Sunday, 12 March 2017

Western Australia (26 November 2016 - 5 December 2016), Day 3 - Busselton to Dunsborough

Chief came to send us off!
Elizabeth Quay
Elizabeth Quay
Elizabeth Quay
Perth CDB, no rush hour traffic
Perth CDB, Christmas decorations are up!
Perth CDB
Perth CDB, bike lanes in the city
Railway crossings
Our TransWa bus for Busselton
The old buses has more storage space
Dahon Speedpro and 2 B's in Dimpa bags in the background
Clean toilet in the bus
Water dispenser in the bus!
Busselton
Busselton Beach
Busselton Jetty
Leaving Busselton, inlets
Leaving Busselton, inlets
Geographe Bay Road and bushland
Caves Road
Toby Inlet Bridge
Toby Inlet



We started the morning early but the sun beat us to it, peeking over the horizon from as early as 5 am! After going through our morning routines, we grabbed a hot Milo each, before saying goodbye to our dear sister in law. Sally had got up early to send us off and even packed ham and cheese sandwiches for our road trip!

Riding out less than 50 meters later, Claudine had to call for a stop. Her ankle kept hitting the rear panniers. As Ortliebs comes with adjustable hooks, this problem was quickly resolved. 

Running smoothly again, we followed the same route as yesterday's, passing Deepwater Point Reserves. This morning, a few dogs were spotted enjoying a nice swim in knee deep water!!!

Turning right at Swan River Rowing Club, we rode across Canning Bridge and headed for South Perth. The city on a Monday morning sees many cyclists with backpacks heading for work. Everyone were in a hurry, overtaking us with calls of "Bike Back" and the occasional ringing of bells.

On our right, cars were zooming past Kwinana Freeway. As the train shares the same freeway, we saw it rumbled past twice!



It was a little noisy but our bike path, tucked away from the busy road was a sanctuary on its own. Looking out for dolphins which are frequently sighted in the river, we were delighted to see pelicans on the riverbank instead!

This morning, VT was in a hurry as we were unsure of the route to the bus station. He was riding at a steady pace which only Ryan could keep up with. Following behind, Rygel and Claudine soon lost them in the sea of cyclists.

Approaching Mill Point Reserve which overlooks Kings Park, the bike path forked into two. One ran parallel to Mitchell Freeway, crossing the river while the other ran under. Confused with no sights of VT and Ryan, mother and son stopped to ask for help from a lady cyclist who advised them to go across to Elizabeth Quay.

Even with local advice, the feeling of unease still hovers as they do not want to stray off the original route. It may be difficult for the search party to locate them. 

On the other hand, they had waited too long for their rescue! VT and Ryan could be miles away!!!

Turning on Google Maps, the bright Australian sun made it difficult to read the screen! As usual, VT's handphone was on mute hence the "S.O.S." calls were left unanswered. 

Riding slowly up the ram while casting downward glances under the bridge, Claudine almost screamed abuses at VT when she saw him riding towards her!!! Lost but found, together, we crossed Mitchell Freeway, wondering if riding in Perth is more difficult than driving! The bike paths are so intricately webbed! 


Meanwhile, we were awestruck with Perth's cycling infrastructures!! Bike repair stands were everywhere, let alone the segregated bike paths!



At David Carr Memorial Park, a mummy duck and her ducklings slowed down traffic when they waddled across our path to get to a nearby pond. Emerging from the shrouds of trees later, Perth Convention Centre caught our breath!



Crossing over to Elizabeth Quay, the curved pedestrian bridge with sweeping steel arms was a commendable architectural design. We took our time on the crossing while soaking in other touristy sights as well.



Arriving at Perth's Central Business District, the day was just beginning for many office workers. The rush hour traffic was almost non existent at 7.30 am, unlike Malaysia!



Getting on Barrack St, we followed it all the way to the end, made a few turns, crossed a railway track, rode alongside another one before getting totally confused. A road closure on Claisebrook Road had threw us off course!

Rerouting to Cheriton Street, we were taken aback when the road led to a dead end. Beyond, was the railway tracks. 

Meanwhile, the TransWa bus depot, located at the end of this road has an entrance that opens up only to Summer street; the route we originally charted! It was completely sealed from our side! 

Looking through the fences, we saw a refueling and repair center! We were horrified as we had expected a busy bus terminal NOT a bus depot!!! Enquiring with a lady who was taking a smoke outside a distribution center, we panicked when she told us there were no bus stations nearby!!!

It was already 8.15 am and our bus was leaving at 9 am. This leaves us very little time to find our way to the bus terminal. Flicking out the phone nervously to call Alvin, we panicked further when he failed to pick up the call.

Thank goodness, our "smoking" lady came to her senses after several more puffs. Apologizing to us as she had assumed we wanted to take the city bus, she gave us directions to East Perth Train Station. TransWa is located in the same station.

Following her directions, we returned to Cheriton Street which was actually accessible to bikes and pedestrians via a foot path! Arriving at our destination later, our heart skipped another beat. Expecting a bus terminal next to the depot, there was none!

We were overcome with relief when the men at work told us our elusive terminal was just 100m away! Taking their advice, we followed the railway platform which connects with the bus terminal towards the end.

Once there, we went into overdrive, folding and packing the bikes away. We took turns to use the toilet and to refill our water bottles at the water cooler...

Finally settling down, an unwarranted figure approached us in a wide brimmed hat and a grin to match the Cheshire Cat! Hypnotized by the ringing of bells, it took us several seconds to realize it was none other than our LTF Chief! He had come all the way from home to send us off!!!



Boarding our bus for Busselton, we were pleased to find out we had been given stretched seats meant for disabled persons. A 3.5 hour journey with a pickup at Cockburn and a short stop at Bunbury train station, our journey today was slightly extended as we had to wait for the connecting train passengers. They were delayed by 20 minutes.



Bunbury station was nothing more than a small train and bus stop. Rather primitive, it only has a small ticket booth, toilets and 2 vending machines that dispensed drinks and chips with an alternate choice of sandwiches!

Arriving in Busselton, we got off at a car park located next to the abandoned Municipality of Busselton's office. The town's epicenter was a few hundred meters away, with most shops congregating on Kent Street.



Stopping at Kent Street Bakery for their vanilla slice as recommended by Alvin, we were disappointed they were sold out. Instead, VT bought a pie and chocolate milk to go before riding out with us to the beach where the rest of us had fish and chips at the Busselton Beach Shop.



After lunch, we rode out to the famous Busselton jetty. As no bikes were allowed on the jetty and a possibly long walk, capped with AUD3 entrance fee, we decided to head for Dunsborough instead.



The ride to Dunsborough was a mere 26 km but it was a hard ride fighting the strong winds from the Indian Ocean. We rode mostly on Geographe Bay Rd, a bike and pedestrian path that overlooks the sea. Sometimes, the road goes through some woods where we were rewarded with sightings of skinx. Occasionally we came across inlets and marsh lands.

Where the bike paths ended, we joined Caves Road. We passed many church camps along this road. Whenever we could, we returned to the quiet village roads.

Midway to Dunsborough, we bumped into a cyclist on a roadbike. It was such a relieve to come into human contact as we had been riding on our own through the woods for a long time with no knowledge when we will see civilization. Coming from Dunsborough, he brought us good tidings that the end is near!

Queer, as immediately after saying goodbye, we emerged out from the bushland and started on Siesta Park Road. It was a beautiful lane decked with flowering trees and quaint homes. Following the short drive, it eventually led us back to Caves Road where we came upon our first convenience store for miles. This store is part of Gull petrol station.

We were ecstatic!!! Coming from Malaysia where food and drink stalls can be found at almost every corner of the streets, this store felt like it was dropped out of Heaven! Learning from yesterday's experience, we did not hesitate to purchase a huge 2 liters Coke. The remaining liquid was poured into our flasks!



We finally reached Dunsborough Central Motel around 5.30 pm. Centrally located, Dunsborough Centrepoint was directly opposite us with familiar outlets like Coles, Subway and Dome.

The motel was clean and basic, but spacious. It suited our needs as a family. Equipped with a kitchen, it allows us to dish out simple meals for our picky boys.

The management closed a blind eye when we pushed our bikes into our unit for safekeeping. They were not smiley people but delivered what was necessary. Anyway, we were not planning to chat them up. We were too busy shopping and washing up!!!


Total Distance : 30km




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Dunsborough Central Motel



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