One of my favorite things to do is visit art museums. Unfortunately, I haven’t had much luck in my recent travels. Last month, the Western Australia Museum in Perth was closed for renovations… for 4 years.
So, I should not have been surprised to learn that the Hong Kong Museum of Art was closed for renovations… for 4 years.
That reminded of something else that takes 4 years… getting a niche for your loved one’s cremated remains in Hong Kong.
One way to reach the Dragon’s Back trailhead is to walk up all the stairs at Cape Collinson Catholic Cemetery. That happened to be the way I went so I learned this odd fact.
The hillside cemeteries of Hong Kong are quite a sight. I could have used a guide to answer a few questions, though. Such as… why are there occasional brick ovens? Or… do the pictures on the markers have to be near death or least flattering?
I don’t have a way to tie this junk boat into the 4 year theme except to say that 4 years ago, Hong Kong set new goals to combat air pollution… you can see how effective that has been.
The Chainsmokers, Closer, was playing at the dim sum stand where I bought these awesome treats… 4 years…
A very vertical vista.
Having enjoyed Hong Kong-style waffles in many cities, I decided it was time for the original. After securing a few essentials,
I made my way to the Temple Street Night Market and Mammy Pancake for one that would be sure not to disappoint.
Feeling the need to work off the wonderfully yummy and filling delicacies, I followed up with another popular HK favorite… a hike on the Dragon’s Back.
Despite the fog and haze, there were beautiful views of the islands from the trail.
Other less arduous walks included a stroll along the Avenue of Comic Stars
and a descent from The Peak along Lugard Road.
For lack of anything better to do, I decided to join Helpx and find a productive way to spend my remaining time in Australia. My first gig was helping on a farm in Hay located near Denmark. That entailed riding back from Albany but a long lunchbreak at Lowlands Beach made it worthwhile.
All mine for a few hours.
It was a beautiful day so I was fortunate to have the opportunity to enjoy the trail this time.
When I arrived at the farm, the lawnmowers were hard at work.
One of my “jobs” was to bottle feed the temporary residents, Sissy, Ivy and Tilly. The unfortunate thing about Hay is hayfever. Despite loving the “work”, I had to move on.
Currently, I’m in Perth making the rounds to Kings Park, Freemantle, and Cottesloe. It’s a very bicycle-friendly city so I may just hang out here for the duration.
On Wednesday, October 18th, I arrived at the port city of Albany.
Had there not been rain and wind on my final day, I’m sure the ride would not have felt complete.
I was disappointed that I’d only spent 2 of the 26 days sightseeing (off-trail) in the region but the cold and rain just didn’t make it very appealing.
Fortunately, the sun came out as I toured the area the following day. A view of Albany from Torndirrup.
The view from Sharp Point offers both the harbor and the coast.
Natural Bridge and Dog Rock are just two of the many local attractions. Now that I’ve completed the Munda Biddi, I’m not entirely sure what comes next. I look forward to whatever tomorrow brings.
This is a King Karri. They’re not small.
After Nannup is the mill town of Donnelly River Village where you are greeted by karri trees,
and emus, kangaroos, and Australian ringnecks. The General Store also serves a lovely cuppa Chai and some fine food.
The climb up to Karta Burna was not especially rewarding, just rainy and gloomy. I couldn’t fathom a night in the hut so I continued on to Manjimup. Unfortunately, it was Saturday and the whole town rolls up at 5pm and doesn’t unwind until 11am on Sunday. Yet, I was able to manage a room, a meal, a few snacks for the next day and best of all, clean clothes at a 24-hour laundry. There are no huts on this section of the MBT so the next two nights were spent in Pemberton and Northcliffe.
This is the Gloucester Tree. At 53 meters, it’s the world’s 2nd tallest fire-lookout tree. You can sorta make out the viewing platform at the top in the 1st picture… in the 2nd, you can sorta make out my Trek on the ground next to a picnic table.
It affords a great view but climbing up what is essentially a spiral rebar ladder was a bit sketch.
The trails around Pemberton had good flow, smooth switchbacks, and I should have stayed an extra day to ride more.
Not to say that the MBT doesn’t have… challenges.
After the towns, it was back to huts. The Yirra Kartta is situated next to a granite outcropping. It reminded me a little of Enchanted Rock.
The Kwokralup Beela hut is near a river. Lots of tannin gave it a foam topping. The picture of the wildflowers is terrible but I wanted to remember to mention how amazing the MBT smells. When I don’t get to shower for 3 days straight, I really appreciate it.
Aside from a few sprinkles, I managed to stay dry between Collie and the Nglang Boodja hut. The new chain caused a few moments of grief but overall it was an uneventful ride.
Despite adding a sleeping bag liner and “pad” to my haul, I still woke up cold in the middle of the night. Another overcast and windy day did not improve my state. A little inspiration was helpful.
After I arrived at the Donnybrook Hotel, I cranked the heater up and piled all the extra doonas on top of me. About 2 AM, I woke up too warm! What a wonderful feeling.Recovered, I headed out to Nala Mia and the SUN came out. About half way there, I got a lift. Well, for around 2 km, just to get me safely away from the burn zone.One look around and I decided not to spend the night at Nala Mia and continued on to Nannup.In clearer surroundings, I took a parting shot.A late lunch break on and along an old rail formation not far from town.Sadly, accommodations were slim pickings in Nannup and I ended up renting… a tent! Glamping? It had 2 rooms, lamps, heaters, electric blankets, and a kitchen deck with stove, refrigerator, toaster, and microwave. With a cup of chai, in hand, it wasn’t long before I was settled in.