Guest Post – Glyn’s South Coast Adventure

This guest post, possibly the first in a series, comes from Glyn the bike packer. Now most bike packers seem to be a little on the crazy, but Glyn’s adventure seems to be positively enjoyable, and I can’t wait to try out his route myself when time permits.

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Stromatolites and Pinacles

This weekend I had some spare time to fill in Western Australia so I thought I would take a little drive and check out some of the amazing natural phenomena that abound the ‘Coral Coast’ as this area has been dubbed. With a massively long coastline with warm tropical waters flowing down from the northern Indian Ocean there is a massive variety of sea life including whales (in season), sea lions and so many varieties of sea grass that the coast line is quite putridly fascinating.

So, what is it that I actually went to see? Well an example of the oldest type of living creatures of the world (well slime) which despite being more then 1, 300 million years old can actually be found in quite a few locations around Australia and the world. In one of my little nerding out periods it is interesting to know that Stromatolites and Thromatolites (their very close relative) are communities of bacteria that form large accretions which over time become large rock like structures. These living fossils really don’t look exciting, but when you consider almost identical fossils are the oldest known fossils that is cool.

 

The second part of my adventure was to visit the Pinnacles, which are fascinating limestone structures sticking out of the sand in a desert like part of the coastline. The pinnacles can be best describes as stalamites that have formed in rock by limestone perculating through fissures instead of through the conventional dripping process. But that is enough science I think.

European Bikepacking Routes

People really have to stop finding ways to inspire me!

gypsy by trade

Bicycle Times Bikepacking Europe1 28Luxembourg, GR5/E2 trail

Two years ago I wondered about bikepacking routes in Europe.  After eight months of riding, researching, and blogging from Amsterdam to Sevastapol to Athens, this resource is the culmination of our efforts.  Europe is a great place to explore by bike, off-pavement, and self-supported.  Eat great food, visit fascinating cultural and historical places, and learn new languages, in between bike rides.  In Europe, there are rides and routes for every interest and skill level.  Use the search function or the archives on this page to learn more about our rides in Europe through the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Czech, Slovakia, Poland, Ukraine, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo, and Greece.

This is an incomplete list of European bikepacking routes.  These routes are either mapped, signed, and/or available as GPS tracks.  Many routes originate as self-supported off-pavement endurance races, multi-day stage races, or challenging routes for solo ITT.  Some are government tourism projects.  Others are the creation…

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Ellendale Pool

I’ve mentioned this before, but one of the perks of my job is being able to stop in at interesting locations near my work sites. At the moment I am spending a little time based out of Geraldton in Western Australia, and instead of heading straight home from the office today I decided to turn off the main drag at the big brown sign to Ellendale Pool. Not having a clue what I was heading towards, or how far down the road it might be is always a little worrying but today it worked out when I noticed the trees thickening and a few reeds starting to survive in the creek lines.

Soon I was driving parallel to what looked like a rather health swamp, but after taking another turn off I started to see glimpses of water. Ellendale Pool turned out to be a large spring fed billabong at the bend in a big cliff line. A few slightly worrying signs (not sure if I want meningitis) stopped me from swimming, or at least until I have spoken to some locals in the know.

Wollangambe 1 Canyon

On Saturday a rather large collection of rather motley friends assembled at Mt Wilson fire station for a moderately adventurous adventure. Despite my best intentions of planning and being organised we arrived well caffeinated about 45minutes after we had intended, and hence set out for the canyon proper a tad later than 9am. In our crew of 11 were friends from scouts, friends from Alice, friends of friends and well friends. The rather splendid weather meant for an enjoyable and meander-ful trip down the Wollangambe at a not particularly rushed pace, though I must concede there were surprisingly few food stops for one of my trips!

Anyway enjoy the photos. A massive thank you to Tallia, Ez and Alison for playing photographers!