By Raelene Blake
It was a glorious Saturday morning and we had five takers for the
girls' weekend ride to Nannup, Pauline, Tammy, Karen, Chris and I. We
met at the usual spot, next to the Amity Tavern and everyone was
feeling quite excited about our weekend away in the picturesque South
West. Introductions were made as we didn’t all know each other (we do
We decided to head straight for Walpole for coffee and off we went,
waved off by envious partners.
The weather was calm and overcast; it felt like a great day for riding. After coffee at Walpole, fuel attended to, a ladies visit we headed off again. The sky looked grey but not threatening . . . or so we thought.
Five kms out of Walpole the
heavens opened and down it came.
Fortunately there wasn’t a lot of traffic even though it was school
holidays, but visibility was very poor and it suddenly became a slow
We had planned to go to Pemberton via Northcliffe and regrouped at
turn off on the Manjimup Rd. We were very wet! Gloves were duly
wrung out, the clothing may have been damp but the spirits weren’t. We
decided after much laughing and singing (Karin) in the rain we would go
straight on to Pemberton for some warm food and yet another ladies
stop! We can highly recommend the hand-dryer located in the toilet
centre of Pemberton for warming anything!
We all headed into the café opposite and had a delicious
wrap for lunch followed by strong hot coffee and tea. Then onward to
Pemberton, a mere 40 kms up the road according to our navigator. We all
breathed a sigh of relief as that wasn’t that much further to go in the
rain! But alas the truth was revealed at the turnoff, it was actually
75km! Oh well we know you were just trying to make us feel better
The rain continued for the remainder of the trip to Nannup. We
quite a few bikers all looking as wet and bedraggled as we were. We
arrived at the Nannup Hotel to a warm welcome from the barmaid and a
roaring log fire. It was wonderful.
We were sleeping in the house at the back of the pub where she also
had had the fire going all day for us, so the house was very warm.
It was just as well because within 10 minutes of us settling in, the
lounge looked like a Chinese laundry with jackets, boots, trousers,
socks etc hanging everywhere to dry out for the next day's ride.
After showers, warm drinks and dry clothes we all headed off to the
for dinner. Stan Piecacz, from Albany, is managing the pub. The menu
was very extensive and reasonably priced. A few drinks were
ordered, then a second round of gin to water down the tonic for Karin.
Tammy and I discovered a very nice local merlot which mysteriously
disappeared and we had to order another! Pauline armed herself with a
couple of mudslides for a nightcap and after a very nice meal we all
headed back to our cosy little cabin, looking forward to a good nights
Alas this wasn’t to be for some of us as there were a family
of possums living in the roof of the house that were intent on
having a night “under the tiles”. They were very noisy and when the
roof over Karin’s bed starting moving she decided it was time to
evacuate to the lounge for the night. Pauline slept peacefully through
it all, she had worn her earplugs to bed (clever girl).
Tammy and I
remained pretty much undisturbed (thanks to Mr Merlot) but Karen and
Chris had a great deal of difficulty getting much sleep at all.
Sunday morning, our clothes are all dry the sun is shining and we
off on the road to Balingup following the river. After a wander through
the Old Cheese Factory we go into town for breakfast.
Luckily we were all on our bikes, as there are some very nice shops
Balingup and they were all open!
We had a lovely ride from Balingup to Bridgetown and onto Walpole where we met up with some keen riders who had come from Albany to meet us. We had lunch and recounted with much hilarity our experiences of the wet start to our weekend.
We all agreed it had been a great weekend, so girls, if any of you are interested in coming with us on our next ride, we would love to hear from you. We can’t guarantee great weather but we can guarantee a great time.