Recuperating in Walpole – Cycling Across Australia
Before we even booked into our accommodation we fronted up to the Top Deck café for a hot coffee. The temptation was there for lunch but the prices soon put that little urge to rest. The meals looked enormous but the price tag for most dishes was in the $20 plus range and we couldn’t justify that for lunch. Whatever happened to a quick bite to eat for a reasonable price?
Walpole Lodge is one of two backpackers in town. We didn’t visit the other one but Julie and Steve made us so welcome and the facilities were so good there really was no need to look elsewhere. The room was clean and comfortable and big enough for us and all our panniers. They had a proper bike locker out the back for us to lock up the girls and a lovely lounge area where we could settle in for both of the semi-final games. They had a big log fire in the living room and an enormous, well fitted out kitchen. There is plenty of room to lounge around outside when the weather is good and a gas BBQ is available as well. Loos and showers are clean and adequate so we really didn’t mind that we were stuck there for an extra day because of atrocious weather.
Over the 4 days we were there we met a lot of walkers who were trying to complete the Biblumun Track and their tales of hiking thigh high, and even neck high, in water made us feel somewhat better that others were also having it tough because of the conditions. We were mightily impressed by the toughness of some of these characters. Many of them were retirees and nothing seemed to deter them from their adventure.
The local pub isn’t a bad visit either. The bar staff are efficient and chatty and the meals look to be fairly good value. The local IGA is well stocked and fairly reasonable and the local bakery in the main street is extremely popular. The day we went there they were just about sold out of pies etc by 1pm and the customers were still streaming in. Their cakes are to die for and the coffee is pretty good too.
One of the highlights of our stay there was the Tree Top walk about 17km east of town. We were lucky to have a couple of friends from QLD drop through and take us for a drive around the area. It was a rare treat not to be peddling our way around and we paid particular attention to the hills and condition of the road we would be taking in a few days time.
The weather even improved enough on day two to let us get out the bikes and give them a thorough clean and lube. They had suffered along with us in the wet and mud and deserved a bit of love and attention. All in all, Walpole provided a safe, comfortable port in the storm that had been the past 10 days. We had restored our mental and physical energy to continue east and tackle whatever the rest of the South West had to throw at us.
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