Munda Biddi Trail Ride 2018/2019

Diary of the Ride

Day 0 / Prelude (Friday, 21 December)
Flight from Sydney via Perth to Albany

As usual for our cycling (or bushwalking) trips, we plan to arrive at the starting point the day before. Our Qantas flight from Sydney to Perth is several hours delayed (we had a similar experience when walking in the Pilbara earlier that year, seems to be a pattern). As a consequence, we miss the connecting flight to Albany; but Rex lets us rebook on the evening flight. We miss out on dinner and grocery&fuel shopping, but at least we can assemble the boxed up bikes in peace and get a decent night's sleep.

Day 1 (Saturday, 22 December)
Albany → Denmark — distance: 79km / riding time: 6:10h / ascent: 501m / max temperature: 27°C

This section of the trail is ideal as a warm-up day: not too hilly, never steep and the track surface is often very good, and never difficult.

Southern Terminus The main challenge for us is in the timing: we need to do our shopping in the morning (due to unplanned late arrival the night before), and thus only start riding at 11 am, really too late for comfort given it is a warm day and long stretches of the trail are on unshaded roads.

Nevertheless, we are enjoying a few treats along the way: Our orderly packed bikes

At 5pm sharp, tired but happy, we ride into town, check in at our accommodation, 31 on the Terrace, where we had stayed two years ago and had good memories of. This is early enough to top off on groceries, relax and enjoy our room with balcony, test the culinary offerings at the local pub and turn in just after sunset.

Day 2 (Sunday, 23 December)
Denmark → Jinung Beigabup Campsite — 48km [Total=126km] / 5:36h [11h] / 876m [1,377m] / 22°C

After a superb cup of coffee and a hearty breakfast at the Bibbulmun Cafe, we push off at 8:30, clearly a lot earlier than the day before, and feeling less anxious to about the heat. It turns out to be cloudless, sunny, but coolish day.

After a few kilometeres of sealed roads that take us South of Denmark, we are treated to one of the visually most spectacular sections of the trail: Denmark to Lights Beach the re-aligned stretch South of the Highway, a very winding cycle path along the tops of the cliffs taking us across to Greens Pool.

The second half of the day's trip takes us through undulating country lined with farms/county houses and sprinkled in with some wineries. Despite the moderate temperature, without any clouds it still feels quite warm, especially on unshaded, steel uphill bits, of which there are a few. There are also some badly corrugated roads and sandy patches. We play it safe and stop at one of the houses to refill our water bottles, which turned out a wise thing to do. For the last 3km we can leave the forest roads behind and enjoy bike tracks through beautiful vegetation, though some sandy parts are still posing challenges to us with our heavy packs. One of us is a coeliac and, unsure about supplies along the way, we carrying a fair bit of food. Our bikes are well over 40kg each.

We ride up to the campsite early afternoon.

As soon as we get there, we attend to a few things in an order that will soon become routine:

...and after such exhausting afternoon activities we are ready to drop flat before sunset :-)

Solar panels in action Water tanks (at a Munda Biddi hut several days later) Bike shelter (at a Munda Biddi hut several days later) Multi-functional kitchen table (at a Munda Biddi hut a couple of days later) Spacious bunks (at a Munda Biddi hut a couple of days later) Dinner table (at a Munda Biddi hut several days later

Conclusion: another good warm-up day—warm (but not hot) when exposed to the sun, but also frequently with a light breeze.

Day 3 (Monday, 24 December)
Jinung Beigabup Campsite → Booner Mundak Campsite — 55km [182km] / 7:08h [19h] / 795m [2,172m] / 22°C

We thoroughly enjoy the wonderful Munda Biddi campsite—the first of many more to come—and feel reluctant to hurry up to leave early. As we are not anticipating anything particularly challenging for this day's section, we have a leisurely 8am start.

We start off on a beautiful bush track. The bush as seen from our bikes Later the fire trails and roads take over, but not as bad as it could be. We are treating ourselves—deservedly—to a swim and re-stock water at the pretty waterhole at Kent River bridge.

The last few km before the turnoff to the hut is a lengthy sand stretch where pushing is unavoidable—this is once more hard work with our heavily loaded bikes. Fortunately it is nowhere near as bad as two years ago, when the sand was deeply dug up by fire trucks and on it was also very hot (well over 30°C), making that section extremely hard; life is much easier this time. We are riding up to Booner Mundak Campsite at 3 o'clock.

Today, we are savouring the sun as the air is relatively cool. It seems this is presently the only part of Australia that isn't sweltering, large parts of the continent experience over 40°C that day.

Day 4 (Tuesday, 25 December)
Booner Mundak Campsite → Walpole — 59km [241km] / 7:26h [26h] / 1,000m [3,172m] / 24°C

We get up fairly early and are ready to roll by 7:05. There is much haze towards the East and a strong smell of fire in the air, to the point we are getting worried that they might close the trail. But eventually, we make it all the way to Walpole without incident. Neither the park ranger we cross nor the fireys we meet in Walpole make any particular mention, so apparently it's not an issue for us after all, but the fire can't be far away from the parts of the trail we have already passed.

We are enjoying some changing surrounds: Compared to the first few days, the trees are now getting noticeably taller. The Tree Top Walk near the Valley of Giants Road provides some magnificent view over an ocean of forest and bushland.

About an hour out from Walpole, we stop for lunch at the side of the Frankland River. Enthusiastically jumping into the water, Gernot forgets that he's pushed his sunnies onto his hat—never to be found again in the murky river that quickly drops to 3m depth.

We roll into Walpole at half past 2, where we first The ice-cream call get some emergency ice-cream injection, followed by checking out the YHA. It had been recommended in one of the hut notes—and indeed, it is a really nice place: conveniently located at the entry to the town, comfortable and hospitable in bungalow-style arrangment with a huge grassy courtyard and a generous communal kitchen. We then check out the town and are pleasantly surprised that a cafe is open until 4pm, so we get some takeaway food (with plenty of veggies & fresh salad) which we later prepare in the hostel for dinner. The place is unlicensed and the bottle shop is closed, so we're tee-totalling Christmas Day this year.

Day 5 (Wednesday, 26 December)
Walpole → Kwokralup Beela Campsite — 31km [272km] / 2:58h [29h] / 567m [3,739m] / 25°C

We leave Walpole quarter past nine, having to wait for shops to open: this is the last town for a few days, so we need to re-stock groceries. Gernot also gets some new sunnies (but no match for the nice ones he lost).

Shaded bush track Given the sun is already fairly high up, we apprecite the tracks taking us through beautiful, quite shaded areas. Swarbrick is lovely place for a rest but far too early for lunch. Instead we defer lunch until we arrive at the campsite shortly after midday. Hitting camp early after an easy day riding gives us a chance to get some extended rest and get ready for an early start. As we scan through the trail log book, we come across our own entry from 23/12/2016, which was our last night on the trail that year.

Multi-functional kitchen table (at a Munda Biddi hut a couple
        of days later) This site combines the (usually) beautiful setting with access to the Franklin, with a great swimming hole. We think at the time that this is the best hut of the Munda Biddi. We had by then been to all huts other than Karta Burnu (turns out that one is nice but not quite a match for Kwokralup Beela).

Day 6 (Thursday, 27 December)
Kwokralup Beela Campsite → Yirra Kartta Campsite — 57km [329km] / 6:58h [36h] / 1,142m [4,881m] / 21°C

Mt Frankland Wilderness Lookout An early start, before 7am, on a cool, overcast morning. Mt Frankland Fire-Lookout Station We take the detour to Mt Frankland Wilderness Lookout, well before any motorised tourists hit it—the extra climb for this side trip is definitely worth it!

On the way back to the main trail it starts raining—we end up with on-and-off rain and drizzle all day. Rain/spray gear in action This is the first (and only) time that we ever encountered rain while riding the Munda Biddi! Being cold is more of an issue than being wet—we can't imagine doing the ride in winter, where cold and wet are what you expect daily!

The “summer route” near Fernhook Falls is closed due to bridge work, so we have to take the “winter route” (i.e. road). Given the weather we keep our lunch break at the falls short and don't even bother walking to the falls. Quarter to three we reach the campsite.

This is our fourth time on the Munda Biddi. The first time in December 2006 we rode from Mundaring to the then Southern terminus, Collie, from where we cycled on the road across to Banbury, where we took a train back to Perth.

The second time, Dec'09, the trail ran up to to Nannup. We flew into PER, rode from the airport to the city, took the bus to Busselton, rode to Jarrahwood and camped there. Next day we rode to Nannup and back (without packs), and the day after started the proper ride to Mundaring.

Two years ago we were planning to do the whole trail from South to North, having flown to PER and on to ALH. Unfortunately, we only got to the turn-off to this hut, Yirra Kartta, 300m back. Trudy lost her balance when stopping abruptly, fell off the bike, and ended up with a broken pelvis and collarbone. This resulted in a rescue operation involving a ranger in a ute, an ambulance and a helicopter, and a complimentary flight to Bunbury hospital, all on Christmas Eve. She spent the next 5 days there until they let her go on crutches, and we made our way back to Sydney (after collecting the bikes and gear from the Walpole DPAR office).

So, we're back, now breaking new ground, and hoping to finally do the complete End-to-end Munda Biddi Trail!

Day 7 (Friday, 28 December)
Yirra Kartta Campsite → Northcliffe — 52km [381km] / 5:21h [42h] / 815m [5,696m] / 21°C

We leave camp just after half past seven in light drizzle. Soon after the clouds lift, handing us a nice excuse for a rest stop to pull out the solar charger to re-charge our phone battery and to dry our spray jackets. Recharging routine Mid morning, Boorara Tree is a welcome, albeit minor, distraction from a generally rather uninspiring section of the bike trail.

Overall we make good progress, reaching town well before 1pm—ready to hit the pub, where they not only can feed and water us, but also sleep us. Positive surprise is the explicit advertising of GF food, including some delicious GF cakes :-) Steaks ordered medium rare come out medium, which is close enough in the bush... A real surprise is the small General Store that has a good selection of GF options.

Day 8 (Saturday, 29 December)
Northcliffe → Pemberton — 46km [426km] / 8:45h [50h] / 786m [6,482m] / 22°C

We take it easy in the morning, enjoy breakfast at a cafe Brekkie and ride out of town by quarter to nine in coolish conditions (overnight, temperature dropped to circa 7°C). Today's section (between Northcliffe and Pemberton) is definitely more interesting than most parts yesterday. Switchback

At around noon, disaster strikes on the last switchback going up to Gloucester Tree, when Gernot's chain first buckles and then breaks, literally 50m from the car park. Gernot fiddles with his chain tool, without much success. Fortunately we had read in an earlier log book about Mark Schmidt in Pemberton (0467-442-417) who is a bicycle mechanic and likes to help trail riders. We are in luck, he is able to come right away and can fix the chain. We can then ride over to his place in town, where he has a proper workshop and got both bikes back in great shape. Thank you, Mark!!!

Gloucester Tree view Gloucester Tree platform Before heading over to Mark's we climb the 58m spirals of the Gloucester Tree, of the old fire-lookout trees scattered throughout the area, offering great views.

Our plan was to continue beyond Pemberton. However, Gernot's chain had delayed us by 2.5h and it is now about 4pm, so we remain in town. Fortunately we get a room at the YHA (the lady at the Information booth hat quipped that the town is fully booked out). The hostel (only 3 rooms) is basic and somewhat quaint but clean and tidy, and is run by friendly people. The pub we visit is not quite at par with that in Northcliffe: the steak is ordered medium rare and served cremated.

Day 9 (Sunday, 30 December)
Pemberton → Manjimup — 83km [509km] / 10:02h [60h] / 1,346m [7,828m] / 29°C

Leaving before 8am we make it to Quinninup by about 1pm, just as it started to get really warm (finally some sun again!). We've hoped to have lunch at the local pub, but that one is closed—in fact, Quinninup seems almost a ghost town (some loud music notwithstanding); just a small park with toilets.

After a short picnic lunch break, we continue on to Warren River Bridge, our planned camp for the night. However, after cooling down in the river we decide to push on...

A cold drink ..and make it into Manjimup after a very long day, just before 6pm. We are rewarded: even at this late hour we still get a room at the pub without problems (and with en-suite :-)) and, of course, a cold drink. Turns out this is the only place on the trail where our mandatory steaks are cooked to order: medium rare.

Day 10 (Monday, 31 December)
Manjimup → Nannup — 85km [594km] / 9:09h [69h] / 1,245m [9,073m] / 28°C

As we wait for the shops to open to restock especially on picnic lunch, we grab the chance to enjoy fabulous coffee at Southern Roasters. It is past 9 by the time we are pushing off.

The cloudy morning and varied landscape allows for a most relaxed ride to Karta Burnu hut. There, we break for morning tea to soak up the (as usual) fantastic wilderness setting at these huts. The ride continues to be very pleasant, much on old rail corridors, some quite overgrown, and a fair bit of single track. Just to keep us in check, we also need to contend with some rather boring stretches on Gold Gully Road. The long-advertised (since mid-2018) prescribed burn south-west of Donnelly's Mill is actually burning today; the air is quite bad from smoke in places. Given that the burn now happed, it's hopefully only a matter of weeks until they re-open the original section and remove a 5km by-pass of boring road. Yet, as far as diversions go, this one has been still reasonably pleasant.

At Donnelly's Mill we find a very welcoming shop-cum-cafe-cum-zoo: Emu entering the cafe Emu, a regular at the cafe Soup we get soup, cold drinks and ice-cream while emus keep us company on the deck.

It is way too early to camp here, but we are not sure whether we can make it all the way to Nannup, not knowing what the track conditions are. So we stock up with lots of extra water in case we need to camp along the way with out any water access. The longish lunch break, however, has re-energised us well and keeps us rolling along all afternoon, so that at 5pm we decide to dump the extra water and push on the last 15km to Nannup. This turns out to be a good call, as from then on we ride on sealed roads, mostly downhill, enjoying a good breeze in late afternoon light.

After an other long-ish day, we get to Nannup right after 6. The pup we are staying at has really nice units, they look fairly new. NYE 2018 Again we let others cook (Trudy had pasta for a change), and, to celebrate closing the gap to earlier rides, we top it off with a bottle of champers—ah, we also celebrate a little the past year that has treated us so well. As we take ourselves to sleep, we wonder how we will cope with pub goers celebrating NYE, but alas, the noise is limited and dies down eventually.

Day 11 (Tuesday, 1 January)
Nannup → Donnybrook — 72km [666km] / 7:54h [78h] / 624m [9,697m] / 36°C

We wake up to a gorgeous day. No need for any shopping, so we get underway at 7:00 on the easy and enjoyable rail trail to Jarrahwood. Rail trail We take our morning tea break at the Nala Mia hut and reminisce: It is here where we started in 2009, when we first rode the Munda Biddi from South to North. Nannup was the southern terminus then, which we did from here as a day ride. This means we have now done the complete Munda Biddi, although we're determined to do it end-to-end in one go this time! So far, our ride is going quite well; in the past two days we've completed what we had planned for three days. We are now expecting to reach Mundaring (northern terminus) with three days to spare.

We find that between Claymore Rd and Doonybrook the signposting is not up to the normal (high) Munda-Biddi standard. It causes us no problem thanks to the GPS track we had downloaded from the DPAW web site, else we'd be puzzled a few times. Also, from Jarrahwood north are many signs that are quite faded, hard to tell where they are pointing.

From Jarrahwood to Donnybrook there are a lot of sandy tracks, but mostly reasonably ridable, although with extra effort. Recent stormy Bush track conditions have thrown some natural spanners in the works, providing us with some true bush riding experience. Despite the distance (72km) it could have been a fairly easy ride overall, were it not for a freak 35° day (note Trudy's change to a lighter Jersey during the course of the morning); no wonder, we are quite exhausted when we get into Donnybrook some time after 2.

We are pleasantly surprised that the big IGA in Donnybrook is open on NY Day, allowing us to do our shopping in the afternoon and thus be ready for an early start the next day. Instead of the pub we opt for the Motel next to the IGA, which turns out an excellent choice. Run by a very friendly couple in their 60s, they give us a key to their shed to lock up the bikes. And they have a pool! Perfect end to a very hot day.

Day 12 (Wednesday, 2 January)
Donnybrook → Nglang Boodja Campsite — 48km [715km] / 4:27h [82h] / 788m [10,488m] / 24°C

Turns out the 6:45 start from Donnybrook would not have been necessary: after the previous, hot day, today is cool and we don't see the sun all day. While this makes for relatively easy riding, it means that the battery of the phone we use for navigation is almost flat, and there isn't sufficient light to charge it with our solar panels. This means we'll have to ride without the GPS track tomorrow. Also, it is a shame that we have the most shaded hut just when we need it least!

The ride today hasn't been easy: not only lots of ups and downs, but South of Wellington Forest also comprises the most boring parts of the Munda Biddi with almost all on roads and a fair bit of it even sealed. Highlights were Crooked Brook Forest and the few km south of Wellington Forest.

In the end, we are glad we roll nearing Nglang Boodja Campsite into Nglang Boodja Campsite well before lunch time (11:15), making it appear as if we get to enjoy a full day's worth of camping with oodles of time to read or just do nothing and simply relax.

Day 13 (Thursday, 3 January)
Nglang Boodja → Yarri Campsite — 55km [770km] / 8:02h [90h] / 998m [11,483m] / 23°C

We start in cool and overcast conditions to tackle the hill up from Collie River. There was rain overnight (1mm recorded), but it didn't impact the track. However, the 2km section marked "black/difficult" is on often very eroded tracks, at times with pea gravel and mostly very steep—in fact, utterly unridable with full touring gear, including the well intended “serpentine” challenge designed specifically for mountain biking (without luggage). The switchbacks are simply too steep and narrow to ride them uphill on a heavily-loaded bike. We end up pushing our bikes a lot, including on some "blue/intermediate" sections further on. All up it takes us 2h from the hut winding down to the river and back up to the top. Good thing it's early morning, so it's cool and we are fresh, it would have been a killer late on a hot day!

Otherwise the riding is much easier than we remember from '06 and '09. We don't bother with Collie, which we know is a detour of almost 20km each way on boring, flat road—why would you do it? We had stocked up well in Nannup and don't need supplies.

On one of the stretches we are guided around private property, where diseased shrub in part they had started a fairly sizeable plantation of some (for us not further identifiable) shrub. While normally we think plantations are an eyesore out here in the wilderness, in this case here it was in fact really sad, as all the plants (from what we could see with no exception) are slain with some disease such that the whole field is looking like a burnt lot.

Our main concern of the day was whether the 5l of water we carry between the two of us is sufficient, but we arrive at the campsite with 1.5l to spare. The cool and partially cloudy day certainly helped—in fact, if we ever have had a worry on the trip, it has been gauging the amount of water we need to carry.

We arrive at the hut comfortably at 3pm; this one is one of our favourites on the Munda Biddi. A lovely surprise is finding that the hut still has the original log book, Water tanks Bike shelter Dinner tabler and we can find our entries of 29/12/06 and 26/12/09:-)

We've now covered 3/4 of the distance, 6 days to go!

Day 14 (Friday, 4 January)
Yarri → Bidjar Ngoulin Campsite — 83km [852km] / 9:56h [100h] / 1,196m [12,679m] / 25°C

With a low of 5°C, this is the coldest night on the trip, but thanks dry and warm sleeping bags, we wake very well rested, ready for a long day.

We kick off at our (these days) usual 7am. Early on, we are treated to plenty of beautiful tracks and great variety of landscapes. Single file track Overall, this is much harder than the "easy/green" difficulty level shown on the map (as commented earlier, these difficulty levels are solely based on gradient, which is not really a useful indicator given that on a heavily loaded bike, track condition is more important than steepness). In summary, today's riding involves the full gamut of thick pea gravel, deep sand, and badly eroded, steep roads—to our frustration, often unridable with our loaded bike.

As on our pervious trips, we stop at Lake Brockman Tourist Park for brunch—it is such a refreshing treat! We also soak in the change of scenery as we ride across the dam and along the lake.

10h after leaving last hut in the morning we reach tonight's camp. While the Munda Biddi huts are always a welcome sight, this one has a major drawback making it probably the least desirable hut: the round-the-clock noise from a nearby mining operation seriously degrades the wilderness experience.

Day 15 (Saturday, 5 January)
Bidjar Ngoulin → Oakley Dam — 45km [897km] / 6:08h [106h] / 828m [13,507m] / 31°C

Taking it leisurely and treasuring the Munda Biddi campsite wilderness, we Brekkie at BlueWrenCafe in Dwellingup still get to leave by 7, reaching Nanga an hour later. Given the early hour, we keep going without stopping. To make up for it, at Dwellingup we indulge in a long lunch break at the most delightful place, the Blue Wren Cafe.

From Dwellingup to Oakley Dam the riding is wonderful: the surrounds are beautiful and varied, often on single file tracks with firm, but springy forest ground, the bush is softly brushing your arms and low tree canopy provides plenty of shade—this is the kind of trail for which you ride the Munda Biddi!

We reach Oakley Dam by about 2 and do what needs to be done first: a long, relaxing swim to cool down and refresh! Ahh, how beautiful is A bush Infinity Pool A pool just for us alone Trudy joyous after the swim this, just perfect for a hottish day! All afternoon we relax by the water reading, or even simply dozing and doing nothing.

Sunset with Trudy Sunset with Gernot View over the dam down the escarpment The end of the day is capped off with a gorgeous sunset as the view from the dam stretches over the escarpment to the west all the way to the coastline.

Sunset over Oakley Dam Sunset over Oakley Dam2 Sunset  down the escarment

We camp there for the night. Camp at Oakley Dam While we carry a tent, we don't bother putting it up and instead sleep under the stars. Unfortunately, clouds are soon moving in and stay until the morning, preventing us from enjoying the full nightly sky.

Day 16 (Sunday, 6 January)
Oakley Dam → Jarrahdale Township — 62km [959km] / 10:58h [117h] / 1,196m [14,703m] / 35°C

Anticipating a hot day we make very early start at 6. Just as well we go by our gut instinct, as the BOM forecast is really off: these folks must have looked out their window at 4am, have seen the clouds and used the default algorithm that the whole day would continue the same, which is what they put out as the actual forecast. This was a complete miss: the clouds disolved as soon as the sun got up, and the whole day ends up sunny and burning hot.

Even so, the day turns out to be less a challenge for its temperature as much more one for the track conditions: This section is clearly the worst to ride as the pea gravel (in itself is not much of a problem) is mostly dug up very deep by fucking assholes on trail bikes, despite much of the trail being in National Parks, where motorbikes are illegal. That it's all marked "easy/green" on the map adds insult to injury! (These difficulty indicators are worse than useless, they are soul-destroying! Were they done by someone riding the trail on a motor bike?)

Additionally, the natural environment is rudely interrupted by the mega-conveyor belts, that we need to negitiate—at least it is still really in the morning (6:30) for these shadeless stretches. Conveyorbelt1 Conveyorbelt2

Just because it can, luck is against us as we face a puncture, albeit our first and only one on the trail. We were hoping to get through completely without, but a single puncture between two people on 1,100km isn't bad—brand-new, 2.2” tyres inflated to medium pressure certainly helped.

Before lunch time we reach Dandalup hut, which is beautifully located, overlooking the escarpment with a view all the way to the ocean. However, we really want to get out of the miserable dug-up track, and decide to push on after a lunch break.

Persevering for 11 hours (clearly the longest and sadly the least Jarrahdale rewarding day!), we roll up at Jarrahdale a little bit before 5. Of course, the pub is still there to water and feed us; next door at the "post-office" they sleep us!

Day 17 (Monday, 7 January)
Jarrahdale → Carinyah Campsite — 62km [1,021km] / 6:51h [124h] / 805m [15,508m] / 35°C

We get under way bright and early, well before 7 to a leisurely 2h ride Forest near Wungong to Wungong hut—what a difference to yesterday's horror! While not quite as enjoyable as yesterday's section was when we rode it 9 years ago, today certainly mollified us and we are in the groove again!

After a short morning tea stop we push on to Carinyah campsite where we arrive circa half past 1. The second half of today's ride doesn't Flower1 Flower2 let us down either—what a releif after yesterday's dismay—even the flowers are out to greet us. While easy to ride, today is relatively boring compared to what the previous day, with much single track, should have been.

By now we've clocked up over 1 thousand km, only 42km to go, and the Carinyah last time staying at a Munda Biddi hut—which is also the first hut we ever stayed on the Munda Biddi Trail. Makes us feel a bit melancholic.

Day 18 (Tuesday, 8 January)
Carinyah → Mundaring Township — 42km [1,063km] / 5:30h [130h] / 879m [16,387m] / 31°C

Steep track1 Steep track2 Steep track3 Savouring our last morning int he bush, we get under way by 7-ish. Being one of the warm mornings, some of the steepest hills feel harder than we think we remember this section from prior years.

Still, we are savouring the last few moments of bush mountain biking. As we get closer to civilisation around Jacoby Park and up towards Jacoby Park Mundaring, we realise nevertheless how quiet and non-hectic it is out here in regional Australia—exactly one of the features we are Narrow track looking for when we venture on trips like this one.

As we are nearing the end of our trip, we are taking stock of our incidents along the way and only come up with a very short list:

Nothing else!

Soon after 11 we roll up to Mundaring Sculpture Park—HAPPY, even if somewhat exhausted, and relieved that we did the E-2-E Munda Biddi with no mishaps and sooooo many wonderful memories!

The END

Epilogue (Tuesday, 8 January)
Mundaring → Perth Airport — 31km / 1:20

After signing out from the Munda Biddi trail, we re-fuel at the recommended, very charming Cafe Mojo. Celebration Shortly after midday we head down the escarpement, after fully inflating our tyres to make best use of the smooth-sealed, downhill ride. A last challenge is finding the way to the airport. All the street signs, as well as Google Maps riding directions, lead to a freeway with very definite no-cyclist signs. We keep riding through the suburbs by gut-feel, until Google finally gives us usable directions. Most of it ends up on minor roads, so the ride is relatively pleasant.

At the airport, we buy boxes, pack up our bikes and store them for the night, as we have been able to reschedule our flights back to Syndey for the next day (not without getting screwed by Qantas). Soon afterwards, our Perth friend Marie picks us up and we spend a wonderful evening with her and partner Stephen, a nice end to an exciting trip.


Trudy & Gernot


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