Day Three – Wungong to Dandelup (61.2km, 926m up, 9.87kmh av)
Once again, the best laid plans of a daily log just didn’t happen. After a leisurely start, it was a deceptively easy ride into Jarrahdale along an old logging rail line. It was our first look at civilisation in a whopping two days, and Kim once again had total recall of his previous visit to the town and what cakes were available at the coffee shop.
The tone of the ride then turned somewhat nastier, and we spent the afternoon climbing one enormous hill after another and sliding our way down pea gravel covered slopes. The heavy rains had left many sections of the trail deeply rutted and it was a tough haul.
We pushed our bikes up quite a few steep slopes, but the pushing became too hard in sections for me on my own. Kim came back to rescue me several times, especially after I up-ended in one deep ditch. Fortunately Pokey fell onto me and didn’t sustain any injuries. I was gathering an impressive array of bruises, which would be more impressive if it ever turned warm enough to ditch the arm and leg warmers. Sometimes we wondered at the alignment of the track, especially when it did right angle turns off perfectly formed dirt roads, just to plunge down a deep gully and clamber up the other side to rejoin the same road. But we decided it all part of the great adventure and, being Munda Biddi purists, resisted the urge to deviate from the track.
The sun was sinking as we crossed the weir which was still several kilometres uphill to the shelter. We were the last to arrive, just on sunset as it was becoming decidedly chilly. After the usual gourmet dinner, we braved the elements for a sponge down and tumbled into bed.
Our fellow travellers warned us that rain was forecast for the next day, and advised us to set off early. There is little chance of that. Our gourmet breakfast and general pack up doesn’t accommodate early. Another super-cold night, with Garmin telling me it was zero degrees during the night.
Day Four – Dandalup to Dwellingup (42.4km, 699m up, 9.87kmh av)
As usual, we were the last to leave the shelter, and followed another undulating path for several kilometres to our first rest stop. The track was less rough then yesterday, although several of the downhills were still quite challenging. Most of the climbs were rideable, apart from those that we were just too pooped to manage. The sunny day started to cloud over, and we made the decision to find inside accommodation for the night in Dwellingup, rather than continue another 15km to Nanga camping area.
We pulled in at mid afternoon, giving us time to wash ourselves and our gear, and head to the pub for tea. With rain forecast for tomorrow, we were thrilled at our decision to go soft and have a real shower and bed for the night. Our decision felt even more justified when we laid in our warm beds and listened to the rain tumbling down outside.