A Travellerspoint blog

Day 14: Wednesday 11th January

Margaret River - Busselton

sunny 32 °C

It was a bit of a slow start today, possibly due to our indulgences yesterday! As we packed up and loaded the bikes Glenn discovered a missing bolt on his luggage rack necessitating a stop at the hardware store. We rode the Cave Rd up to Dunsborough, diverting to Canal Rocks to admire the spectacular views.

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Canal Rocks

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Smiths Beach near Canal Rocks

Dunsborough was very busy with tourists. We had drinks at a cafe which happened to be next door to a real estate agent. When people stopped to browse at the properties in the window the agent would race out and start his sales pitch. We were rather amused to hear him use the same line each time "We've got a special going at the moment: buy 12 get one free."

It was much hotter today with the temperature sitting in the low 30s. Having bought chocolate yesterday I had gone to some lengths to transport it without it melting by freezing a big bottle of water and packing them together in the middle of my luggage where I thought it would take the longest to warm up...

We rode out to Cape Naturaliste and walked to the Whalers Lookout - no mean feat in the heat and with Glenn's low tolerance to flies. You certainly didn't want to walk with your mouth open! The views were well worth it. Absolutely spectacular.

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Coastline

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Cape Naturaliste lighthouse

On our return we rode through Eagle Beach and Meelup Beach. Beautiful clear blue water, lots of people swimming.

From there we rode to Busselton and set up camp. To my delight my chocolate was cool and intact :-) Then, to my horror, I discovered the caravan park we'd booked into had no camp kitchen and thus NO FRIDGE!!! (Suffice to say we ate quite a lot of chocolate that evening.)
We rode through the city (Busselton will actually become a city in a couple of weeks) and down to the famous jetty. We discovered one needs to book to take the train out to the end of the jetty to tour the oceanarium. So we booked to do it tomorrow and paddled on the beach instead, before sitting back with a glass of wine and enjoying the fantastic view and balmy weather.

Today's distance: 118km

Posted by Jo vanEmmerik 06:23 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Day 13: Tuesday 10th January

Margaret River

sunny 33 °C

We had an easy relaxed morning at the campsite, other than a fruitless search for Glenn's credit card. We gave the bikes a day off today. We walked into town and browsed through some of the shops.

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They have strange cows here!

Lloyd's, one of the shops on the main strip, was amazing. A bit like the tardis, it looked quite small from the outside but there was so much there.

A hopeful enquiry at the pub where we had a drink at last night and Glenn's card was retrieved! Then we had coffee before joining a half day wine tour. The tour was fantastic. We started at a brewery where we also had a yummy lunch.

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Lunch at the Brewery

Then it was on to cheese, chocolate, 2 wineries, olives and venison. We thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it as a great way to see several places without having to drive. It was a great group of people of all ages, and the tour guide was very good.

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Chocolate wherever you look!!!

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Outside one of the wineries

We dragged our wares back to camp and now we have more luggage to fit on the bikes!
We had a quiet relaxing evening. It was a good day of recharging.

Posted by Jo vanEmmerik 05:34 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Day 12: Monday 9th January

Manjimup - Margaret River

sunny 24 °C

This morning it was Glenn's turn to laugh. There were ants streaming onto my bike up my side stand forming a 6 lane hwy in one direction. He laughed until we noticed they were all over his bike as well. Thankfully a guy at the hotel had insect spray!!

We had breakfast in Bridgetown. Yummy. And good coffee too. We have noticed that many of the town names end with "up" and today we discovered why. It means "place of" and the first part of the word is an Aboriginal word descriptive of the place. So Manjimup means "place of broad leafed marsh grass." We had a fantastic, leisurely ride along winding, picturesque country roads through Nannup then through to Augusta. As Glenn rode ahead of me he startled a group of emus just inside the bush at the edge of the road and I saw them as they turned and ran back in. There was one large one and 4 or 5 smaller emus. Beautiful.

We rode from Augusta down to Cape Leeuwin where there is a lighthouse on the most south-westerly point of Australia.

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Cape Leeuwin lighthouse

It is also the place where the Indian and Southern Ocean meet. On some days it is possible to actually see a line where the currents meet but today was too windy.

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We could see dolphins playing just off the rocks.

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We came back to Augusta to have lunch. After a look at the river where you could do a cruise, we took Caves Rd and wound through more great roads. We visited Lake Cave and took the tour there. It wasn't one of the bigger caves but it is the deepest. Quite spectacular.

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Lake Cave

We headed up to Margaret river and set up camp at a caravan park there. The weather finally warned up today - we have been quite cold on the bikes for the last few days. Hopefully we'll have warmer weather from here on. Cooking in the camp kitchen was again a social affair with everyone sharing the facilities and chatting about where they're from and where they plan to go next.

Today's distance: 249km

Posted by Jo vanEmmerik 19:46 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Day 11: Sunday 8th January

Albany - Manjimup

overcast 20 °C

And the award for the most boring, annoying bird call goes to:

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Ants got into Glenn's helmet after it was left on ground overnight which caused Glenn a significant amount of distress having ants crawling in his helmet while riding, and me a great deal of amusement.

We left Albany and took the scenic route to Denmark. There we finally found great coffee!! The first since leaving home. Although we had to wait nearly 1/2 an hour for it to arrive after we ordered it was worth the wait.

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Real coffee!

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Yum

We went for a short walk along bank of the Denmark river. Then we took scenic route through the Karri forest. Another scenic detour took us down to Green Pool - a gorgeous sheltered swimming spot. If it had been warmer we would definitely have gone for a swim. But it was actually quite cool.

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Sadly, I did not take this photo - it didn't look like this today...

Near Walpole we did the Valley of the Giants tree top walk. It was a bit like the Tahune air walk at home, perhaps higher and without the river flowing through. Glenn is not fond of heights and found the rocking of the walkway a bit disconcerting. It was a very interesting place to visit.

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Tree top walk

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Hollow tingle tree

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Grandma tingle tree

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Tingle trees are amazing as they are often hollow but survive with just the shell

We had a late lunch in Walpole. Most of today’s riding took us through lovely areas of tall trees, so different from the scenery we’d had prior. We had planned to get to Margaret River, but one of the nice things about touring like this is the freedom to do whatever we like and stay wherever we end up. We had a great ride through Northcliffe and Pemberton, and ended up at Manjimup for the night.

We met an elderly couple as we pulled in to park at the hotel. He was going out to celebrate his birthday with his wife. Originally from Derbyshire they have been in Australia for 45 years. He told us of riding an old BSA (like in Heartbeat) with a sidecar that held 2 people. And riding down into Wales. A 100 mile round trip. He was quite a character and we chatted with him and his wife for some time.

Food at the local hotel where we stayed was quite expensive so we decided to get a pizza from the little pizza shop next door and enjoyed it with a bottle of red wine.

Today's distance: 333km

Posted by Jo vanEmmerik 08:36 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Day 10: Saturday 7th January

Albany

semi-overcast 20 °C

It was raining this morning – not much of an incentive to get up. We had a lazy morning as the weather gradually cleared up a bit. We rode into town and went to the historical area. We did a self guided tour of a replica of the Brig Amity which came to Albany to establish the first European settlement in the western part of the Australian continent.

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The Brig Amity

We visited an interactive museum with displays about sea life and lighthouses, and with an amazing photo exhibition. There was plenty of history about the area.
We had lunch in Albany and walked around having a look for a while.

We have a ongoing debate about whose bike gets the most attention from passersby (mine of course!) When we were parking a young couple walked past. She said to me “I love your bike” and he agreed. As they walked past Glenn’s bike I said “You’d better tell him you like his too.”
We rode out to the peninsula to Whaling World, a former whaling station and did a tour. We were then free to wander around the site and explore the whaling boat now berthed there. There was an impressive display of whale skeletons.

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Whale skeleton

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The Whaling ship

On the ride back we stopped at the Blowholes.

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The Blowholes - they were blowing, it's just hard to tell!

We rode back to camp. The campsite at Emu Beach is fantastic. It is well set out and centres around the camp kitchen where meals are cooked and those of us with inpowered site try to charge our phones, cameras, intercoms… everyone is very friendly. Lots of people comment on our bikes and chat about where we’ve been and what the next destination is. So many people have asked how we fit everything on the bikes!

Posted by Jo vanEmmerik 21:36 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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