King Karri Tree Donnelly River
Donnelly River General Store
Rider on the Munda Biddi Trail
Melo Velo Nannup
Donnelly River Munda Biddi Trail
Black Cockatoos on the Munda Biddi
Emus at Donnelly River
Willow Springs Campsite

Nannup to Donnelly River

Munda Biddi Trail

Start

Nannup

Time

3-5 Hours

Finish

Donnelly River

Date Ridden

30th August 2021

Length

38.7km

Elevation

716m

Traditional Custodians

Bibbulman People

The Ride - With the first week of the Munda Biddi under our belt, having covered over 400km of the 1065km trail, this section heading out of Nannup would mark the start of some more relaxed riding. I had chosen to take a rest day in Nannup as it meant our partners could come down on a weekend and it also felt more of a natural rest stop after the kilometres we had covered in the first week. With a wet and miserable rest day on the Sunday spent enjoying Lavender Farms, Cheese Farms and nanna naps, my family arrived for the afternoon to say hello as they only live an hour away in Funbury.  

Having a spot of afternoon tea, it soon became time to say goodbye to Caris as she had to drive back home for work the next day. After being away from home for a week, this 24 hour visit felt very fleeting and it would be another two weeks until we would finish and see each other again. It was a bit of a sombre afternoon after saying goodbye to the girls but my family was still there so we hung out in the playground near the caravan park as the sun finally made an appearance for the day. Eventually they departed back to Funbury and Aron and I returned to our respective accommodation. Being back on the bikes tomorrow, I got some packing done before settling into bed for some much needed rest and to watch the Belgium Grand Prix with my Salmon and Avocado Bagel from Melo Velo. Unfortunately it was a fizzle as it was raining heavily and the race was called off after two laps under the safety car. I was super tired anyway so was asleep pretty early and in a deep slumber in no time. 

 

Waking up the next morning, we could afford a late start as there weren't many kilometres to cover today but with some shifty weather predicted, I did want to be in Donnelly River by mid afternoon so we could enjoy one of the more unique locations along the trail. Checking out of our accommodation, Aron and I decided to meet up at Melo Velo for breakfast and it was a nice way to leave town as I'd enjoyed this cycle friendly business a few times during our stay. Given we were staying in towns or settlements for the next five nights, having a warm meal every morning and night was going to be a regular thing so we warmed up with a cooked breakfast and coffee. This was fuel for one of the biggest climbs of the entire trail, a 280m ascent that I wasn't too concerned about given the climb was over 18km of riding and on mostly tarmac. With breakfast done, we set about departing from Nannup and headed towards East Nannup Road and the start of the climbing. It was a bit of a cold and grey morning but the ascent would get the legs pumping as we gently cruised through some farmland and the occasional thicker lining of trees on the roadside. 

With the gradients being very gentle, it was a case of settling into the saddle and working into a rhythm. Speaking of saddles, the rest day at Nannup had done some good to my saddle sores and I picked up a Kakadu Plum ointment that was working its magic so that was good news for the rest of the trip. With Aron going at his own pace, I took my time to get up the hill and stop to photograph everything that caught my eye. Feeling much better mentally now I was on the bike again, I was slowly getting back into bikepacking mode and building excitement for the second half of the journey. Life on the trail as many of you will know isn't always highlights and good times, there are moments where you question what you're doing, missing home and thinking about packing it all in. Having had thoughts about finishing at Nannup after the saddle sores reached their peak uncomfortableness at Nglang Boodja, I was in a much better place now with renewed motivation to finish the whole trip. Perking me up as we continued to climb was a crackle of Carnaby Black Cockatoos playing around on the fence of the nearby farm. 

I love these birds and to see them so close was pretty magical, made even better when they didn't immediately fly off, meaning  I could get some photos. Switching between moody looking farmland views, tree lined road and pine plantations, I was keeping an eye on the clouds rolling through as it was going to rain at some point today according to the forecast. Past the big pine plantation that covers a lot of the area east of Nannup, we started to enter the forest and it was a glorious sight to clap eyes on the beautiful Karri trees of this area. Marking a transition into the wetter Southern Forests of the South West, these giant trees are a favourite of mine and made me excited for the next few days of riding as we would be mostly seeing these cream coloured stunners. Around this point we were overtaken by another gentleman on a bikepacking bike, who we assumed had caught us up in Nannup and skipped a rest day. Having a chat to him as we pedalled along, he had come from Margaret River and was piecing together backroads with sections of the Munda Biddi in a haphazard way depending on how he was feeling that day.