Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Day 1 - Driving, busing and cycling down to Augusta Lighthouse

Patrick and Ken came really early to my home at 0745, reflecting all the enthusiasm and excitement of a good start to our SW adventure. Poor Christoph has just flown in from Singapore at midnight and caught only a couple hours of sleep but we were all bright and chirpy nevertheless.

Ken's huge Commodore swallowed 2 foldies in the boot with panniers and hung another 2 on his sturdy "tow-ball" rack. We are grateful to him for the use of this Oz limo!

The 3.6 litre engine made the drive to Busselton a real breeze and we arrived there a comfortable 2 hours before our 1245pm bus.

We popped into the excellent and helpful Tourist Info Office which got us sorted out and we went to Jester's Pies for morning tea.

Busselton is famous for its 2km long jetty and we drove there to take a quick peep. Its a nice small holiday town by the sea and is certainly worth an extended visit. We unloaded our foldies and gear at the bus pick up point and found a safe place to park the car. We had two steering locks for maximum deterrence.

I was keeping my fingers cross as we were not sure about Trans WA Coach policy on foldies except that they charged $10 for full size bikes. When the magnificient blue bus came, the kind driver didn't bat an eyelid and told us to load our foldies into the spacious cargo hold which could easily take 10 foldies. Travelling with foldies, once again, proved amazingly easy!

The bus ride to Augusta took about 2 hours and we enjoyed great conversations. It was excellent that our Youth Hostel was just 300m from our drop off point. I'm usually quite skeptical about youth hostels but the YHA Augusta was superb. It is an old refurbished house that is spacious, clean and welcoming. Kudos to John the owner. Great value at A$30 per person! But we did feel our age with all those nubile youngsters around...

We wasted no time and went straight for tea at the renown Augusta Bakery before proceeding for an evening ride to the Lighthouse.

It was so nice to ride on quiet paths just by the sea. The ride was an easy 7km with some rolling hills to keep things interesting.

Just recovering from a bout of mycoplasma, I was struggling to keep up with the group but I could not resist the downhills and managed 51km/h on the Speed Pro!

The lighthouse keeper told us not to swim in the inviting emerald clear waters as there are seals and that means sharks lurk around. He claims to have seen a big one and we gave him the benefit of the doubt. This year, 3 or 4 people have tragically been attacked.

We then rode back to town and dropped into the IGA supermarket to pick up some dinner. It was amazing that with all of us chipping in, our spagetti, salad, roast chicken, Turkish bread dinner was prepared in a record 20 mins flat! Washed down with a lovely Amberly Cabernet Merlot, we retired early at 8pm feeling very excited and grateful for a lovely first day of our adventure.


Taiwoon said...

very lovely writeup and views! one day I will come visit! Sir Al, take it easy... and keep blogging! :)

khai said...

nice! Looking forward to the next installment!