Trip summary

Riding day Date Section (click link for route map) Km
1 Sun 4-Oct Albany-Cheynes Beach-Albany 52
2 Mon 5-Oct Albany-Cosy Corner 33
3 Tue 6-Oct Cosy Corner-Denmark 36
4 Wed 7-Oct Denmark-Jinung Beigabup 44
5 Thu 8-Oct Jinung Beigabup-Bow Bridge (Ayr Sailean) 42
6 Fri 9-Oct Bow Bridge (Ayr Sailean)-Walpole 43
7 Sun 11-Oct Walpole-Mt Frankland 31
8 Mon 12-Oct Mt Frankland-Fernhook Falls 18
9 Tue 13-Oct Fernhook Falls-Shannon 38
10 Wed 14-Oct Shannon-Northcliffe 26
11 Thu 15-Oct Northcliffe-Pemberton 32
12 Mon 19-Oct Bus: Pemberton-Karridale; Ride: Karridale-Augusta 14
13 Tue 20-Oct Augusta-Hamelin Bay 22
14 Wed 21-Oct Hamelin Bay-Conto 26
15 Thu 22-Oct Conto-Margaret River 23
16 Sat 24-Oct Margaret River-Yallingup 46
17 Mon 26-Oct Yallingup-Busselton 35
18 Sat 31-Oct Rides: Falcon-Mandurah and Midland-Kalamunda; Train: Mandurah-Perth-Midland 23
 Total 584

The following map (click to display zoom-able version) shows the overall route taken from Albany to Busselton.

Route - Detail

Mandurah to Kalamunda

Pack up and clean up at Falcon …

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… then 6 km into Mandurah for a coffee by the water and dolphins, then another 4 km to the railway station and onto the Perth train for the 45-minute trip to Perth.

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Change trains at Perth onto the Midland line, Chinese food for lunch at Midland then 13 km up into the Perth hills to Kalamunda.

Where are the wallies?

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Drop the bikes off at Kalamunda Cycles. They’ll box them up for us on Monday. Some disassembly required on my bike beforehand …

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Then it’s off to the pub for a celebratory end-of-ride drink. Borrow a Coles supermarket trolley to carry the bags. Nettie wants to push it …

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… but it gets away on her a bit …

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Eventually made it safely to the pub.

Expedition to Mandurah

Visited Mandurah today. There are lots of hairdressers, nail shops and massage salons there. Justin had a haircut and Nettie had her nails done. David bought and read the paper.

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We caught up with Lyn who we met at Shannon and then again in Pemberton with Chris and Helen and she took us for a guided ride around the massive inlet (100 km around the shoreline apparently) that lies to the south of Mandurah.

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Stopped at a bird hide and pondered why a single shoe was left there (by a one-legged twitcher?)

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Back home late afternoon for a quick shower then out to Chris and Helen’s place for drinks and canapés (we hope).

Falcon

An early morning walk down the beach, with a stop for a coffee on the way.

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Beatrice had to return to Perth early, but had enough time before the bus came to have a quick wash in a dog bowl.

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For a map showing where we cycled these past weeks, click here. (By default the map shows only the last four days of the ride. To display all days, from the drop-down menu on the top right of the header click Munda Biddi Trail then Adjustments and in the History box select ALL, then click Update Map.)

Falcon

It’s near Mandurah. The Indian Ocean is a few streets away from where we’re staying.

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A domestic day – washing, brush-cutting the holiday house garden and swimming, then having dinner with Beatrice, Nettie’s and Justin’s old friend, who took time out from a business trip to Perth to come down to see us.

A bus from Busselton

My cycling partners have gone on the early bus to Falcon and left me all alone for the day. Sniff. Consolation is quiet time with the paper and a well-made short macchiato in Mono’s, a smart little café tucked down a lane off the Busselton main street.

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My bus to Falcon leaves just before 5 pm. I’ll go for a walk around the town for a few hours – lots of lots of lovely old limestone buildings here.

Yallingup to Busselton.

Some of the remaining food we’re carrying …

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The last of the dehydrated dhal is still lurking in someone’s pannier – a sinister presence, as are a few packets of tuna and salmon and Deb (as in ‘dehydrated potato’ not ‘does Dallas’).

On the road to Busselton after coffee and breakfast at Andy’s opposite the campground. Much quieter there today than yesterday with all the Sunday day-trippers calling in.

It’s 8 km across to Dunsborough from Yallingup, along a busy main road. Dunsborough is on the coast, by Geographe Bay.

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There’s a bike path that runs all the way around the shore from Dunsborough to Busselton (25 km or so). For quite some distance out of Dunsborough we ride past seaside mansions with absolute beach frontages.

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An easy ride along the track. We’re in Busselton by midday.

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Camped at the caravan park nearest town. Lots of people staying there as the Busselton agricultural show is on this weekend and the sideshow operators are there in readiness for the opening of the showgrounds later in the week.

We’re going to bus up to Falcon tomorrow – Nettie and Justin on the morning service, me on the afternoon run. (Transwa buses only guarantee two bicycles per bus and as the passenger numbers are up for all services north tomorrow we decided not to risk one of us being offloaded from the early service and not having a confirmed booking for the later trip.)

An end of day walk out along the 1.841 km jetty, the longest in WA, Australia, the universe or something like that. Very pretty.

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Almost a full moon tonight.

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Gugelhopf, water divining and the beach

Gugelhopf “is a southern German, Austrian, Swiss and Alsatian term for a marble cake or Bundt cake”. There’s a small bakery opposite our campsite that makes them (you can see the pots in the photos below, the sort of upside down earthenware objects). We buy one fresh out of the oven, take it down to the next-door café and eat the lot with a coffee. That’s breakfast.

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We’ve been talking about water divining recently. Justin found some old fencing wire at one of our roadside stops yesterday and we try divining in the campground after breakfast. It seems to work, at least we confirmed the location of the camp water pipes – not unexpectedly they ran to the camp taps. Regardless, some ‘power’ was definitely causing the divining rods to turn. Ouija board tonight.

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Yallingup is a pretty laid back surfer hamlet. There’s a surfing competition on, which we discover when we walk down to the beach. The presentations are on at the Caves House Hotel tonight so we’ll go along.

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A walk along part of the Cape-to-Cape track, to a lunch stop overlooking the ocean. The weather has cleared and the sea is calm. We see dolphins swimming parallel to the shore, just beyond the breaking waves, and further out see whale spouts (but not much of the whale itself). The whales are apparently a little further north at this time of year, in Geographe Bay, so we hope to see a few more as we head around the coast to Busselton tomorrow.

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Campsite at Yallingup …

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Margaret River to the place of love

Up at the crack of dawn (nothing new there really), breakfast and pack then into the main street of Margaret River township to watch the start of the third day of the Cape to Cape MTB race. 1,200 riders in all, split into two groups: the elite riders first, all sinewy muscles and 0% body fat, then the rest in a large group to the rear – all ages, shapes and sizes in that one. Lots of people out to watch – not quite in Tour de France spectator numbers, but a good turn out nonetheless and a real buzz.

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A coffee after the MTBers have disappeared into the hills, probably the best we’ve had on the trip so far (at The Noshery, only been open a couple of weeks), then a stop at Brumbys for savoury damper and six donuts to take with us for morning tea on the road then off we go. Got a kilometre out of town to discover the side road we planned to take to get through to the Caves Road was closed because it formed part of the MTB race course so we backtracked, waited out a passing shower under a shop verandah then rode down to the Caves Road via a longer back route. From there it was 25 km in showery conditions to a late morning tea by a vineyard.

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Another wait-out-the-shower stop a few kms down the road …

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… then a stop for a locally made camembert and some Italian gorgonzola at the cheesery we called into yesterday. Bear the black labrador was very friendly …

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Onwards to Yallingup. The ‘up’ suffix to WA place names means ‘place of’ and Yallingup means ‘place of love’.

At the Caves House Hotel now, having a beer. It’s a historic place, sort of similar to the Hydro Majestic in Katoomba, and nearish to the beach. Very popular, too. Apparently people come from far afield (e.g. Perth) to drink and relax here. And maybe to find love!

Rest day at Margaret River

An overcast day, but mild – a good day for exploring a little of the Margaret River region by car. Lots of possibilities – there are wineries everywhere, but we decide to visit an artisan cheesemaker at the Windows Estate up near Yallingup, then a wine tasting at Arimia Estate nearby.

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We bought a brie from the cheesemaker and a terrine. Ate them for lunch down on the rocks at Canal Rocks.

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Where are the wallies?

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A stunning coastline …

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… and lots of wildflowers out, too.

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Back to Margaret River mid-afternoon after dropping into Yallingup, then out to Leeuwin Estate for a quick taste of the reds (Justin) and a look around the art gallery (works by many famous Australian artists e.g. Pugh, Olsen, Storrier, Boyd, that appeared on Leeuwin wine labels), then back to the camp for dinner via Prevelly Beach.

Tomorrow it’s back on the bikes for a 45 km ride up the Caves Road to Yallingup.