Monday, October 15, 2012

Yallingup to Pemberton

After a night where the wind rattled the windows and rain pelted the side of our cabin, Sunday dawned overcast and grey with rain threatening.

By the time we'd had breakfast, packed and loaded the bikes, the weather was looking a little better. Our route took us down Caves Road, past Margaret River to Augusta on Cape Leeuwin. Caves Road was being used for a cycling event of some sort and for the first couple of kilometres, we had to make our way past scores of cyclists battling the road, the weather and one another. We made a slight detour down to Prevelly Beach at the mouth of the Margaret River. The surf was wild and the wind was gusting strong from the west and north-west. Prevelly beach was hit by a bad bushfire in November 2011. Most of the beach front vegetation was obliterated and has been slow to recover. Signs of the fire are everywhere, including the shells of burnt out houses.

We continued down Caves Road, and as we approached Augusta we passed through some magnificent stands of Eucalyptus Diversicolor (Karri). The road was quiet, and provided great riding.
Morning coffee on the banks of the Blackwood River in Augusta, the same river we rode alongside on our ride from Nannup to Balingup. As we were preparing the coffee, we spotted a pod of dolphins in the river.

On down to Cape Leeuwin, where yet again we were thwarted by commerce. You now have to pay to gain entry to the grounds around the lighthouse. The whole end of the cape is fenced off, right down to the waters edge. It was also the finishing line for the cycling event we had encountered earlier on, so the parking area was full of spectators and support vehicles.

We contented ourselves with a viewing of the famous Cape Leeuwin Waterwheel. Although the water is still flowing over it, the wheel itself has long been frozen solid by limestone that has precipitated out of the water. Bizarre.

We pause for lunch in Flinders Bay on the lee side of the cape. Once the site of a whaling station, it is now a tranquil beauty spot, and a fine place to have lunch.

On the road again – we hit the highway east. The road is quiet and a good ride, passing through forest, and farmland. A little light rain is the only distraction. Although we had originally planned to get further, our slow start and the weather mean we stop for the night in Pemberton.

All in all - another great day on the road.

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