'Just keep riding'
Trip Start Sep 09, 2004
394Trip End Ongoing
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Margaret River turned out to be a bit of an oddball. Ask anyone and they'll tell you: 'There's so much to do here, you'll need a good couple of weeks at least.' I reckon I saw more of Margaret River by leaving than I would have done if I'd stayed. It's vastly sprawled out and unless you've got a motor it's easy to find yourself at a bit of a loss. Wineries, breweries, caves, surf spots, idyllic beaches, Margaret River's got it all - but you've got to be able to get around it.
Not surprisingly, the tour companies cover a few angles. Like the wine tasting. Pay the fee, hop on the bus and they'll whizz you round a few wineries and get you laggered. Great in theory but we were up for a bit of fine dining as well as tasting so decided on the independent option. This meant taking a taxi out to a small cluster of wineries and breweries and doing things our way at our own pace, a genius solution which made for a perfect afternoon, until we got shafted proper by the taxi company. They'd clearly got us by the balls and so we had little choice, we were out in the sticks and miles from base. $110 all up, ta very much. Arseholes. Still, we did get to do our own thing and enjoyed a full day of indulgence. Fine wine, great food and an evening spread of Shiraz from the Were Estate and sickening amounts of smelly cheese. Bliss. Linda was on her back and I wasn't far behind. All in all it was a great day of firsts and I'm stoked I got to chomp down on a bit of crocodile (spot on) and 'Wagyu beef' - the one where they feed the cow buckets of exquisite Margaret River wine and massage it daily with loving tenderness - easily the best few mouthfuls of beef I've ever had.
...and so I got away. Leaving Mararet River brought its rewards in minutes - beautiful beaches, impeccable coves and magnificent rolling surf, right around the north-west cape - every bit of it adding to some of the best coastal scenery I've seen to date.
By mid-afternoon I'd made it over to Busselton, home to the longest wooden jetty (pier) in the southern hemisphere, third longest in the world - so they say. It still amazes me when people stress whole-heartedly the importance of doing something - or missing something - as if it will be the absolute make or break of your experience. As this little motorbike mission of mine involves taking in all the nooks and crannies of coastal Australia, stopping and taking in places like Busselton and its oversized jetty seemed a nice touch and certainly part of the idea. Yet I was told - by more than one person on more than one occasion - not to bother with Busselton. 'There's nothing, nothing there, not even worth getting off your bike.' Granted, there's not that much here but still, I'm looking at one of the most peaceful, picturesque, tranquil beaches I think I've ever seen. What is it with you people? Not only did I get off the bike for a look, I checked myself into a little hostel called 'Phat Sam's' for the night, took the long stroll down to the end of the jetty and back and spent the best part of this wonderfully peaceful afternoon splashing around in the soothing waters of Busselton's magical beach. Take a look at the pictures, please. Please tell me I was an idiot. Please tell me I should have kept on riding..
Kilometres eaten: 5385
Where I stayed
Phat Sam's Hostel