It was going to be a long ride today. Ken and Pat kindly woke up earlier to make us a great breakfast of spam & egg bagel. Really spoilt by these wonderful brothers!
As much as we were ready to leave by 8am, the YHA office did not open till 830am. We needed to return the beddings so it was fun waiting and reading the notice boards. Apparently, there is a need for farm/fruit workers and they pay A$18 per hour for a 40 hour week. Best labourer pay in the world I reckon, and we were tempted.
We finally set off and chose the path less travelled towards Cave Road. After getting a bit lost, this led us into a most beautiful walking/cycle trail in the lush and cool forest. Crossing a wooden bridge and riding on dirt trails was a new experience for us and the foldies could handle it with surprising ease. We somehow managed to pop out onto Carter Road and a quick downhill saw us flying 45km/h until we hit Caves Road. Unfortunately from there onwards, the undulating hills began.
Though it was a very scenic and shady ride, the hills were taking its toll on us and after 20km of that, I was drained. My mates blamed it on me giving half my breakfast away to a Japanese guy at the YHA and they were probably right.
It was not so fun playing "sweeper" but I plodded on eating whatever food I had in my pannier to get energy. After 35km of climbs and descends, we stopped at Yallingup Maze to refuel. Being a major tourist attraction, it was like a kids' circus there with many families and their dogs all hanging around. Bouncy castle, face painting, fairies, playground etc but we just wanted food and drink! I was so happy to enjoy my Korean Shin Ramen cup noodles and that got me going again. Christoph as usual had his cake being the cake lover that he is.
This was the break I badly needed and it did me wonders. We saddled up once again and this time headed for Canal Rocks. Ken swears this was the most amazing place he has ever seen and we were not disappointed. Traffic was building up here and in the midst of intense riding, Patrick missed the turn off to Canal Rocks. I shouted at him and rang the bell but Pat just disappeared out of sight. Good thing for mobile phones and he text to say he will be waiting at Dunsborough.
Meanwhile, Chris, Ken and I did the 2.5 km detour to Canal Rocks. The arduous climb was tough but the descend took our breath away as the ocean appeared before us as we glided in complete silence.
We were blown away by the majesty of emerald green waters, crashing waves and the fresh smell of the sea. We parked our bikes and scampered to the rocks. Sitting there watching the waves and feeling the wind in our face was a spiritual moment the 3 of us will share forever.
The ride to Dunsborough was a mere 15km but it was hair raising as the Queen's Birthday holiday traffic was thick. Although most cars were courteous, there were some idiots that made our blood boil. Well, the good part of that was that we were flying at 28-30km/h and arrived at the Shell Station where good ole Patrick was waiting patiently for us. Dunsborough on a busy and crowded weekend lost its glimmer with so many cars and people around. Lunch was a simple pie in the park affair. Some of us had 2. We couldn't wait to get out.
The last 23km from Dunsborough to Busselton was our fastest ride ever. Averaging 25km/h, Ken was amazed at his ability. What helped was the technique of drafting that we used. I was behind "BMW" Christoph and it was easy following him. We took a break at the Baptist Churches Holiday Camp and met a kind elderly couple holidaying who offered us some lovely cashews.
We reached Busselton at 4pm still feeling surprisingly energetic. My bike computer showed 80km. I rewarded myself with a nice tall icy cold Sprite at Mackers and enjoyed the refreshing aircon. Our bike ride has ended all too soon. We did a total 230km and what a trip it has been. It is over and we couldn't believe we conquered the South Western part of WA on small wheels.