Australia Prt 18, WA: Hopetoun to Albany

Route: Hopetoun – Fitzgerald River National Park – Jerramungup – Ongerup – Stirling Range National Park – Mount Barker – Porongurup National Park – Albany

Day 220: 15 September 2019
From Hopetoun to along Hamersley Drive
50,01 km (Total so far: 10.109,86 km) – Altitude climbed: 540 m
Weather: Cloudy, rain, moderate tail wind

It’s a cloudy, cool day when I leave Hopetoun. Not bad circumstances to cycle, but the views won’t be too good. As I approach Culham Inlet and have a better view off the Eyre- and Whoogarup Range, I see they are almost completely covered in clouds.

I work my way up again that 17% climb towards East Mount Barren.
Glad I came out here on Friday when the weather was glorious and circumstances to climb the hill much better.

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The road keeps going up and down, first towards Mylies Beach, then up, inland towards Sepulcralis Hill.
Regularly there’s a sign off the road indicating “water”. I checked them, and I think those are water points for when there’s a fire in the park. It is not drinking water. But this are good places to pitch your tent, as all the rest is densely covered with bushes. I stop at a nice waterhole with some colorful flowers.
Today there were several periods with drizzle, but never serious rain.

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View from Sepulcralis Hill.

Day 221: 16 September 2019
From along Hamersley Drive to along Middamidjup Road
74,06 km (Total so far: 10.183 km) – Altitude climbed: 553 m
Weather: Sunny, moderate side and tail wind

Continuing my ride on Hamersley drive, I have magnificent views of the different small mountain ranges in the park. About seven kilometer before the junction with the South Coast Highway, I take a left turn onto the Old Ongerup Road to continue riding on dirt i.o. on the highway.
As I experienced already before riding into Hopetoun, the magpies are aggressively swooping down at me. It ’s quite impressive.

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He got a bit agitated.

It is incredible how these things work, but today, I was thinking that it has been a really long time since I had a flat tyre. Those Chinese super-thick tubes, and the extra tube around it as a liner make the bike heavy, but it works effectively against punctures.
And then…. I had a puncture.
In the front, no worries.

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Day 222: 17 September 2019
From along Middamidjup Road to along Gnowangerup Jerramungup Road
71,40 km (Total so far: 10.255,32 km) – Altitude climbed: 452 m
Weather: Sunny, strong head and side wind

Uneventful day, riding against the wind. this whole ride between the Fitzgerald and Stirling Ranges National Park is nothing special on its own. Just riding through agricultural land, but I am avoiding the busy highway, which was the main objective.
Jerramungap has an Iga supermarket and a coffee shop.
Originally, I planned to continue via small dirt roads south of the Gnowangerup-Jerramungup Road, but for tomorrow they predict a lot of wind from the wrong direction, and I want to make the ride into Ongerup as short and as flat as possible, so I choose the main road.

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I crossed the Rabbit Proof Fence nbr. 2 today (not much left of it, the rabbits have won the battle).
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Part of the rabbit proof fence.

Day 223: 18 September 2019
From along Gnowangerup Jerramungup Road to Ongerup Caravan Park
26,93 km (Total so far: 10.282,25 km) – Altitude climbed: 240 m
Weather: Sunny, very strong head wind

A short but tough ride to Ongerup. More storm predicted for the afternoon, night and tomorrow, so I rent a caravan in the caravan park to shelter for two days.
Very comfortable.

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Day 224: 19 September 2019
Ongerup Caravan Park
Weather: Rain, very strong winds

Sitting out the bad weather, watching some Belgian tv on the laptop and an oil change for the Rohloff.
While I did the small ride with the cleaning oil in the Rohloff, I spotted two beautiful yellow Regent Parrots.

Day 225: 20 September 2019
From Ongerup Caravan Park to between Borden & Amelup
39,81 km (Total so far: 10.322,06 km) – Altitude climbed: 211 m
Weather: Rain, strong head wind

A late start due to some problems with my credit card.
The laptop seemed hacked as well. All the memory was constantly eaten away, even when I was deleting gigabytes and gigabytes of data.
Lousy weather.

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Day 226: 21 September 2019
From between Borden & Amelup to Stirling Ranges National Park
50,64 km (Total so far: 10.372,70 km) – Altitude climbed: 586 m
Weather: Cloudy, rain, strong side and head wind

The goal today was to climb Bluff Knoll (1.094 meter) but the thing was covered in clouds as I was riding towards it. But then, some wind, the clouds were blown away, the sun came out.
But all that only for a brief moment. Soon the miserable conditions returned. Vertical rain and cold temperatures are not the conditions for a hike to a mountain top, even if it’s only a thousand meter high.
I continued riding, left Chester Pass Road and took Stirling Range Drive, a gravel road meandering its way through the park. Plenty of wild camping options.

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Stirling Range.
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Even bats are hit by traffic.

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Bluff Knoll.

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Day 227: 22 September 2019
From Stirling Ranges National Park to south of Kendenup
55,70 km (Total so far: 10.428,40 km) – Altitude climbed: 873 m
Weather: Sunny, light tail wind

Aaah, the sun is back !
The wind, although having lost all its force, has turned toward the east and is giving me a helping hand.
The ride, it is beautiful. Gravel Road, just a handfull of cars, viewpoints, birds and at the end of the day a super-nice couple, Fred and Wendy, hosting me for the night.
I get my own lovely room and to top it off, the best pizza in years is prepared from their own wood fired oven.
A very good day.

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View from the Central Look-out. That’s the dirt road I’m riding through the Stirling Range.

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View from the Western Look-out.

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Day 228: 23 September 2019
From south of Kendenup to Porongurup National Park
37,39 km (Total so far: 10.465,79 km) – Altitude climbed: 475 m
Weather: Sunny, moderate side wind

Today, all my troubles (with credit card) were taken away.
No more worries. Well, there’s the laptop which is down, but we’ll see what can be done about that.
Fred and Wendy rode part of the way with me towards Mount Barker. Then, a short stretc of less than two kilometer on the Albany Highway, but there was a reasonable shoulder before the cycle path appeared.
A very nice Iga in town and friendly folks at the tourist info.
My original plan was to ride via O’Neill Road towards the Porungurups, but luckily Fred informed me that is not a through road.
The Mount Barker-Porungurup Road which I took instead was almost traffic-free.
I rode up the western slopes of the Porungurups and pitched my tent in the forest.

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At Mount Barker. This must be the most important pedestrian crossing in the little town. There are four (!) of these little red and white triangles at this crossing and one are two of the green ones you see in the middle of the street to warn you not to dare, in your wildest dreams, to disturb the car traffic. Also note they refuse to paint a zebra crossing. As a pedestrian (or cyclist), even at the heart of a shopping area, you shall give way to the almighty car. Amen.

Day 229: 24 September 20219
From Porongurup National Park to Albany
88,24 km (Total so far: 10.554,03 km) – Altitude climbed: 772 m
Weather: Sunny, moderate tail wind

Continued my route riding south of the Porongurups. I was in no hurry, so made myself a nice route almost all on dirt towards Albany. Once passed Oyster Harbour it’s all on separate bike paths into town. Really neat.
I was hosted again by a fabulous couple, Beth and Denis.

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Porongurups.

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The cycle path going around the hill in Albany.

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3 thoughts on “Australia Prt 18, WA: Hopetoun to Albany”

  1. Glad to read that your creditcard is sorted out and am assuming from the post that your were also able to sort out the computer.
    Nice that you meet these nice people to host you.
    You write “Regularly there’s a sign off the road indicating “water”. I checked them, and I think those are water points for when there’s a fire in the park. It is not drinking water.” Are these waterpoints taps for big hoses or just big puddles of water? Nice to know, by the way, that they provide good camping possibilities.
    Nice bike path around Albany – gives superb views of the ocean.
    Glad that the weather turned nice again. Rain, storm yikes …

    Looking forward to the next update, in the meantime hope you have brilliant weather and tailwinds, keep meeting lovely people and simply just have a fantastic time.

    Inge

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    1. Hi Inge,

      The waterpoints are just puddles of water. Brownish, so if you tried to filter it, the filter would clog up quickly, I think.
      The weather is HOT now ! This means the flies are getting nervous again 🙂

      People remain brilliant here. I’m a bit behind on the blog, but trying my best to make updates.
      Brgds.

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      1. Ah, we don’t like brown water. Indeed not good for filtering – guess that means just carrying some extra. As if you don’t carry enough 😉.
        Glad to hear that you are nice and toasty – here it it is cold and wet. Would not mind some heat… already am looking forward to spring and winter has not even quite begun.
        Hope the flies won’t get too bothersome. Guess I’ll find out in your next posting.
        Good to hear that the people remain brilliant. Always super when they are for they can make or break a trip.
        Keep up the good blog work. As always am looking forward to the next… keeps me wanting to start my trip even more. Have to practice being patient a bit more.
        Till next time, happy cycling,
        Inge

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