Sunday, October 23, 2011

Bunbury to Albany

Wednesday October 12, 2011



Free camp in Tuart Forest

wildcamp Tuart Forest

Thursday October 13, 2011

Checked the view from a lookout

Visited the Bunbury Art Gallery

wildcamp Tuart Forest again (same spot)

Friday October 14, 2011

wildcamp Dunsborough, Marri Reserve

Saturday October 15, 2011

wildcamp Yallingup on Cape to Cape trail

Sunday October 16, 2011

Conto campsite

didn't see ranger (otherwise $7)

Walked to the Bibbulmun track from the campsite for sunset

Monday October 17, 2011

Alexandra Bridge campsite $7

Tuesday October 18, 2011

Carey Brook campsite $7

Rained heavily
Wednesday October 19, 2011

Windy Harbour caravan park $11.50

The shire run caravan park manager who also does things like manage the town water supply, tells me if I wake up early he'll drive me around while he checks on the new pipes that were layed that day for leaks and check the tanks for exclusive access to the best views of D'entrecasteux. We arrange to meet at 6.30 am next morning.

After checking in I quickly set up my tent amongst the marshland-like tent area (it rained heavily the day before) and with unloaded bike quickly rode to the end of D'entrecasteau road for sunset.

Thursday October 20, 2011

I wake up at 5 am. I pack up the tent, have a shower, eat breakfast and then head over to the park office.

Got in the caravan park managers ute and he drove to the jetty. Here someone starts waving and I'm thinking its someone the manager knows so I wind down the window and then I recognise Shane from Perth. Small world eh? I shake his hand and he's going fishing. I tell him I'm on the "tour".

We leave Shane to it and drive off towards the water tanks. He unlocks the gate and checks the tanks then he tells me the best views are from the lime quarry pit further up. He tells me if I just either climb up that pile of stones or climb up that pile of rocks I'll get a great photo of the coastline. I see the pile of stones and think I'll just get lost in there so I climb the rockpile over the lime pit (a dirty big hole).

I take some snaps from the top and then climb down but about 1 metre off the ground I step in the wrong spot of a large white rock and it falls and I with it. I land on my arse with the big rock that fell hitting me in the back. I sit there for a while breathing heavily through the pain. All I get is a bruised back.

Cathedral Rock, D'entrecasteaux National Park

After we drive to all the different lookout points for more photos, he drives me back to the caravan park and I head off. On the way I stop at the Mount Chadalup lookout where you walk about one kay up this really large rock basically to lookout over the wetlands. I'm extremely careful climbing over the slippery rock surface after the mornings fall. The Mountain rock has lichen and moss and things called Cryptogams (not cryptograms) growing on it.

I ride to Northcliffe and eat, use a computer at the telecentre. I head off about 2 pm towards Shannon National Park, via the rural cow paddocked (flies everywhere) Middleton Road. There are a few hills.

At the end of Middleton Road it's on to the Southwestern Hwy which doesn't really have a shoulder but isn't too busy, and a few more kays to the Shannon National Park campsite which is $14 ($9 with hot woodfired shower + $5 "motorbike" national park entry -- they have no category for pushbike).

I find a spot in the "quiet area" away from the caravans and motorhomes and buses passing as motorhomes with their generators and their bad music blaring; the quiet area ironically is closer to the highway, but as I said it's a pretty quiet highway, comparatively at least. It's only me and a family of four with a small car, trailer and 4 person tent in this area. I want to shake their hands for actually camping; I see so many families on the road in truck sized winnebagos or double-axil caravans. That's not camping. That's just a smaller house. And that just breeds the kind of kid who cries on national television when he has to sleep on a camp stretcher or has to get clothes from Vinnies. STFU.

The kids who are both under 10 are the most well behaved, quiet kids I have ever seen on holiday during this trip. No fighting over a game console probably. (I sound like an old fart "kids these days", but really it's important to grow up with a real camping experience).

Friday October 21, 2011

Slept in. If I'm paying $14 I'm sleeping in! Left camp around 9 am.

Riding along the Southwestern Highway. I had 60 kay to ride to get to Walpole, up and down hills all day through forest. About 20 kay into it my rear gear cable snaps - the default gear when this happens is 9th gear (smallest sprocket) which is the worst gear for climbing hills. There isn't anywhere to stop to repair so I ride the 40 kay into Walpole by standing on my pedals and I probably got off to push for three of those kays when I just didn't have the legs for it.

At Walpole I replace my rear gear cable and re-tape the right hand side handlebar while I'm at it. I'm just on friction shifting as I'm too lazy to re-index.

I rode the Knoll Drive which takes you around a scenic loop between Nanalup and Walpole Inlets.

Got back on the highway and then after Nanalup took Station Road (a corrugated dirt road), at the end of which the Nanalup rail trail starts. This is a sandy car-width track mostly. I made camp on a bit wide enough that I could get off the track with the tent as I think it might also occasionally be used as a bit of a road.

wildcamp  on the railtrail

Saturday October 22, 2011

Woke up to a mother kangaroo with joey with head and feet hanging out of pouch inquisitively staring at me not far away. We stared at each other for a while before she got bored and hopped away. 

Attempted to ride this rail trail but its too sandy and I ended up just walking the bike most of the time to Nut road where I got back onto the highway.

Rode to Bow Bridge roadhouse where I grabbed some breakfast. Then road onto Denmark. The highway has no shoulder but the road is not too busy.

From Denmark took Lower Denmark Road (the scenic route through countryside) where I managed to get to Youngs Siding for a softdrink when the wind picked up suddenly and a thunderstorm grumbled its approach. I rode onto Bornholm Hall, slowly because of the strong headwind. It was only about half an hour from a downpour by the looks so I set up camp here hiding behind the fire station.

As the thunder and lightning started getting closer I was sitting in my tent thinking is it a really stupid thing to be camped next to a big tin shed in a thunderstorm? The thunder was rattling the walls of the firestation. I was waiting for the ground to shake, but the storm must have been out to sea. It rained heavily all night.

wildcamp behind the Bornholm fire station

Photo album

Bunbury to Albany

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Perth to Bunbury [28.09.2011-12.10.2011]

28th September 2011 - 6th October 2011 (Perth)

Shane drives me over to his folks place with my bike and gear in the back of his ute. I meet Barbara and Brian who are kind enough to let me stay in a room of their house in North Perth.

Brian drives Barbara to work and I tag along for the ride. We have coffee and croissants next to the river.

He drives me around Kings Park also.

Other things I did while in Perth include...

Bell Tower

View from the Bell Tower

Kings Park / Botanical Gardens wildflowers walk

Ride Cottlesloe to Fremantle

I leave at 6am and ride from North Perth to Cottesloe and then onto Fremantle. I catch the 9:30 am Rottnest Express with my bike across to Rottnest Island. 

Lake Mungo

City Beach



Cottesloe sundial

Crow/raven action shot

Fremantle Prison

Fremantle Town Hall

Rottnest Island

Bathurst Lighthouse

Bathurst Lighthouse

Huge Rat! Quokka

Hyde Park


Reminds me of Melbourne

Beware killer duck and swamp hen wants to get in on it too

Swan Valley

Vines in the Swan Valley

Whiteman Park

Sandleford Winery where I bought a nice rosé
Swan River (Guildford to Perth CBD)

Rode this route on the way back from the Swan Valley
Swan River Guildford

Across from the racecourse

Suns going down; cities still a few kays.
Horrible McMansions for the cashed up bogans

Nearly there

Friday 7th October 2011

Go Cats

Leaving Perth behind

Freo old buildings


Left Perth after lunch, heading along the bike paths to Fremantle. Fremantle appears to have a area much like CERES in Melbourne with vege plots and a bike shed selling recycled bicycles (i.e. awesome). I investigated a wild camp option in the park next to the golf course in the afternoon before heading into the city centre to buy food at the Fremantle market and take photos of stuff.
Visited the beach, the roundhouse and the green lighthouse. There are lots of old buildings around. Waited for the sun to go down before heading to the wild camp.

After I set up my tent, during which time, disturbingly I could hear someone coughing, a homeless guy walks towards me and I'm just standing there with my arms crossed waiting to see what he's doing and as its dark he only sees me at the last minute and then mumbles "Oh" and walks off. I guess my bike was shiny. Guess what! In cities it is harder to hide. While I'm getting into my tent an owl perches nearby (about 2 metres away) and watches me. Can't hide from it either.

Saturday 8th October 2011

It rained a little over night but only lightly, and as I didn't have the mozzie dome fly over the top because its easier to see if anyone is near your tent at night with just the netting, I just used my lightweight fly as a blanket whenever it starts spitting on me. This works out OK in the very light rain. Far too lazy to put the fly on the tent. I probably don't get a great sleep because every sound you're worried its someone trying to flog something because its a city. I much prefer sleeping in the bush outside of a metropolis, even if its a small one. Much more peaceful. Other animals aren't as troublesome as humans.

First off I ride to the sheds to have a better look at this big ship I saw last night with all the lights on. It is the MV Ocean Shearer. I quick google tells me its the largest livestock carrier in the world and "[s]pread across its 12 decks it can carry 125,000 sheep or 23,000 cattle, or a combination of both. Fuck.

I hang about in Fremantle until after lunch (vegie chicken rice i.e. fake meat) and head off on the bike path along the coast through North Coogee and then Coogee. Unfortunately, due to a residential estate development the bike path is interrupted and as I'm not a local I don't know how to get around this so I have to ride on the road for a while, but other than that the bike path network is excellent. Hopefully they'll tidy up the mess at some stage, or at least improve the detour signage (hint: don't leave it up to developers to do the signage).

I get to Woodman Point regional park around two-thirty in the afternoon and check out the beach and jetty, scope a wild camping spot, then in the picnic area I grab a table and do some eating and reading. I cook dinner on one of the free electric barbeques, watch the sun go down over the Indian Ocean and then head to the wild camp to set up the tent. I put the fly on this time as its definitely going to rain by the looks, and I'm unlikely to be found.

Sunday 9th October 2011

I open my eyes and straight away it starts to rain. I hate this. You feel like you have the switch to the clouds in your eyelids. I need to pee so I can't wait for the rain to stop, especially when you don't know if it will, and the sound of the rain doesn't help the urgency.

I pack up everything inside my tent, and all will power to get moving while its pouring is lost. I just lay in the tent for an hour and a half reading and listening to the radio. Finally I decide to get moving so pack up my tent while its still raining. So I pack up the wet-tent-covered-in-sand because its a wet-tent-I-rolled-up-on-the-sand and as soon as its occy'd onto the bike it stops raining. I flip off the sky. No really I did.

I fill up water bottles back at the park and head off south again along the bike track, but it ends and I'm back on the stupid road which is busy with no decent shoulder. I stumble upon a bike path that leads me past Lake Coogee which is a decent sized lake with lots of bird life. Then I cut through the rural suburb 'Munster' (teehee) and ride up Russell Rd past Thomsons Lake. I stop near here at the Hammond Park IGA and grab some food (breadrolls, ginger tofu and avocado) which I sit on the concrete outside and eat with Prado driving soccer mums looking down on me like I'm trash, making me laugh out loud. I make a roll up for lunch later on and I eventually find a place to discard my rubbish, the supermarket dumpster. I steal a nothing wrong with it onion from the overflowing with edible food bin. For some reason this supermarket doesn't have a single other bin in the place.

Kwinana Freeway cycleway
I get onto the Kwinana Freeway cycleway which runs on the western side of the freeway, between native vegetation in full flower at the moment so its really nice. You can still see the freeway, and how awesome Perth is with its trains up the middle. They've got it sorted out haven't they? Cycleways up the side and trains up the middle of the highways. This is called not putting all your commuting eggs in the one basket. I have no idea why anyone within 10 km of Perth CBD bothers to drive a car in winter/spring if not the whole year.

Due to not having a decent map and having to rely on the signage, I ride on the cycleway through Medina/Kwinana (west on Thomas Road) without wanting to. Medina and Kwinana is bogansville suburbia from what I can tell. In a few kilometres I was passed by a trail biker riding on the cycle path at about 70 km/h and then about 20 quad bikes tearing up some sand and apparently also driving them on the cyclepath judging by the sand all over the cyclepath in one part which I had to walk my bike through. At Kwinana Beach there are tools on jetskis. Basically, all the unnecessary petrol sucking recreation you can find in almost every 'burbs of Australia, all of which I hate for the noise pollution it creates alone. File it under people with ride on lawn mowers and chainsaws on Sundays for their quarter acre block, and those goddamn leaf blowers every bastard owns these days.

From Kwinana Beach I ride on to Rockingham along the water. Then onto Golden Bay and Singleton.

Wild camped behind a child care centre in Singleton, sleeping in bivvy bag behind some bushes and with bike hidden behind some wheelie bins. It was going to rain so I went to investigate whether there was a awning I could sleep under when the security car drives past right as I'm standing suspiciously outside the child care centre! Timing. I quickly run back to bivvy and get in and hide while the car goes around the block and comes down the driveway where I am hiding behind some bushes. 

The security guard gets out of the car and flashes his torch around a bit then takes a leak somewhere. I wasn't game to peak out of the bivvy to see where he was incase the whites of my eyes got me busted. He drives off. My heart is beating like crazy. Close call.

It's still going to rain and its windy so I can't just sleep under my fly as its blowing around like crazy. I decide to go sleep in the park on one of the tables covered by a shelter. So I roll my 'swag' into a roll and occy it onto my bike and ride over to the park. So I guess I'm in my bivvy on the table for a few hours before the sprinklers start in the park. I hear them going off in the distance and go back to sleep. Then I hear one start closer and its spraying like a fire hose on the next sheltered table over from where I am trying to sleep. I go back to sleep for about 5 seconds and then my subconscious wakes me up with the thought that maybe I'll be next. So immediately I go from being asleep to racing against time to roll up my swag and wheel out of this park with its sprinklers of certain death (I mean, certain drenching by high pressure, which on a cold windy night feels like the same thing). I just get my roll onto the bike when the sprinkler beside the shelter starts. It's pointed away at this moment but its going to swing around. I go to wheel my bike in a panic and its rear wheel is D-locked to the frame so won't move. I get my keys out and fumble with the lock and finally wheel off my bike just as the sprinkler is about to get me. I get away with only minor splashes. It is a little after 4 am.

I didn't get enough sleep that night for some reason. I go to the beach and there are no camping signs everywhere so I just lay my head on a table listening to the radio in the dark, waiting for the sun to come up.

Monday 10th October 2011

Morning after the not-enough-sleep-damnit night

Singleton Beach


Excellent bike paths

Mandurah Venice
Excellent bike path continues

Pinnacles again?

See how it doesn't mention tents?

One of the best sunsets yet.

wildcamp dawesville channel

Looking back after I climbed a bastard hill heading towards Lake Clifton.

Lake Clifton boardwalk

Thrombolites at Lake Clifton

Thrombolites at Lake Clifton
Thrombolites at Lake Clifton

Thrombolites at Lake Clifton

Thrombolites at Lake Clifton

Thrombolites at Lake Clifton
Lake Clifton

Lake Clifton

Lake Clifton

Thrombolites info sign @ Lake Clifton

Awesome shoulder! Old coast road. This width shoulder and road quietness didn't last.
Preston Beach

Preston Beach

Fishburger nearly killed me. That and a "man can" 440 ml solo. Stomachache.
$15 for these. I've payed less in the Outback. (Preston Beach General Store)

Preston Lake

Finally get off Old Coast Road which was pretty horrible and I'm only some beautiful country roads. This is the start of Cathedral Avenue, the back way to Bunbury

Water next to Cathedral Avenue

Awesome new sealed road for part of the way to L. Penisula

On the way to the camp at Belvidere Beach, Leschenault Peninsula Reserve

Lake Clifton Winery - Mango wine

camp Leschenault Peninsula Reserve 

Wednesday 12th October 2011


Packed up and had a walk around Leschenault Peninsula Reserve. Then rode into Australind where I had morning tea. Continued the ride into Bunbury by lunchtime. Freecamped in the Tuart forest off the Tuart Forest Walk up the southern end of Bunbury at the end of Ocean Drive.

An amazing Tuart tree

Missed the click over JUST! (I'm getting worse)

I found a beanie so I gave it to this bloke

Downtown Bunbury

A funky cafe mural.

Sunset at Bunno, Bunvegas. (Bunbury)

See all photos in this album: Perth to Bunbury