Friday 19 January. Ararat to Halls Gap. Kangaroo spotting day.
Rain continued all night much to the relief of locals fearful of bush fires. Luckily for us it cleared by morning. We were able to ride rain free until elevenses but there was some light rain after that for a couple of hours before clearing. Temperatures reached 30C and again very humid.
We rode into town for breakfast and then took the quiet minor road C222 towards the Grampian range of mountains.
The last few days we had been searching the undergrowth as we cycled along for Kangaroos without success. Today we ended the day saying "not another Kangaroo"
A few miles from the start of the ride Peter T was busy taking pictures of a roadside sign warning of Kangaroos while a few hundred yards up the road the rest of us were busy taking pictures of a herd of about 6 Kangaroos grazing in the distance on a hillside. Martin promptly scared them off by shouting Kangarooooos!!! At the top of his voice and they all hopped off between the trees and over the ridge.
We continued on to the small bush village of Mayston for coffee. A local who was into cycling chatted with us and gave us some tips on our planned route. We continued north on a flat route parallel with the Grampian Mountains to our left. Suddenly a Kangaroo appeared on the verge a few yards away. It skidded to a stop, hopped down the verge and across the road behind us and then hopped over a farm fence and raced off along the field. It was incredible to watch as it gracefully gained the speed of a racehorse with it's hops.
Martin was behind us and had spotted his own Kangaroo at a distance which didn't move and he videoed it and took pictures.
We stopped for lunch at a General Store combined with a Caf? at the small village of Pomonal.
A few miles up the road Martin spotted a field of Kangaroos. They were at quite a distance but spotted us, probably noticing the bright yellow coat worn by Peter W. They started hopping across the field jumping farmers fences with ease. There must have been a good 60 in the herd.
Nearing Halls Gap 2 Kangaroos were spotted on the road 100 yards ahead of us. While I checked into the Best Western Colonial at Halls Gap the others viewed Kangaroos grazing the field next to the Hotel.
This was clearly Kangaroo day and really made us feel we were in Australia.
31 miles for the day and only 780ft of climb.
Posted by Edwin
at 10:51 PM EADT