reluctant to be washed out of the top box.

Salmon Beach.
That night we treated ourselves and dined at the pub in Pemberton. Sitting on that veranda with a good brew of beer and eating the best lamb shanks ever will make me smile for a long time.
We were on the road early for the ride home. The south easterly was still blowing hard and as we rode through the tall timbers once more some of the big karri's were dropping bark big enough to wrap a motorcycle helmet. The shadows were long and we backed off a little. Sure enough we came around one bend to find two large kangaroos in the middle of the road; we backed off a little more after that.
We stopped for tea on the waterfront in Busselton and then dined on bronze whaler and chips overlooking the harbour in Bunbury. It was hot by the time we got back on the bikes and we were planning to ride home to Safety Bay without stopping. Little did we know that only 20 kilometres north of Bunbury there had been an accident and the police were preparing to divert the traffic. It was about then, while we tried to communicate with each other in the searing heat with our ear plugs in, Steve asked me "could you please learn to speak louder without raising your voice."

Steve spotted a road he recognised and the cops let us go so we took off east towards the South West Highway. The highway was packed with detourers heading in both directions and we desperately needed to stop for a drink of water. We missed our opportunities at Waroona and Pinjarra and when we found some shade the road verge was too steep to get the side stands down. So we rode on in the 37degree heat and arrived home a little frustrated and dehydrated. Two litres of cold water later and we were all smiles again and talking about the magic of motorcycling; we wouldn't miss a run on the bikes for anything.

Cape D'Entercasteaux.