Trip to Coalmine Beach, Walpole

All photos © Edan, Mick, Pete, Joe, Warwick, & TFB, 2010.

After most of us piking-out of the ride in the latter-half of 2009 (some of the excuses actually sounded plausible), the last weekend of Jan.2010 saw everyone put in renewed efforts — and we got a record turnout of 9 motorcycles with scaly pilots!

The absence of the Gusmeister was noted, who despite the usual bravado of telling the rest of us what pussys we are, still couldn't quite shake the wife's headlock. No Gus also meant no 'transport & recovery vehicle' — so we had to load whatever we could onto the bikes. This made for a more spartan camping experience than usual, esp. in the food department. But as long as there was a hotplate to cook the meat on we weren't going to starve.

Seven of us assembled at Casa Banana, the Baldini brothers were on time, and Warwick was LATE. (The rank hypocrisy of this wasn't lost on Messrs. Baldini.) Then it was off down the recently-opened Forrest Highway to Bunbury, the most boring stretch of road on the planet. Edan joined us at Safety Bay, and Alastair rounded out the happy throng at Bunbury. Then off to Bridgetown, where the usual pub fare awaited us.

With guts full of food and a lovely ale, it was off to Manjimup and then that magic road down to Walpole: 100+ kilometres of tarmac winding through the huge forest. Arrival at nearby Coalmine Beach saw us pitching the tents and then darting back into Walpole for supplies. The usual squabble erupted in the supermarket with Warwick wanting to blow the food budget on veggie patties. Thankfully he was howled-down and we were able to get enough raw protein for the weekend.

That night we ate well and slept well — until some unearthly hour of the morning, when the sound of a car labouring to produce donuts woke everyone up. Thankfully the noise stopped as suddenly as it had begun; I assumed a blown motor but the truth turned out to be far more delicious!

Upon investigation the next morning, the yokel's handiwork was there in the carpark for all to see:

Wandering a little further we were greeted by the sight of his Holden Commodore (favoured chariot of your average West Australian hoon) stuck in the scrub! And a little bit worse for wear, heh heh! This was a sight for sore eyes, especially ones that had been rudely wrenched open in the wee hours.

As you can see, our young friend had really tried his best, ripping out the roadside posts in a vain effort to free his car from its sandy hole. But there was only one way it was going to come out...

... and that was under the supervision of Officer Fowler of the Walpole cops — who seemed delighted with the gathering crowd of campers, satisfied that the young buck (that's him there in the white cap) was drowning in good old-fashioned SHAME. Officer Fowler also happily pointed out that this was none other than HISTORY IN THE MAKING: Walpole's first vehicle impounding! We felt truly privileged to be there.

After brekky we took off along the coastal road to Albany, approx. 50% of which is yet more bliss of sweeping bends through magnificent forest. Once in Albany we split up to wander around the town doing our own thing, buying trinkets for the little savages back home or taking in the sights:

Alas, all too soon it was time to head home again, this time via Northcliffe and Pemberton.

Naturally we gave the splendid Pemberton bakery a good working-over for morning tea. With the best of the roads behind us we settled into a more leisurely touring pace:

Th-th-th that's all folks — until next time, that is!

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