(55.1km, 13.27kmh av, 763m up)
Another first for our trip – we saw a sunrise. This meant we were up early, and the sun was out. Both of these things are noteworthy. We floated happily through our morning routine, finally feeling as though we were in the groove of getting ourselves prepared and packed for each day. We left around 9am and rode on relatively flat and well made roads for the majority of the morning. The kilometres ticked by easily, and we had averaged a whopping 15kmh when we stopped for a first break after an hour or so. We spent most of the day on very good dirt roads, some of which were wide enough for road trains to pass each other. On the rare occasion, the trail darted off the road for a short burst of Munda Biddi madness, and we enjoyed our little forays onto bits of single track or taking the long way around a farmers paddock.
One detour took us into the bush for what appeared to be another gratuitous side track. We then popped out at an amazing suspension bridge across the Kent River. There was no signage or other indication on the map of this beautiful spot, but we thought it was well worth some publicity.
The trail passed through some very sandy areas, making the pedaling slow going. In some locations, it was easy to see where the recent rains had flooded across the road. There were a few uphills and lots of undulations throughout the ride. Although the profile on the map looked like it had been drawn with a ruler, we still managed 763 metres of climbing for the day.
Once again we entertained ourselves thinking about the origins of the names used in the area. We rode on Break Road for a long time. Was there a story behind how it came to intersect with Romance Road?
The maintenance standards of the roads seemed to be very high, given the very low level of traffic we have seen. We passed six vehicles today – a new trail record for a dirt road day – and four of them were travelling in convoy. Yet very long sections of the road had been recently rolled. Kim diagnosed it as lacking the final trim with a grader, which accounted for the loose material that sucked on our tyres.
Although most of the day was easy and quick riding, we were delighted to leave the road and head back onto bush tracks for the final 5km up to the shelter. The trail followed a very old dirt roadway that the surrounding bush was doing its best to turn into single track. It was a great stretch of riding, right up to the final one kikometre burst uphill to the shelter. The trail came into a beautiful area of tall plantation eucalyptus trees which surrounded the hut on the knoll of the hill.
Once again, we have this beautiful location to ourselves and have enjoyed an afternoon of setting ourselves up, having a wash and preparing tea. It is our last night in a Munda Biddi shelter, as we are expecting a shorter day into Denmark tomorrow before our final day to Albany. We are proud of our achievement so far, and are looking forward to some creature comforts off the track. But apart from wanting some short term yummies, there is a sense of sadness to be finished our big adventure and much talk about what we will do next.
14 September 2016