Harvey to Donnybrook 1996

Harvey to Donnybrook, day 3, Thursday 17 October 1996. As in 1991 I had decided to bypass Bunbury and go straight to Donnybrook via a short-cut through Waterloo and Dardanup. Left Harvey at 7.52. Stopped at 1007, at Brunswick, at 8.49, having done 22 km in 57 minutes – the best hour of the trip. Winds were calm with a light westerly drift developing later in the day to help me slightly into Donnybrook.

Donnybrook sign

Donnybrook sign

It was here that I had the only accident of the trip. I had finished my drink and rest and was walking the bike over the grass towards the gravel path that led back to the main road. There was a little hump just where the grass met the gravel. I lost my balance and the bike fell over with me on top of it. I wrenched my right thumb, my gear thumb, and worried that it might have been broken. I don’t think it was, though it remained sore for weeks. I continued to change gears without any trouble for the rest of the trip. I also bruised my hip and cut my leg on the sharp teeth on the chain ring. I was afraid that the bruised hip might stiffen up and become chronic as with a similar injury after a fall on gravel between Nannup and Donnybrook in 1992, but this didn’t happen. I got up, wrenched the handlebars back straight and got going.

I reached the Waterloo turnoff at 1019, rested again at 1024, nearly went the wrong way (as in 1991) when I needed to turn right at the junction of Tognolini and Italiano Roads, and rested again with a choc-milk at the Boyanup shop.

I reached Donnybrook at 11:40, 1054.7. I booked into the motel, as pleasant as ever. I was happy to rest for a couple of hours under the doona which has replaced blankets and bedspreads in this motel.

When I woke up I was happy to find that there was no stiffness or pain in my hip. I enjoyed a swim in the pool, then showered, changed and went for the usual walk round the town with shopping and ‘phone calls. I booked a unit at the Freemasons’ Hotel in Bridgetown. It is more central than the Bridgetown Motel and that place has also won a Tourism Award, which means that prices have zoomed upwards and it provides things that I don’t need or value on one of these trips. I just want a hot shower, a comfortable bed, windows with insect screens, a TV and a moderate price, to save money against real need.

After leaving my shopping back at the motel in the unit’s fridge I went for a walk over the bridge, then back and along the banks of the Preston River and through the park. I came back to the South Western Highway some way south and walked back through the town, examining the huge old oak tree beside the railway station. This tree was planted in 1890 by early settlers and now has a plaque nearby detailing its huge girth, height and spread. It looks very healthy. I grubbed around in its litter and got three acorns. I hope they will grow.

Got a cheese sausage, a chicken sausage, some chips and chicken pieces for dinner and once again ate them lounging about in my unit. Went to bed before ten.

Reading at Donnybrook: 1054.7 Day: 69km. Cumulative 190km, 63.3km/day. Speed to Donnybrook 18.2 (1991: 15.1).

Charles A. Pierce

Other Days on this Tour:

  1. Kelmscott to Rocky Gully Tour 1996
  2. Kelmscott to Pinjarra 1996
  3. Pinjarra to Harvey 1996
  4. Harvey to Donnybrook 1996
  5. Donnybrook to Bridgetown 1996
  6. Bridgetown to Nyamup 1996
  7. Nyamup to Rocky Gully 1996
  8. Rocky Gully to Kojonup 1996
  9. Kojonup to Boscabel 1996
  10. Boscabel to Darkan 1996
  11. Darkan to Collie 1996
  12. Collie to Waroona 1996
  13. Waroona to Mandurah 1996
  14. Mandurah to Cottesloe 1996

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