Great progress for the first few hours, again pushing into a southerly though it was quite light. Out on the dual carraigeway and in the middle of nowhere, a car that had sped past pulled into the shoulder ahead and a guy got out waving me down. As a distrustful city dweller somewhat well versed in the art of Self Preservation your first reaction is MURDER... but a quick scan of the fella told me he was fine. He was in fact going out of his way to share some local info on B-roads to get to the next town.
Of course, he was an avid local cyclist and he'd ridden LeJog in the UK so we chatted roadside for a while sharing war stories as that was my first hard tour too. What a gentleman...not young by any means but looked highly capable of cranking out some decent distance and was probably fitter than most 20yr olds, though I doubt they would recognise it. So a few kms later I was off the main road which turned out to be very close to where I'd planned anyway. But the encounter lifted my energy way more than any plans.
I rolled into Busselton around 11am after having to stop for a puncture fix. 2nd breakfast was at a great location facing the truley massive wooden wharf, but a poor choice in a way as it was rammed with people and took ages to get fed and caffinated. The break was nice however.
Heading West out of town felt weird. Home, and my wife are not West. But at least no headwinds, just a climb out of Dunsborough and a pitstop for some tourism at Ngilgi Cave. The presentation was interesting with a strong focus on the first people in the region whose presence goes back an incredible 50,000 years. 50,000!! I remember visting a Dolmite in England that predated the Pyramids at Giza, but that does not touch on 50,000 years. This land and it's people are ancient.
It was a bit hard to appreciate the cave with a mob of people. When you think about it...a mineral infused drip of water that runs the same track over the limestone for thousands of years...totally untouched by us disruptive humans, to form a delicate spire of stalactite hanging from the ceiling underground. The beauty and awe of a cave is put into perspetive by time.
So anyway, I snuck off to the bottom, way ahead of my fellow tourists and there was not a sound. I've done some semi serious caving a bit off the tourist trail many years ago and have enjoyed the complete sensory depravation you can get underground, so it was nice to get a little taste of that again Plus, the guide was awesome. Back in the daylight I had a good chat to the staff about the ride, but I was too damned shy to bring up the charity which is just stupid off me. Bloody introverts.
I took lots of photos underground but can't post them till I get back as I used the proper camera which I've been hauling from Perth for such occasions.
Back on the road, the last 30kms into Margaret River were pretty hilly. I was following an excellent suggested route from another blog...great riding so I will credit them and post the gpx files at the end of thr trip.
Tomorrow is a designated rest day as I could not pass through this stunning area without trying local produce. Starting tonight with this Cyclist sized portion of Bruchetta:
It was a longer day today...142 km done. My pace is way off but if I stick to my day 1 mantra, this is not important!