Week 6: Tour De Oz (Denmark, Albany, Wave Rock)
As I started cruising south, the temperatures started to drop down, and in the space of a week I found myself going from riding in 45°C averages down to 15°C – a drop of 30°C! Should’ve seen it coming, as I was on my way to Denmark. Denmark, WA, to be exact. And it lived up to its name – it was cold, and raining, but I still managed to see a couple of the local attractions.
These include Green Pool and Ocean Beach – lovely places, and probably more so if it wasn’t pouring the whole time. So I found myself completely soaked – yet again – and checked in to a local motel to dry off. All part of the fun!
Refreshed, dry and full of energy (after 11 hours sleep!), I didn’t have to drive far (only 50km) to Albany – a pleasant city with great surrounds, and a chance to catch up with some friends from work.
Next up: the ride through Torndirrup National Park. I was very impressed with ‘The Gap’ – a sheer chasm & natural bridge – which is basically a large piece of granite with a fantastic arch sculpted by erosion. A bit of research, and I found that there’s much, much more to see around this town … unfortunately, ‘Tour de Oz’ waits for no man …
Wave Rock has been on by ‘must do’ list since I started planning Tour De Oz, and even though I’ve heard mixed opinions about this place I decided to stick to my guns and do the 450km detour to Hyden just to see it. And to call a spade a spade: apart from a few lookouts at Stirling Range, there’s not much to look at apart from wheat fields and a few salt lakes. On a positive note: the roads were empty and there was no police around so I made it there real quick!
Then there’s Wave Rock, and it really makes up for the boring ride. A spectacular granite formation in the shape of a wave, Wave Rock features beautiful vertical streaks that make the whole thing resemble a giant, rocky ocean wave. After a few ‘surfy’ pictures at the bottom, I went for a walk to the top – it’s a pretty cool experience, like walking on a sort of big ‘rock bubble’!
Another ‘must do’ attraction close-by is the salty Lake Magic (10 times as salty as seawater). I must say at this point: I’ve got a thing for ‘lakes,’ having grown up in the “Lake Region” of Poland, so I was super excited, especially as the information centre told me I’d be able to swim in it. So I put on my swimmers, started the bike and went off in search of some ‘living on the edge’ adventure (i.e. without riding clothes & helmet!) … for a whole 1km! The moment I saw the ‘white’ lake, I stopped the bike, took off the riding boots, grabbed the towel and ran in to the lake … which turned out to be 10cm deep, or should I say shallow! The lake would probably have been 50cm in the middle, but it was hard to even walk there ‘cause of the salt crystals … and forget swimming. It was a great adventure anyway, and besides, I got some awesome pics!
Kinga’s Tour De Oz – Supporting the Shepherd Centre
Please sponsor my ride at: http://everydayhero.com.au/onherbike