Thursday 8 February. Mount Gambier to Portland.
Today we briefly split with Peter W. On Mondays ride to Beachport Peter had a puncture and found the tyres on his folding bike which are not easily obtainable were very worn. He had ordered new ones from Melbourne by telephone on Tuesday but despite express delivery nothing arrived Wednesday. He had to wait for delivery today and stay another night at Mount Gambier and then get the 7.40 am and only bus tomorrow to our destination that day of Warnambool.
Weather was mainly sunny today with short cloudy spells and a little cool compared to what we had become used to at 22C. Sorry to UK readers currently shivering at 2C.
We headed SE on the C192 coast route with again a strong headwind but more shelter thanks to a rolling road and many trees. The road was relatively quiet with a vehicle about every 2 minutes but half of those were heavy lorries many carrying Chipping's for the Port with a strong smell of pine.
We first headed south on flat roads to start with. We saw some Wallabies in a field by the road but they fled too quickly for pictures. Then across the Border back into Victoria State and a bit more Bike Lag with the clocks going forward 30 minutes so we had less time to do the ride.
A few miles on we stopped at the small town of Nelson for brunch at a roadhouse (combined service station shop and restaurant) We all had beans on toast and a large apple pie and ice cream.
The ride continued gradually climbing higher up to 600ft among pine plantations. We stopped at one point and watched a machine sawing the trees while holding them with a large grab handle and tearing them down.
A short distance further on we saw a desolate landscape where trees had been sawn down bounded by a forest in the distance. 2 Emu had spotted us before we saw them and were running at speed across the open landscape towards the Forest. They looked like something out of Jurassic Park.
Further on we stopped for an afternoon break at a clearing called Emu Flat. There were no towns for 40 miles between Nelson and Portland.
10 miles further on we stopped for an Alpaca moment at a small farm where a 20 strong herd of Alpacas gathered round curiously as we stopped and we chatted to the owners.
We passed various National Parks and Forests on the ride including the curiously named Cobbnaboee National Forest
When we reached Portland we checked into our 2 bedroom Apartment at the Victoria Lodge Motor Inn. It could fairly be described as the ideal accommodation for the Cycle Tourist with lounge kitchen area with microwave, dishwasher and walk in larder. As well as a very good shower the bathroom had a Spa Bath and also a washing machine and dryer into which our cycling clothes were deposited.
After dinner at a pub where all 3 of us finished with sticky date pudding for desert we went on to the seafront to a Caf? for Coffees. Martin and I decided to try their sticky date pudding purely for comparison purposes. Peter was a little scandalised at 2 sticky date puddings each in one evening!!
65 miles for the day and 1666ft of climb.
Posted by Edwin
at 11:08 PM EADT