The Trees Are Not All That Goes Up.

Tuesday 27th April 2021 – Jinung Beijabup to Booner Mundak 55kms

Fantastic down hill single track out of the hut, with only one error in judgement. My skill level. I was right behind Allan, who was right behind Will, who called out an obstacle. A broken tree over the path, we had to manoeuvre to the right of. Both men slowed enough to shoot around, and I thought I had, but miss judged it slightly. My left hand grip caught the tree, and over I went. The handle bar jammed into my left fadoobada (bicep). Ouch. I slowly toppled off into the nice soft grass. No drama, just be more careful.

The first 10 kms was nice and rollie pollie, and then things started to get out of control. Lunch was after 23kms, and quite a few bigger roller coasters. 

They didn’t really stop for the rest of the day, up, down, up down, and lots of granny gear. Some good down runs, but then steep short ups, or long slow ones. We were all starting to tire badly. Allan was doing lots of walking back and helping push bikes, or even ride them up for all of us.

The kms just didn’t seem to be disappearing.

On one nice firm down hill run, I stopped to take a photo of a rocky hill, and Will, who was checking the Garmin for our route, slammed right into the back of me. Ouch. That really hurt. Luckily no major damage. Just deflated moods.

We stopped with 15kms to go for another rest, some snacks, and to psyche ourselves up for the final assault. It was tough.

Just to drain us even more, next came the sandy hills, and even the downhills were taxing, as they were soft and rutted. Julie is much more cautious on the downhills than the rest of us, and tends to power up the hills better. But this afternoon, after 3 days of hills, she was feeling it like Will and I. She lost her focus in a patch of sand, and had a slow off. Front wheel turned, and her trusty steed threw her onto her bum in the soft sand. Not what you need at the end of a tough few days. Oh, and did I mention she has been carrying my tent for me, to help ease my weight? Bloody amazing these guys. Patient, calm, relaxed, and super helpful.

Anyway, we found the hut, it’s hidden away in some nice bush land, where we can wash, eat and watch the huge full moon rise. It’s getting cold, we’re all pooped, and tomorrow is another hard one. Are there any easy ones?

Wednesday 28th April 2021 – Booner Mudak to Walpole 54km

Feeling the fatigue today, from the start. The little hills a making my legs scream already. We aim to get moving by 8.30am, but haven’t quite managed it yet.

Starting will the traditional uphill exit from camp, with the addition of sand, got the heart rate up and sweat pouring. It is hotter than usual at the moment, but that is better than rain, which is forecast for the next couple of days.

Hills of every variation, not enough downs, but stunning trees and scenery, when we could enjoy it. The first ten kays where not bad, but it just got harder and harder. More and more pushing up the steep hills for me, and I was slow. Except on the downhills. Max speed today, for me, was 60.7kms/hr, and it wasn’t intentional. I tried to hold the bike back on the steepest part of the descent, but it just took off. Pumping the brakes madly trying to slow down, while keeping it straight as possible, and hoping for an uphill just to slow down. Am I crazy? As it turns out, not as much as Will, who smashed out 67.4kms per hour on the big heavy Pig. No way Will! He did say he wasn’t feeling at ease with it. Won’t happen again, he says. We’ll see.

Lunch was at the Tree Top Walk site, which we thought was the end of our big hills, as it was after a big hard climb where we all had to push, and the boys coming back to help us ladies. It was sweaty Betty all round.

Allan and Julie went and did the tree top walk, while Will and I sorted some accommodation in Walpole. We needed to know we had sanctuary for a day off tomorrow.

We set off feeling positive we’d conquered the hardest bit, only to be deflated by hill (jump up, really) after hill. Each one just ruined me a little more, so that by about 4.30pm, with almost 20kms to go, it was looking grim. I was really struggling, walking at least half of every jump up, and slowing everyone down. Julie and Allan were keen to ride the track proper, but Will and I decided, at about 5.15pm, as the sun was settling, to jump onto the Southcaost Highway, cutting off about 5kms. It wasn’t flat, and there were a few cars, but it was all I could manage, and we puffed and groaned our way into town by 5.45pm. Such a relief. Allan and Julie, the legends, made it in by 6.30pm, it was dark and they didn’t seem nearly as cooked as we were. They are Trojans.

After a lovely shower, we were joined by Robyn and Paul, who have flown over from the east, and are joining us from Walpole to Manjimup. Friends of Allan and Julie’s, they have done plenty of cycle touring, and after quite a break from it, are keen to give this track a go. I hope they don’t mind swearing, and complaining, because I’m sure there’ll be plenty more of that for the next week.

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