(30km, 12.47kmh av, 486m up)
With only 30km to ride for our day, most of which was downhill, we decided to snack our way to Walpole and find ourselves a big juicy steak. Despite this cunning plan to avoid most of our morning preparations, and an early wake-up, we still managed to muck around for hours before finally leaving the shelter – last again.
We took the short walk from the shelter to see the Frankland River which is a sacred indigenous site. The river was fast flowing from the recent heavy rains and coated with masses of white foam.
Most of the ride was on narrow dirt roads that cut through National Parks. Our only major climb of the day was a leg tester, fortunately on a bitumen road, up to Swarbrick Recreational area. The area has a display of outdoor sculptures set around a 500 metre paved path. I think it is incredibly sensible to have an art gallery that can be viewed from a bicycle seat at bicycle speed.
We then headed back into some overgrown single track, before winding our way on old roadways towards Walpole. We were anticipating a fast downhill run, but the road surface was on soft and sticky sand that made it slow going. The wind had sprung up, and although the temperature was a relatively balmy 12 degrees, it felt much colder.
We arrived in Walpole intent on finding warm accommodation and a juicy steak. We were directed to a little unit behind the laundromat. Finding a fireplace inside, our afternoon plans became crystal clear. A bit of shopping, pop next door to do the washing, and spend the afternoon sitting in front of the fireplace with the beer and chippies, in a room festooned with lines of now-clean lycra.