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Edwins Bicycle Tour Downunder
Tuesday, 13 February 2007
Tuesday 13 February. Koala Nibbles



remote Posted by Edwin at 10:11 PM EADT
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Tuesday 13 February. View of the Great Ocean Road



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Tuesday 13 February. Group picture at Mount Defiance Overlook



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Monday, 12 February 2007
Monday 12 February. Lavers Hill to Apollo Bay

Today weather was dry with a mix of sunny spells and cloud and temperatures up to 22C. We again had a strong SE wind but not as bad as yesterday with a lot of the time going down or climbing up and sheltered from the wind.

I cooked porridge for the group in the room and I took a last look at the Koalas and Kangaroos. We descended to Lavers Hill village and then a long descent to the coast at Glenaire where The Bend Caf? provided us elevenses.

Then about 8 miles of flatlands before stopping for a picnic lunch in the sun over looking the Valley. Then the big climb of the day headed inland across the Otway National Park. We stopped part way up at the Maits Rest Rainforest Boardwalk and explored some scenic flora.

We continued to the top of the pass at 990ft and just as we started to go down we met Lewis a friend of Martin and Peter T coming up on his bike. He was staying at Apollo Bay for the night and was staying 3 months in Australia. He had arranged to ride with us tomorrow. Then a long descent to the coast at Apollo Bay.

30 miles for the day and 1601 ft of climb.

Edwin


remote Posted by Edwin at 9:41 PM EADT
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Monday 12 January. Kangaroos early morning at Fauna Australia.



remote Posted by Edwin at 9:34 PM EADT
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Monday 12 February. The 2 Peters walk the Maits Rest rainforest



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Sunday 11 February. View of 12 Apostles



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Sunday 11 February. Port Campbell to Lavers Hill

Today weather was pretty dismal with constant light drizzle driven into us by a gale force headwind at 35 mph!! Temperatures however reached a comfortable 21C.

Despite the weather we had an interesting event full day. After a caf? breakfast we headed out along the Great Ocean Road. Our first stop was to view the Rock formations of the eroded limestone coast at the Lord Ard Gorge. Then on the famous Twelve Apostles set of Limestone Stacks. We got some reasonable pictures despite the weather.

Then inland and up a long gradual climb to 450ft. Then we lost all the height down to the Gellibrand River. We then started a long and steep in places 11 mile climb to our nights accommodation at 1600ft.

We split up on the climb with Peter T and Martin speeding to the top to wait at a caf? there. I stopped at the Melba Gully Rainforest Walk. Areas of this part of the Coast are temperate rainforest and there were some spectacular views. Peter W caught up with me there. We went on to Lavers Hill village at the top and joined the others. We also met up there again with the Canadian Round Australia Cyclist we had met over the last few days.

After an early evening meal we went on another mile to our accommodation for the night at Fauna Australia. This is a private wildlife reserve with 2 accommodation units and the wildlife only accessible to guests. Finally we got to see KOALAS!! We saw the parents and an extremely cuddly looking baby Koala as well as various Kangaroos and Wallabies. We got to go in and stroke one Koala. In the evening we saw various nocturnal creatures including Wombats.

Our hosts provided us with seeds to feed the animals. These went in ice cream cones which the Wallabies loved to hold in their paws and nibble.

36 miles for the day and 3441ft of climb.

Edwin



remote Posted by Edwin at 6:21 PM EADT
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Sunday 11 February. Mummy Koala. Very cuddly.



remote Posted by Edwin at 6:18 PM EADT
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Sunday 11 February. Baby Koala max cuddly.



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Sunday 11 February. Night picture of the nocturnal Wombat



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Saturday, 10 February 2007
Saturday 10 February. Warrnambool to Port Campbell

Today weather started with a short bright period but then the rest of the day was cloudy with intermittent drizzle and a strong 35mph SE headwind. Temperatures reached 21C but with freezing weather and snow back home we could not really complain. It was only the 2nd time in 4 weeks we had needed waterproofs on a moving on day.

We headed out on a back road and joined the famed Great Ocean Road at Allansford 10 miles from our overnight stay at Warrnambool. We stopped for pictures of the signs and then on to the nearby Cheese World for elevenses.

We were about to leave when the Canadian Round Australia Cyclist rolled up and we chatted to him and rode with him briefly later.

We took a back route via Childers Cove where we stopped for a brief picnic lunch in some shelter from the wind.

Then back onto the Great Ocean Road which eventually came down in line with the coast. We stopped at the Bay of Islands viewpoint where the limestone coast is eroded with stacks left behind as islands. Luckily the sun came out briefly for photos. We stopped at the Bay of Martyrs and then on to the small town of Peterborough for tea.

We crossed an estuary into the Port Campbell National Park and I spotted an Australian Ant Eater or Echidna all covered in spines on the grass verge.

We stopped at 3 more viewpoints, The Grotto, London Bridge (an arch which fell down in 1990) and the Arch. Then on down to Port Campbell and our Best Western Motel.

48 miles for the day and 1046 ft of climb.

Edwin


remote Posted by Edwin at 9:21 PM EADT
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Saturday 10 February. Two Peters and Martin on backroad



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Saturday 10 February. View at Bay of Islands



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Saturday 10 February Australian Ant Eater



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Friday, 9 February 2007
Friday 9 February. Portland to Warrnambool.

Weather today was generally cloudy with some sun in the afternoon. Temperatures reached 23C. Wind was still SE but much lighter and less of a problem.

Today we had breakfast at a caf? overlooking the Harbor and started out soon after 9.00. Peter's bus overtook us about 9.30. We saw a couple of road signs warning of Koala Bears crossing the road but despite much scanning of trees none could be spotted.

The route was mainly flat across farmland and followed the coast about 2 miles distant. We stopped for elevenses at a shop at the small town of Narrawong. Then on with a brief stop at the Codrington Windfarm to view the Wind Turbines. We stopped for lunch at an historic country pub, Yambuk Inn founded 1850 (old by Australian standards)

In the afternoon Peter T had a puncture caused by a fencing staple. As he was mending it we saw our first touring cyclist of the entire trip to date. He rolled up to chat. He had panniers and a big trailer. He was a Canadian and was doing a bike tour all the way round the coast of Australia. He started near Perth in early December and had another 8 months to ride. ( And you thought we were crazy!!)

We stopped for tea and cake at the small town of Port Fairy. Then on to Warrnambool and we rolled up to the Motel just as Peter W returned from a stroll.

61 miles for the day and 666ft of climb.

Edwin


remote Posted by Edwin at 9:56 PM EADT
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Friday 9 February. Meeting with Canadian round Australia Cyclist



remote Posted by Edwin at 8:19 PM EADT
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Thursday, 8 February 2007
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.

Edwin


remote Posted by Edwin at 11:08 PM EADT
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Thursday 8 February. Peter T and Martin riding towards Nelson



remote Posted by Edwin at 11:06 PM EADT
Updated: Friday, 9 February 2007 8:49 PM EADT
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Thursday 8 February Alpacker moment



remote Posted by Edwin at 11:05 PM EADT
Updated: Friday, 9 February 2007 8:48 PM EADT
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