Wednesday, October 17, 2007

DAY 12: Walpole - Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk - Denmark

DAY 12
82 km @ 15.8 km/hr
Awoke to the cries of birds (perfect start to the day) at 0540 and felt so cosy didn’t want to get up. At 6 reached for the stove and got the porridge on, still with my feet in sleping bag (finally getting better organised). ‘Spiced up’ the porridge with a few sultanas and a few drops of Old Pultney.
It was a little warmer last night and I didn’t need the blanket that Jen had lent me, and the sun was trying to rise above the trees. It will be strange to lose the trees once I approach the Nullabor, they’ve been continuous for the last 300 km or so - even on a hot sunny day there’s usually plenty of shade as a result. Away at 0710 to land at the Treetop walk at opening time 0900. It’s about 14km to the turn-off for the walk then another 5 km, mostly uphill, to the start. I arrived in good time at 0845 and was first in. The treetop walk is an amazing experience - it’s a 600m-long steel walkway that rises up gently through and over the ancient Tingle forest, reaching a height of 40m above the forest floor and over half-way up some of the larger trees. These tingles are exclusive to the immediate area and are up to 400 years old, reaching a height of 75m. In places the larger branches can be touched from the walkway and if you grab hold of the tree you can feel the wind moving it. Ever since
I read about this place in Bill Bryson’s ‘Down Under’ I have wanted to come here, and I was not disappointed; it’s a unique experience.
Just after the end of the walk a small group of Blue Wrens walked up to me, oblivious to my presence, pecking around for scraps. A cheeky and colourful little bird.
Rather than continue around the tree walk road I headed back the way I came and got back on highway 1 with around 50 km to go to Denmark.
Forget to mention that at the walk entrance I met another couple cycling perth to sydney - Martin and Renata from the Czech Republic, and we compared notes for a while. That makes around 7 riders within a few days of me going the same way.
About 10 km down the Highway is the only cafe between here and Denmark so I tried one of the award-winning Denmark pies, and can vouch for their deliciousness! As I consumed this and capaccino it started to rain, and then pour. oh well, what can you do? Just glad I brought the Sealskin socks and gloves and Goretex jacket, which i donned before setting of again.
Well, it rained hard for the rest of the day, and i was soaked to the skin on arrival - every cloud has a silver lining though as I had a good tailwind. It wasn’t unlike cycling in N Scotland! i was so wet I decided to splurge the budget and get a motel room - luxury or what? 15 mins later I was showered and changed into dry clothes and on the way to the library to upload pics to the blog. The guy there was very helpful and showed me how to resize images from 3MB down to about 250KB, which judging by the results are good enough
for Blogger.
I also had an e-mail from Rohloff in Germany - Robin Thorn had contacted them about mt slight oil leak from the hub gear - and they thought the oil was probably a result of the bike lying on it’s side on the flight over, such that what with the reduced pressure in the hold some oil leaked out. They didn’t seem concerned about it, and certainly everytthing is working OK. I’ll change the oil earlier than the recommended 5000 km just in case.
Back to the room and relax for a while.
I forgot that today was Lyn’s birthday - oops - really sorry darling, and a belated card will be on it’s way soon.