Friday 21st March
Walpole – Windy Harbour
The morning air was fresh, and once again we rolled our wet tents away and jumped on the bike. The bloke at the pub told us nothing would be open, because of Easter Good Friday, but I was keen to get some more food so we went for a look. To our delight all the shops were open, and we couldn’t resist hopping into a big breakfast of Egg, Bacon, and all the extras.
Our surroundings were still amazingly beautiful, but the hills were still consistent. The bush was dense and their were native grass trees everywhere. While leaving Walpole we found a stall on the side of the road that sold bags of the most delicious looking Royal Gala apples for $4. So we bought a bag for the road and headed towards Northcliffe. It was a long intense ride. My left knee was getting really sore after all of the hills. It had been compensating for the damage I had done to my right leg, and all of the hill climbing was causing it to feel similar to the pain I had received in my right earlier in the trip. We got to Northcliffe and no shops were open. Harv called his parents on the pay phone and I laid on a park bench for a while feeling dehydrated, and pretty hungry. We only had 30kms to get to Pemberton and then we would crash for the night. So on we road.
I felt in some kind of zombie state as the sun slowly sank away. We went down some amazing downhills through dense forest, and eventually road along a nice flat section of road surrounded by nothing but scrub for at least 15kms.
We reached a turn off and I could see a lighthouse. I said to Harv, “Dude I didn’t know Pemberton was on the coast, this is awesome!” I remember Pemberton on the map in my head so I decided we should check the sign at the turn off. I went ahead and read the sign at the campground, and Harv checked out the sign.
The camping area sign said Windy Harbour. I rode back to Harv and he said, “Dude, we’ve taken the wrong turnoff from Northcliffe!” He showed me the map and told me how we had ridden 28kms on a one-way road to the ocean. I looked up at the lighthouse, laughed and said, “Yeah, I didn’t think we were meant to be on the coast.”
We had ridden enough for the night so decided to stay at Windy Harbour. It seemed like a beautiful place so we might as well check it out. Down a dirt road and into the campground we found what seemed to be another ocean of its own. Full of caravans, four wheel drives, and campers alike. We found a spot in the campground and set up the tents for a well-deserved feed of our favourite 2-minute noodles We were hoping to get to Margaret River the next day for a bit of Saturday night party action, but it wasn’t going to happen. The mistake we made by not turning off to Pemberton meant we had to make up an extra 60kms the next day, on top of our already planned 140km ride to get to Margaret River early. My knee was feeling a bit ordinary so there was no way I could push it that far.