Our travelling cohort woke up early and hit the trail by 7:00am…we knew we were riding through two towns today and wanted to reach the first at lunch time, so we took the opportunity to lie in have a slow morning.
Here’s a few more shots of the sweet huts that are provided along the trail, free of charge.
The climb out of camp to the ridge above Hough Brook was a toughy, particularly as our legs didn’t have a chance to warm up before we hit it. It’s funny how your legs get used to this sort of day-in day-out abuse. We’re both carrying a few niggles, but generally speaking your muscles seem to stop protesting about the five hours of cycling you make them do each day and just put up with it.
The trail then leaves the Wellington National Park and heads onto minor farm roads for a few kms. It was nice to have some open views and a bit of a change of scenery for a while. There were quite a few gum trees lining the road, and lots of magpies – I got swooped three time by the little bastards.
The trail takes a steep climb up a sealed road; Tennis managed another fall, this time due to a tight pedal which wouldn’t release as he ground to a halt. His hips are looking pretty bruised.
After a few more descents and climbs including another tough one out of the Crooked Brook Forest, we arrived at Boyanup for lunch. I didn’t bother to find out too much about Boyanup, but it’s a quaint little spot with a half decent bakery, the first we’d found on the whole trail. We recouped from a solid morning’s ride with more climbing than we’d anticipated.
The destination this evening was Donnybrook and the trail between the two towns mainly follows asphalt roads with pretty flat grades which we were grateful for as the temperature was now over 30 degrees. We pumped out the 15km in around an hour.
Donnybrook seems to be nestled in the middle of a fruit growing area; we rode past several avocado and apple orchards and the outskirts of town are dotted with wholesale growers flogging their fruit direct to the public. We’ve been living on trail food for over a week now comprising mainly carbs, muesli and tuna. We took the opportunity to stock up on some nutrients…I think we bought over 3kg of fruit. It was also nice to hang in the cool room for a while, bloody hot outside.
We found the campsite in Donnybrook and unpacked our gear, the cold showers were magnificent.
Donnybrook is a nice looking town, but it’s strange place. The police have left a completely mangled car on their front lawn, I suspect to remind people to slow down. It doesn’t seem to affect the logging truck drivers through, who whiz through the Main Street at about 70km/hr.
We had a few drinks at the pub with Shaun; the publican poured himself a Black Sambuca whenever anyone ordered a drink….he must have had about eight shots by the time we left at 7:00pm (keep in mind this was a Monday night). They also had a massive Linkin Park poster on the wall.
As if things couldn’t get any weirder, we then got some food from the Modern Dragon Chinese Restaurant. This place looked like it hadn’t had a decor update since about 1985, I suspect this is also when it last had a proper clean. The owner seemed a little overwhelmed by three orders in one night and asked us to come back in half an hour.
Skeptical and nervous about what we were about to eat, we went back to the pub for another beer to line the stomachs with more salmonella killing alcohol – the publican helped himself to another Sambuca.
We ate the food in the Main Street; it was singlehandedly the worst Chinese food I’ve ever eaten…not even a day of riding could generate the kind of appetite needed to wolf that shit down. It ended up in the bin and we went back to the camp ground hangry.
In Donnybrook’s defence, it was a Monday night and most cafes/restaurants were shut. There’s a lesson here if you’re planning a ride through this neck of the woods.
We got to sleep around 9:00pm, half expecting the few bites of Chinese food we had to come back to haunt us in a few hours time. Thankfully that didn’t eventuate.