Day 20: Zero day
0 km – Rest day
After a couple painful days, the peaceful feeling of Walpole town and the comfy beds at the YHA (and the entertainment of listening to Peggy and Richard’s stories) convinced me to stay the day to try and recuperate. My back was stiff and certain movements still hurt.
It took a lot of effort to remind myself that the day was not a sightseeing fun day. I made sure I stuck to a routine of stretching, eating, walking and having warm showers. Also sneaking puppy cuddles with Peggy’s human sized dog.
This section of the Munda Biddi Track crosses the Bibbulmun Track (hiking only) multiple times. The Bibbulmun is very popular (and older than the MB). I met quite a few Bibbulumn Track walkers staying in town – one, at the pub, who has a swollen achilles told me having a rest day is called a “zero day”.
It was actually a great day. A good day’s rest, not only for my body but also for my mind. Highly recommend if you going to have a zero day – have it in Walpole.
Day 21: So many unexpected climbs
Walpole to Booner Mundak Hut
8:30 – 3:30 53km
I left YHA after being filled up with caffeine by Richard. He has a secret coffee stash – they keep the good stuff for the staff… and I guess for the best guests!
First up I followed the track to Coalmine Beach – part of the Nornalup Inlet. The water was still and the same colour as the sky. A kayak just lay on the beach as if no one was afraid of it being stolen. I hadn’t seen the ocean up close on my ride yet. It felt special. This whole place feels special. The water was still and reflected its surroundings.
I rode along the beach road and across the main highway onto a track which involved a long winding climb, through the forest, past the giant tingle trees. The climbing seemed never ending. Unexpectedly today was very steep up and down all day. It felt mostly up.
I followed the dirt road above the Frankland River. This has to be one of the most beautiful sections of the Munda Biddi – definitely a favourite. I spotted a man kayaking below and made a mental note to myself that I definitely have to come back here. I also lost my favourite long sleeved shirt on this section. No more sun protection for me!
The hardest climbs were in the Valley of the Giants. After sweating it out, I rode out past some stunning green farmland and cows that seemed not to be used to bicycles because they all ran from me as I cycled past.
Just before I reached the hut there was 2km of a deep sandy section, heading toward the campsite. Im sure most cyclists hate this section but I guess I’m a freak because I like riding on sand. I spent a bit of time riding up at Shark Bay when I was getting used to this bike.
The Booner Mundak Hut is the biggest hut I have seen yet! Surely 30 people could fit in here! The ground is made up of a mix of white sand and gravel with a huge variety of plants surrounding the hut. As I sat down to fill the log book and eat some M&Ms, a goanna (my favourite animal) slowly walked past checking out his new housemate.
Day 22: Meditation cycling
Booner Mundak Hut – Jinung Beigabup Hut
8:45 – 3:45 58km
So this is just how I live my life now. It’s so simple and with a single purpose, that I don’t even feel I have to think anymore. I wake and get out of my sleeping bag, make and eat breakfast, pack up the bike and roll out. I’ve done this enough days now for it to feel so natural. I really do love this. My mind is free and clear. My body just knows what it needs to do.
I ride out of the white sandy sections. My favourite bit in sand is when you go fast downhill and fishtail while trying to gain control. I love this bike.
Today I rode easy dirt roads, inadvertently chasing emus and kangaroos that were already on the road ahead and scared of me. There were also these bright red wildflowers everywhere that were easily spotted through the bush, and each road I turned on had a pretty view of mountain tops in the distance.
I knew I must be getting closer to Albany because there were outcrops of granite boulders everywhere. At one point the track winds through a set of small ones all close together. I even stopped and took my glove off to just touch one before riding past.
After lunch I got a burst of energy to ride as hard as I could for a couple hours. Turned my music up and just pedalled strong. I just felt I needed to vent the energy out.
Before the hut, the track takes you off the road for the last few kms. I was buggered by this point. It was a hard steady climb on rough rocky ground. I struggled. I even got off my bike and pushed for a bit. I was done.
Today’s ride was longer than expected. My notes say 48km (although I never trust my math skills) but it was 10km longer than that.
This hut was as big as the one I stayed at yesterday. It was surrounded by heaps of trees and a huge number of birds that were making such a racket! So many different types I couldn’t even hear myself think. SHUDDUP BIRDS, I’M TRYING TO WRITE MY DIARY! …Joking!
This is the last hut of the journey. It’s a bit sad to think about this. I signed in the log book and saw all the names I have been following from the beginning. It’s like being part of a little club or sharing a secret. Seeing that everyone who has been on the track recently has got this far, and has been part of the same experience. Adding my name to be read by the next person. We made it!
I am looking forward to tomorrow’s ride. The map says I will be riding along the coast and past beaches to Denmark, the last major town before the end point of Albany.