It was a beautiful day in Esperance Western Australia. I was so excited to have my own motorbike. I grew up riding horses and four-wheel motorbikes around the farm. I was now the proud owner of a black 2009 Yamaha Cruiser 250cc 3200 on the speedo. As I swung my leg over and slid on to the low comfortable seat it felt amazing. I was a little nervous and felt a bit uneasy but I knew this was going to be something very special.
I spend the next month riding around Esperance with my L plates on. I wished at times I had training wheels on, I dropped the bike once during a riding lesson. My friend had just brought a Harley Davidson so we spent every spare day together riding around the coastline of Esperance which is truly breathtaking. The landscape was steep and hills rolled along the coast where the ride was fun and relaxing. We would ride around then called into my favourite pub The Esplanade Hotel on the waterfront for lunch. It was not long before I was loving the wind in my face, the freedom and sense of contentment. I was hooked.
Let the Challenge Begin
Our first big adventure took 7 days and 2500ks. My friend rode their Harley with me on my 250 Yamaha. I prepared for the ride by wearing a Harley Davidson Jacket which had a double lining, Dragging pants and an Orirder neck scarf also Rossi boots and Harley Davidson gloves. I was set. I packed an Ox Trail canvas biker swag, few clothes, and extra fuel and off we went. The roads between Esperance and Ravensthorpe are hilly and windy and have a lot of heavy vehicles travelling on them. The Great Southern is the home of Grain Crops, sheep and cattle farming so you shared the road with all the trucks, which most of them we knew because of we both where truck drivers at the time. We also experienced a lot of caravans on the road during the springtime which was great for the local communities but very challenging for other road users. I have lived in my caravan now for 9 years and been a professional truck driver I have many stories to tell another time. It was such a beautiful ride following the different crops watching the colour of each paddock constantly changing. We managed to make it to Raventhorpe which was 187.5ks before I completely ran out of fuel. So, the benchmark for fuel was set. I have a small tank! I realized this ride was going to make me or break me.
Once we rode into Mandurah, I had a sore backside and it felt like I was glued to the seat of my bike. After a good night's rest, we headed off first stop Bunbury. The ride from Mandurah to Bunbury was great the roads where straight and flat. When I first brought my bike, it had not been used for some time. So, the further we rode the better the bike ran. We wandered through Busselton and along the coastline to Dunsborough where we camped for two nights which was fun. It was a change to sleep next to my motorbike because I would usually be sleeping next to a horse or sheep and cattle among other animals too and listening to the shuffling around and eating all night.
Ngilgi Caves Yallingup
We stayed at Yallingup Beach Holiday Park and while sleeping in my sway I would wake to the sound of the birds talking to each other as the sun's rays crept through the trees. It was magic. We visited the Ngilgi Caves discovered in 1899, Ngilgi Cave (formerly Yallingup Cave) remains one of the Margaret River region's most visited attractions. I spent the whole day walking the caves in my very comfortable Rossi boots up and down all the stairs and not one plaster, I was so happy. The ride from Dunsborough to Margaret River was breathtaking. I was in awe of the scenery. Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park was most enjoyable to ride. We rode around taking roads and losing ourselves exploring and having fun, getting a little lost at times. We spent time riding around August and Bridgetown then on down to Manjimup which I loved. The scenery was wonderful so relaxing which I needed mentally because by this time I had saddle sores and feeling every muscle in my body. It was hard work riding all day every day.
Denmark and Walpole
As we ventured on my riding skills and confidence grew and I started relaxing and feeling that I was at one with my bike. It was a whole new riding experience. Pemberton pulled on my heart I loved it and wanted to stay for a few weeks. The people were friendly and the food was great but we were on a tight schedule so off we went. A must stop to explore is Denmark and Walpole. This is a little slice of Paradise beautiful forests that rollover to green lush pastures feeding quality sheep and cattle. I really relaxed here, another place I would have loved to stay for a few weeks. We took some time off our bikes and walked the Valley of the Giants and Tree Top Walk, it was awesome. I always wanted to hug a tree so I did. I am so happy that we got to see all the beautiful forests from Busselton to Albany before the fires took them out the following year. Mother nature at its best, beautiful strong and lush forest then the next moment gone burnt down.
Albany Beautiful and Romantic
We wandered down to Albany a lovely seaside town right at the bottom of Western Australia. Windy and hilly but beautiful and a little romantic. Interesting shops and cafes line the main street. The local winery offers a yummy selection of quality wines. I felt right at home here. Albany has plenty to see with Museums, Sights, and landmarks plus great beaches. I really enjoyed Albany's Historic Whaling station where there is so much history and great displays to see. My passion for the Arts and History found me wandering around the National Anzac Centre which gave me a real perspective of the sacrifice the Australian and New Zealand Soldiers did for us all. Truly moving.'
I know at this point in my journey the hardest ride lay ahead of me. Albany to Jerramungup to Ravensthorpe and down to Esperance. At this stage, I was riding with more composure and enjoying myself although I was sore and feeling tired. The wind that comes off the coast is strong and it really made me work hard to keep my little bike upright and on my side of the road.
It was a relief to finally roll over the last hill heading down into Esperance. I had made it. What a wonderful feeling. I had done it. This is a ride I will never forget and even today I enjoy looking back and remembering the trip. I am going to bo back one day and spend more time wandering around the Great Southern of Western Australia. Join me for more adventures www.theedgetofreedom.com