Thursday, October 11, 2012

Yallingup Day Trip 1 – Dunsborough – Nunnup – Balingup – Greenbushes/Maranup Ford – Bridgetown – Nannup – Mowen Road – Rosa Brook Road – Jindong Treeton Road – Payne Road – Roy Road – Bussell Highway – Wildwood Road – Caves Road – Yallingup. 330+ km round trip including 10km loose ball bearing gravel road. What fun!

So – off for a good long ride through some interesting countryside. The first leg down the Vasse Highway to Nannup was the least interesting part. 

Nannup is a pretty village in the forest - but as it was to early for coffee, we stocked up with cake and headed towards Balingup, but not before we had a good look at this classic 50's Studebaker Commander Starliner - sweet car!

The Nannup/Balingup road follows the Blackwood River and twists and turns for 40 odd km. Some small farms along the river growing espaliered fruit trees and vines. Also lots of vivid green pasture with dairy cattle. Some remnant native forest, and lots of pine plantations.

From Balingup, we headed south towards Bridgetown, but turned off at Greenbushes, to take the Maranup Ford road across to the Brockman Highway. 

This section was so much fun, we turned around and rode back to Greenbushes and continued down the highway to Bridgetown before turning right onto the Brockman Highway and proceeding to Nannup for lunch.

While having lunch, Ursala checked out options for the return ride, as we were all keen to avoid retracing our route back to Busselton via the Vasse Highway. Google maps showed a gravel road that headed west from Nannup towards Margaret River that looked promising. Google maps showed about 30km of gravel. Someone at the petrol station told us that it was a 'good' road, with only about '15 km of gravel'! Good enough for us. Turned out to be only about 10km, with the rest a good new sealed road. However, the gravel was of the worst kind. Loose marble sized stones that provided plenty of excitement.

The worst was the traffic coming in the opposite direction that threw up clouds of dust and lots of loose stones. Still – it was over quickly and the rest of the ride back to Yallingup was through farming country at the back of Margaret River. Lots of vineyards, with dairy and orchards in every direction. Very picturesque. The roads were good to, with little traffic and enough ups and downs and twisty sections to keep us alert but never alarmed.

330 odd kilometres and a good days riding! Tomorrow – weather permitting, some time in the local area, exploring Cape Naturaliste and the Yallinup coast.

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