AUSTRALIA Page 2 - Western Australia - October 2006.

Australia, the adopted homeland of both Mal and Lee. The only continent under one government and the country we both love. The picture above is the “skyline” of our city, you can click on the picture to get a larger image. Perth is one of the most isolated regional capital cities in the world. There are so many things to say about our country that I simply do not know where to begin...

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Day Two Blackwood to Pemberton (26-10-2006)
61K's today, head wind varying from ten two the hour and ten past the hour... very occasionally at twenty past the hour... The wind was generally light with occasional VERY strong (cold) gusts.

The road was very hilly with some steep climbs.. We got very low on water today due in part to an initial estimate we could do the distance in two days and the fact it became three. Was not real worried as there was an abundance of water on the side of the roads in big clear pools. We harvested 4 litres and put it through the “Katadyn” filter... It tasted good.

Loads of wildlife ranging from Emus, Wallaby's, Kangaroos, foxes and an abundance of bird life. The road had little traffic and was beautiful and tranquil. One guy in a tray top stopped – took out his camera and took a couple of pictures.. apart from the customary “G'day mate” he said nothing, got in his vehicle and took off.

We cycled for 12hrs today starting at about 5:50am and arriving in Pemberton at 6:10pm stopping for lunch and a couple of breaks.. The steep hills slowed us right down. We have decided to have a “Rest Day” in Pemberton and re-charge our batteries, check our equipment and generally “chill out”.

Pemberton C/Van park is nice and quiet with nothing short of excellent facilities. Pleasant management, is clean and well maintained. Catchya Later....

PEMBERTON (27-10-2006)
Rest day... a few K's shopping (Mal)

Did the washing today in the Laundry $3.00 and Dry $2.00.. Well maintained machines and HUGE dryers. Lee and I went shopping and a look around. There is a big hill running through Pemberton... So we only made two “passes”... Internet in town is provided by a community funded organisation that seems to assist all. They were happy for us to plug our laptop into the network and it cost $6.00 per hour. Sent a couple of emails and checked a few things with our site.

There is a large IGA supermarket well stocked with all the oddball things. Gloucester Tree is in Pemberton an old fire lookout about 80 Meters off the ground.

Pemberton to Quinninup (28-10-2006)
About 35 K's VERY hilly no wind.

Hard day today with the hills low k's and highest speed ever 69 KMH – white knuckle ride!! If I had not blown my hat off I am certain I would have gone over 70kmh.. Insects are driving me mad trying to type this... will need to finish another time.... Back again the following night (see bellow) Quinninup (Q) is about 2 k's off the South West Hwy and the hill just outside of town was VERY steep. Thankfully it was a short hill but we both “spun” up in first gear.

The C/Van park is near new with excellent facilities and those nice “extras” like washing powder, pegs, hand soap in the showers + more. The owners chatted with us about a variety of things and invited us to the local show grounds the following day... Really, we did not want to wait and attend but so many people asked we felt obliged... It was pleasant and very “Country Town” Lee bought some fresh leafy veggies and fruit so we had our vitamins today. It resulted in a 11am start and only a 30K ride to... ?? Catchya Later....

Quinninup to Shannon River (29-10-2006)
About 30 K with dead calm morning and very light afternoon headwind. VERY Hilly with some steep climbs.

Our ride today was hard and we seemed to spend much of the day “spinning” in the bottom 5 gears. After a little over 5 hours we pulled into the “Shannon River” Camping ground... A cabin here for the night is $5.50 pp Excellent value.. I am writing this next to a pot belly stove, insect free :-) We made dinner of instant mash, tinned fish and mountains of fresh veggies that Lee had bought. The caretakers here are pensioners that are travelling around our country in a bus..

They have been given the job by “CALM” for free rent and some food and supplies. They are waiting for the “pension” money to build up before joining the “grey wave” that is washing around our land. The Huts are basic as can be seen here.... Outside..

AND Inside

One noteworthy thing is passing dead wildlife... in various stages of decomposition... The smell and the flies at 1kmh, “spinning uphill” are overpowering.... It always saddens me to see such death and destruction .... Well I think I will enjoy our cabin for while before hitting the “sleeping bags”.... Catchya Later....

Shannon River to Walpole (30-10-2006)
About 71 K's – calm morning at about 2pm the headwind started and increased to mild dropping at about 4pm. Very steep hills first three hours then undulating HUGE hill the last 10k into Walpole. Average speed 9.05kmh

We left Shannon River a little late due to a lot of factors and only reached Walpole at 7 PM. We could see only three places open and could not find the C/van park... We thought we would stay at the YMCA (It being one of the three), however, the guy started with “it's $54.00 for the room – bathroom down the hall, communal kitchen communal lounge etc... We thought a bit much for just a bare room. We headed off to the local Hotel/motel and found that the C/van park was a few k's further up the track then a few k's to the right . We decided to stay at the Pub as it was dark and we were totally unfamiliar.. Some C/Van parks have ridiculous rules such as not letting anyone in after 6pm (Margaret River put up an electronic boom – no key no entry)... Depending on “hills” it can take us more than an hour to do a “few k's”! At just a fraction more than the Y, we got a good room at the Pub. We decided to eat at the pub and could not have made a better choice.... the “specials” board had beef in red wine on a bed of mash.. and chicken and sweet potato curry... Huge servings and change from $30.00...

First Puncture in Walpole

We have planned another late start so that we can tie up some loose ends in Walpole. Hope to start at about Midday. We want to be in Albany by Thursday so we are sorry we cannot explore Walpole and surrounds more. Albany is an important stop for us as we will collect our mail and do other jobs such as the “first service” on our Rohloff Hubs.

Walpole to the Valley of the Giants  (31-10-2006)
Approx 14k's Slight side  head wind about ten past.... 8/8 cloud cover - Thunderstorm warning
Did not travel far today due to the weather warnings, however, "sod's law" was fully functional because as soon as we stopped and pitched tent, the sky cleared and warm sunshine was the order of the day. Had a look around Walpole and replenished our dwindling supplies. Took on some dried fruits and grains and small 100g tins of fish. We try and limit our dry food holdings to about 1 to 1½ kilo's Walpole is heavily geared to the tourist trade with classy restaurants and resorts... It is pricey if you are not careful.

We stopped at an "eco-tourist" park about 14 k's from Walpole towards Denmark.

Here is the home of the treetop walk made famous by Elle McPherson <sp> The park is basic and the management pleasant and helpful. It looks a bit "tired" but everything seems to work.. Cost $8.00pp Per night.... The thunderstorm warning  has reduced our mileage from about 35 as planned to 14... It certainly looked ominous when we stopped. Catchya Later....

This ends the “short” month of October 2006. Thank you for Reading

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