Saturday 22nd March
Windy Harbour – Brockman Rest Stop
The mornings were starting to get colder. Outside the tent I could here the campground keeper having a go at a bloke for bringing his dog. He was yelling, “No dogs allowed here mate, pack up your things and leave ey?” I just sat inside the tent and ate a bowl of cereal and packed up my things. We hadn’t checked in or payed camping fee’s because we turned up late at night, and we were hoping to get away without paying to save a bit of coin. Eventually the bloke left so I got out of the tent and finished my bowl of cereal by the waterside. The place definitely seemed windy and quite cold, but still a beautiful isolated national park with plenty of fishing going on by the looks of all the boats being towed around.
We packed up our things, filled our water supplies and rode out the campground entrance only to pass the campground keeper that I had dodged earlier. He looked at us but didn’t seem too interested. I told Harv not to look him in the eye and just ride. And off we went! No dramas.
It felt like a shame to have to ride an extra 60kms into the trip, but I felt for some reason we were meant to have ridden down that road. The isolated national park that surrounds it is beautiful. The morning was frosty and we looked forward to a hot breakfast in Northcliffe at a nice looking Café we had passed the day before.
We rode back up the hills that we had so happily cruised down the night before, with the luxury of daylight on our side so that we could take in the picturesque surroundings
It was only a 28km ride to Northcliffe, but we were both so hungry it felt like an eternity. We hit the café and ordered ourselves a nice big hot brekkie of good old egg and bacon. The supermarket next door kindly exchanged our dollars and cents for a bunch of fruit, some bread, and a couple of cans of home brand spaghetti tins.
Finally back on course and off to Pemberton. The sign for the turnoff was really quite small so we weren’t surprised we had missed it in the state we were in the night before. Back on the course and the hills fired up for us once again. We had heard from an American cyclist we met the day before that Pemberton has a really great bakery so there was no doubt that we wanted to stop and check it out. And what a worthy stop that was. Pemberton happens to have one of the best Bakery’s in Australia I’d say. Well out of those that I have already visited anyway. On the way into town we rode down a massive hill that lasted for around 7kms. It felt amazing to fly down, and I knew the bakery was at the bottom, but it wasn’t to flash passing the turnoff we needed to take at the top of the hill, knowing we would have to ride back up again. But the bakery was definitely worth it.
During the hard slog back up the hill we ran into an old bloke who was cycling alone. He said his trip had started in Asia cycling with a bunch of other people across Asia. He didn’t have a lot to say, other than he had started his trip in Darwin and we were the first cycle tourists he had come across so far. I told him how good the Bakery was, we said our goodbyes, and we continued slogging it out up the hill.
The roads swept and climbed across the winding countryside. I couldn’t help feeling the presence of the continuous groups of Red Tailed Black Cockatoos screeching above us, as if they knew we were coming, and laughed at the reality of our crazy little tour.
The map showed a little roadside stop that looked like the perfect destination to set up the tents for the night. With 30kms to go we started to run out of steam. It had been a day of relentless hill climbing. Finally the undulation mellowed out and we both hopped into a least 6 apples each to get us through the final stretch.
Sure enough the map didn’t lie, and we found an awesome little roadside stop where we could camp for the night. We were both really happy with our effort for the day because we still had daylight to set up camp, and then have a big pasta cook up with some ingredients we’d purchased in Pemberton. The 2-minute noodle phase still excited us but we decided it was time to pump a bit more energy back into the body. The pasta was a huge success and within an hour or so bedtime called. Harv laid in his and enthusiastically shouted out delicious sounding recipes to me from a cookbook he had bought earlier in the day. Mmmm food.. Mmm… Sleep… Mmm cycling?