Thursday, January 24, 2008

January 22nd - The road to Pemberton and a German Surprise

The last two days of riding have brought me into hill country- farms, cattle, and bush. Today was more hills but all paved. On the last 25 km of the 75 km ride, the scrubby medium sized trees of the bush gave way to the tall and smooth-barked karri forests. Each season as the tree grows, the old bark, weathered with a year’s growth, gives way in great strips that litter the ground, revealing fresh pine-colored new bark to protect the tree in the next year.

It was here on the side of the road that I made my tea. Just as I was cleaning up, Kai and Corinne, the German couple from Preston Beach (Martins Tank) with the lovely daughters, pulled up. I love a serendipitous experience; all the more so when you enjoy the company. They were heading to Walpole, my destination tomorrow. We caught up on the four days of travel. It already seemed worlds away. They were rested and remarkably relaxed as their 3- and 6-year-old played by the side of the road; something they no doubt learned from the past two months of vacation. They supplemented my plain breakfast of muesli with an apple, nectarine and orange and were kind enough to offer more. I declined as I had no room to spare.

Their visit left me very happy. It is great to meet strangers who become friends so quickly. My happiness lasted until a two km decent into the lovely valley that is Pemberton; a valley I will have to crawl out of first thing next morning.

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