Fresh Start in Fremantle
With our Pan-Australian riding team disbanded and Magnus heading back to base with most of his motorcycles in tow, I was left in Fremantle with four weeks of vacation in front of me.
Mags left me with one of the DR-Zs, which was ready to ride after a quick sprocket change and fluid top up.
Since my 9 to 5 has me riding motorcycles and camping every day, I thought I’d mix it up and spend the time riding a motorcycle and camping.
But since I had some in-town business to take care of before setting off, I checked in to a hostel and had to share a room with 7 other dudes for the first time since April.
Any cheap traveler will tell you the sub-$30/night accommodation market is pretty hit or miss, but in this case I lucked out. The aptly named “Old Firestation Backpackers” where I stayed was indeed a re-purposed firehouse, although I was disappointed to learn the pole had been removed “to discourage unsafe behavior.” The garage below that once housed the trucks was now a beautiful Indian restaurant, adding an olfactory ambiance of curry to most of the rooms. Upstairs in the common area the faint smell of marijuana mixed nicely with my coffee and reminded me of school. Perfect environment to relax and reset before the next expedition.
With my gear stowed in a locker I forced myself to a mall and bought my entire camping loadout from K-Mart. A $15 tent, tin billy, some 100MPH tape, and few bungee cords looked pretty silly strapped to the brand-new motorcycle I was lucky enough to be riding, but I reckoned I was ready for another assault on the outback.
I checked for three nights to get a proper impression of Fremantle, so when I was done shopping I hit the city for a butcher’s.
I made the most of it and did everything you can’t do in the bush. Almost got run over by a bus, paid $10 for a beer, stared at hot chicks in line for lattes.
What I should have been doing was seeing a doctor about my shoulder, and after saying that to myself enough times I finally sacked up and called a GP. Since I had squandered most of the day birdwatching it was now 3:00 on a Friday, and I would be lucky to get an appointment.
No stranger to relying on luck for most of my endeavors, I rocked up to the medical center I found on my GPS and got a fifteen minutes of the doctor’s attention for $70. That was enough time to get a referral for an x-ray next door, where another $120 bought some polaroids of my skeleton and another referral to a shoulder specialist. Yes, apparently those exist.
I made an appointment for later next week, giving me time to execute a short expedition before returning to the city and learning whether or not I was going to get some bolts in my body.
With a rain pissing down on the streets and my tarp-covered motorcycle I poured over the Western Australia 4WD Atlas I had been lent by a friend of Mags’ and made myself a route that looked safe enough on paper.
How much trouble could I get in anyway?