Monday, September 12, 2011

Merry in Bunbury

Our wonderful abode in Roelands. TU J & L!

I took the opportunity to pack along my nifty Brompton together with my overnight essentials for a weekend holiday in Bunbury. My friends Israel and Ravi know me all too well and made room for my foldie in their brand new Aurion 3.5V6 for the 150km drive down south.

Such thoughtfulness is truly appreciated and its wonderful to be blessed with such great friends who are so accepting of my quirks.

In 7 weeks time I would be cycling along this part of WA so it would be prudent to do a short test ride along the highway roads. Early Sunday morning when my friends were still having breakkie, I unfolded Brommie for a ride and explored the Australind area. Riding along Highway 1 from Raymond Road to Paris Road, I could sense that the rough shoulder of the Oz Highway was making me numb as the smallish Brompton wheels were not happy. 6 hours of this and I will loose all my teeth fillings but thankfully, once I got onto the side roads, things were fine.

It was great to finally see the Leschenault Estuary where I turned left and headed south at the Old Coast Road. Traffic was very light and the weather was a perfect sunny 14c. It was really special to see the world waking up on this lazy Sunday morning. I arrived at the Dolphin Discovery Centre where I met up with my friends and chucked the Brompton into the Aurion's huge boot.

This place was established for the purpose of education, research and conservation of the 100+ wild dolphins that set up camp in this very sheltered part of Bunbury. What fascinates is the passion of the staff there in helping visitors like us know as much as possible about the wonderful undersea world. I learned that Octopus can change color according to their mood and surroundings, and feeding time for her was most entertaining.

A short drive 20km away to the Ferguson Valley opened my eyes to the beauty of this wine growing region.

We visited Wild Bull Brewery and enjoyed the best Apple Cider ever. Coupled with live saxophone music and tasty food, it was an experience to savour.

Bunbury is fast becoming a retirement paradise and it is easy to see why. Nice beaches, easy going lifestyle, temperate climate and friendly folks. It was fascinating to watch the surfers having fun with the waves. That is something I must do one day.

I was excited at seeing a bicycle tourer too. Somehow, the thought of someone on a journey never fails to inspire.

I can't wait to ride through this area again in late Oct, probably on my Long Haul Trucker or my Bike Friday Expedition. The ride will be a long one from Augusta back to Bunbury and it should be barrels of fun with warmer days and with good mates. Christoph, are you ready?

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