Sweat and Sand

If I thought cycling south of Mullewa was going to be easy because the distances are smaller and there’s more bitumen. I was wrong.
Or, maybe not really wrong…
up the hill
But I look at a map and think;’ Oh! 4 wheel-drive only…Ah! mountain bike-track… interesting. Lets go there!’
After all, my bike has got ‘extreme’ written across the side… 😉
It’s always a good feeling to get back on my bike after a big break… maybe that is why I stop so often 😉
sheep ahead

The first thing I did was head west, straight to the coast. It’s usually about 5 to 10 degrees cooler on the coast. It seemed a good plan since I couldn’t change my hands on the handlebars that day, they burned! It felt like riding my bike in the oven…

We just had a ‘cold spell’ up in Morewa, a nice change from the heat the last few weeks. It meant it was ‘only’ about 35 degrees. Indeed it did feel nice and cool after 46+degrees.

It was lovely to get back on the coast, the first time since Broome, 2200 km further North.

back at the coast

The only minor issue there is the wind, an extremely strong southerly that tried to blow me straight back where I came from. But it is a good bit cooler. And since I’m in no particular hurry I don’t mind just being able to go 8km/h. Really.

beware, Emu

I could do better than that I thought, why not push my bike to Grey? A little settlement of beach shacks right on the coast south of Jurien Bay…

4 wheel drive-only. It said on the map. It didn’t take too long for me to realize why… Sand. Dunes.

sand...

Very pretty, don’t get me wrong, downright spectacular in places. Like at ‘the Pinnacles’ A natural phenomenon where rocks, or well ‘Pinnacles’ actually protrude straight out the dessert which gives the whole area a weird surreal but beautiful character. I loved it! Must be a hell of a camp spot…

surreal cycling

But I moved on to Grey. Only about 10km down the road.

3 hours later I arrived.

a shady spot

By that time I was only a little worried about the 60-odd km’s to go before hitting the bitumen. No water points either.
I just strung up my hammock and worried about nothing while watching the sun set at this perfect beach under the delight of… ehm… pasta with tuna and cheese…. hey! It ALWAYS tastes good after a day of pushing through sand…
'Grey'
Plan B. Text Michael.
I knew he was heading to Perth one of these days to drop of some sawing machines and I was on the way to Perth. Sort of.
He had never taken this route before, and will never do so again.

He did drop me off at Heine & Gertuds place. A Dutch couple living in a lovely spot in the Swan-valley with the most beautiful lawn I’ve seen in Australia. So after I lazed on the lawn for a bit I made myself comfortable in the home full of funny little Dutchnesses.

downhill

From there I cruised down through Perth, an easy ride straight to town. Thanks to the great bicycle-road network a very relaxed ride with views of the city and no hassle from other traffic.

into Perth

I was heading for Wellard, where Mike & Heather live. I met Mike on the Gibb-river-road when he cycled from Cairns to Broome. He’s originally from New-Zealand and when I arrived I found out it happened to be ‘Waitangi Day’ New-Zealands public holiday… Good timing as for the occasion Heather roasted a lamb and made a gorgeous Pavlova. Yum!

New-Zealand-day

Now I was truly ready to get moving, had a good sleep and a wonderful feed, ready for a ride on my bicycle.

MC

I’ve heard about this track called the ‘Munda Biddi’ it runs south from Perth. It’s different scenery again, after cycling through outback, farmland and city I now hit the hills and forest. Very different indeed.

'through the trees'

As it turned out the Munda Biddi is a mountain bike track, but if you’re not in any major hurry and you don’t mind pushing through gravel, sand and climbing over fallen trees and rocks you’re fine on a touring-bike as well…

And on those small forest tracks with no traffic, listening to birds and watching Emu’s run around it’s really rather lovely. I even saw one big snake crossing the path right in front of me. The only thing I didn’t like too much is when spiders build their homes straight across the track and happily cycling along you’re suddenly with your face in the middle of a web. yuk

my way

And the March-flies. They’re the most annoying buzzing-bastards I’ve come across. And they bite.

March fly

In the village of Dwellingup I sat down for a short break when I got chatting to a lady who turned out the principal of the primary school.

She asked me if I would talk to the kids and tell them a bit about my travels. So off we went, the bike straight into the classroom where I got asked many questions. And who knows, maybe in a couple of years those kids will all be cycling ’round the world. Wouldn’t that be great! 🙂

At school

Up in the hills you find dams with beautiful lakes and rivers, always good for a refreshing swim. I rolled into a campground at Logue Brook dam one afternoon where I got talking to a bunch of guys who work at the dams. They asked if I would like to come on a boat ride when they went water ski-ing 🙂

with no ski!

That’s brilliant fun! They showed me how to water-ski with one, two and even no skies at all!

with one ski

Offered me to try, but I kindda prefer my legs in one piece and was pretty sure they wouldn’t be if I tried that… I did enjoy a couple of cold beers and the BBQ they organized that evening.

BBQ

So riding (pushing) further down the track I got to Collie, a small Mining-town where a man immediately invited me to come and stay at his place. Andy. Coincidence would have it that he was Michael’s cousin! He was eager to show me all of Collie’s beauty-spots,

Andy's dog

so we drove around (while the dog ran alongside the car) and in the process got eaten alive by March-flies. yay.

Collie

People kept telling me about this real nice place called ‘honeymoon-pool’ I figured it probably be the closest I get to a honeymoon so I cycled down there and found a very busy camp spot at a freezing cold little river… It was indeed a very nice spot.

refreshing

And a young couple with two kids invited me to camp at their spot. We even went on a Easter-egg hunt, the fact it wasn’t Easter didn’t spoil the fun. We enjoyed some wine and went fishing.

'Scratch'

Coming down the hills out of the forest you get great views of the hills with small farms and wineries scattered across.

wineries and hills

Just the other day I saw a bunch of people on a little side-track of the road. I was just looking for a place to pitch my tent so figured I’d go and see what was going on.

 fire danger today

It was a meeting of the local volunteer-fire brigade. Very necessary in this part of the woods. There is so many bush fires it’s ridiculous. I had only just heard big part of the farm from my friends at Yarrie-station had gone up in flames…

After their meeting, in true Aussie style, they had a BBQ. If I would like to join 😀

Didn’t need to think about that too long, so we all sat around, while getting eaten by mozzies, midges, bull-ants and march flies but hey, who notices silly details like that when you’re in good company under the enjoyment of a cold beer and some sausages of the barbie… ?

converted barn

One couple there invited me to stay in their house that night, a beautifully converted barn right on the Munda Biddi track. He even showed me some useful self-defence-technics so now I truly kick-ass 😉

Back on the track I found it got a little bit easier since it was now following an old railway-line.

going

But I didn’t follow it for long.

I turned off on an other dirt-road leading me to Margaret River.

Here I met up with Dutch girl Anja. We met in Karinjini months ago and now she’s settled down at the seaside. I might stay around for a little while …

mail

There’s new plans brewing. Will tell you all about them…

Next time.

-x-

13 thoughts on “Sweat and Sand

  1. Hoi Mirjam,

    Wat is het toch een prachtig land hè? Ook op deze blog blijf ik je volgen en reis zo een beetje met je mee. Hartstikke leuk. Prachtige foto’s weer.
    Geniet van alles en iedereen die je tegenkomt! Succes met alle zoemende, vliegende en stekende beesten.

    Groetjes, Karin Oomkes

  2. Hoi Mirjam.

    Wat een verhaal weer en wat een mooie fotos! Vooral die van de Pinnacles, wel een heel apart landschap!
    En het ziet er ook lekker zomers uit..:-), terwijl we hier al meer dan twee maanden volop winter hebben met sneeuw en vorst enzo.
    Maar over 1,5 maand komen we het allemaal zelf eens bekijken daarginds, we zien er naar uit!
    Liefs uit Apeldoorn,

    pap & mam.

  3. Wat een leuke verrassing gisterenavond om je nog steeds te kunnen traceren. Je stond op mijn favorieten. Heb me intussen beziggehouden met van alles en nog wat, veel getekend en commentaren geleverd op nieuwsberichten waar je echt niets van wil weten;’t is verdorie overal kommer en kwel in de wereld. Vooral die aardbeving op Haiti heeft me ontzettend van streek gebracht. Achteraf is achterhaald dat de oorspronkelijke bewoners ook al werden gedecimeerd nadat Columbus en zijn Spaanse kornuiten er voet aan wal zetten. Van een aantal van 1 miljoen inwoners was er maar 14.000 overgebleven binnen afzienbare tijd. In totaal landde hij er vier maal. Daarna kwamen de Europeanen het land vullen met Afrikaanse slaven, zo’n dertig duizend mannen en vrouwen per jaar.
    In Australië werden de aboriginals ook niet bepaald gerespecteerd. Van de week op de BBC een verfilmd verslag gezien over kleine meisjes die bij hun moeders vandaan werden weggerukt om zogenaamd een betere opvoeding te genieten onder toezicht van de Britse regering. Dit ging door tot de jaren 70!

    Mirjam, stuur ons alsjeblieft nu maar een beetje zon want we zitten hier zoals je Pa al aangaf te vernikkelen. BRRRRRRRRRRRrrrrrrrrr

    Bless you, girl!
    Liefs,

    NN

    P.S. Sheep heeft tegenwoordig een andere betekenis gekregen. CHEAP! Hahahahaaaaaaaa

  4. hallo Mirjam.Heel veel veranderingen,ik heb net met je vader een tijd aan de telefoon gezeten,en hij heeft alles uitgelegd hoe het nu gaat.Het is even wennen maar we komen er wel.Wat gezellig dat je nu bij je vriendin zit in een mooi huis.We zijn weer helemaal op de hoogte ook hoe we de fotos kunnen bekijken .Die zijn weer zoals altijd heel mooi.Hier gaat alles nog steeds goed,Veel regen gehad en nu is al de sneeuw weg.Nog even en het is weer voorjaar. Veel liefs van ons beiden en een dikke kus oma.

  5. Almost in South Australia already, that goes quickly :). I think you won’t be suprised that those hard wind at the west coast is so hard because it doesn’t touch land after leaving the shores of South America, at least that’s the fact at Edge of the World on Tasmania (near Arthur River).. many wind turbines in that area. But now heading east you should have those wind in your back :). Take care on your next stage.

    Oh and one thing caught my attention… you start talking like a Aussie (barbie, mozzies) 🙂

  6. Hello Dutch Girl
    I’m Marty, Andrew brought you to my place to seek advice about the Mundabiddi Trail and I recommended the bitumen road up from Honeymoon Pool. My brother also met you, he was amongst the mountain bikers you met on Pile road and gave you directions back to the Bibbulman Track. I hope you’re doing well and if you come back to Collie in the future you are welcome to stay at my place for a while. Good luck!

  7. Hi Mirjam,

    jij blijft ook lekker aan het fietsen hey! super! hoop dat we ooit nog eens een biertje kunnen doen en tot die tijd, goede reis 🙂

  8. Hoi Mirjam,
    Langzaam maar zeker wordt ‘t lente.
    Hoe gaat ‘t met jou?
    Binnenkort verwachten we natuurlijk hier ‘t antwoord op.

    Om je in de sfeer te brengen van ‘Nederland” hier een you tube aflevering van ricky risolles in de sfeer van de late, late Lien show, maar in een modern jasje; doorgestuurd via mijn Indo buurvrouw, Jane. Voor mij ook nieuw, en ‘t was even wennen. Hoop dat je ‘t leuk vindt.

    My very best wishes,

    N.N.

    P.S. Ben nu aan een bakske koffie toe.

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