The day out of Adelaide I cycled through the town of ‘Hahndorf’, an old German settlement founded in 1838.
Hahndorf is classified as Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement and each year thousands of people, young and old, enjoy its charm and the hospitality. Hahndorf is the jewel of the Adelaide Hills and one of South Australia’s most popular towns.
It was as being back to home. German and Bavarian flags, Hofbräu Bier, roads and buildings like in the old days at home. I stopped to take some photos for my German friends & for a special Bavarian friend with wife, who may now regret that they did not come to visit me on this tour, like they did in 2008, when they traveled to South Africa, to meet me in Cape Town. I went to Otto’s Bakery, to see if I could get a Brezel, but was immediately sure, it wasn’t a German baker at work anymore, when I saw the display of breads and cakes in the shop. However I got an ‘apple swirl’ (Apfelschnecke), which I saved for a later breakfast in the fields. The French seem to invade this territory, too. However in a friendly manner, how else could a Brasserie and the Hofbräuhaus go together?!
Did you ever ask yourself why you always have to ride into the blowing headwind on Trans-Oceania and there is never a day without wind?
Take a closer look at the road signs and you will find the answer:
TdA runs his own Wind Farm. However, instead of ‘harvesting’ wind to generate electricity, their great Chief Wind Engineer (CWE) Cristiano W. reverse-engineered the turbines and turned them into big blowers. The proof of concept phase is now finished and the system can go into full deployment around the globe to ‘enrich’ any TdA tour.
The new iSomething application. With a little extra technical effort the CWE can now turn the blades (from any place in the world) into the perfect direction to ensure you will always face the wind, no matter in which direction you turn your bicycle.
Cristiano demonstrating the tool to Andreas, the tour director in Australia. They both seem to really enjoy this new torturing tool!
The 7epics promotion video, featuring Brett has been published on YouTube.
A nice introduction to the 7epics. the idea behind it, his motivation, by fellow Trans-Oceania cyclist Brett Lanham combined with an assembly of video footage and photos from the current Trans-Oceania tour, past Tour d’Afrique and other TdA epic tours.
The first 20 km were quite nice to ride, although it contained most of todays elevation gains. It was again quite cold and since riding through pine tree forests it stayed cool for a while. However, the forest had a big benefit; it sheltered us from wind. This changed soon, when the ‘French TGV’ past us in high speed and stirred up the air. From that time on we cycled all day in wild turbulences. The ‘fasten seatbelt’ sign was permanently illuminated at my handlebar dashboard. I formed again a peloton together with Lydia. Shirley and Dan joined us for the last 40 km to lunch. Chelsea and Doug managed to find a nice, sunny and almost fully wind protected spot. Good to warm up a bit in the sun. The ride through the forest felt as if riding through a Canadian or Scandinavian forest, except there were no moos crossing the road. I started solo again after lunch as we were now officially riding along the Great Ocean Road, which started right after Portland. However not yet very spectacular or scenic, thus I rejoined Lydia for sharing to break the wind until the camp in Port Fairy, a nice little town with a special flair.
Hurrah! Another rest day! A well deserved, after a 670 km ride into the wind.
Another deviation from the direct route to camp led me to the ‘Granites’, the first real beach access to the Southern Ocean, just 20km north of Kingston S.E., 3 cycling days south of Adelaide. The endless beach is used by 4x4s to drive along. I had a race with a quad …
… after having already 145km in my legs that day I happily accepted the 2nd place.
Everybody was happy to leave the ‘storm center’ of Australia and headed eastwards into the wind. In the morning I cycled with John and we shared the work to break the wind for the other. I warmed up myself with a nice breakfast stop in Millicent, with banana bread and a pot of tea. In the afternoon I cycled with Lydia, who joined us in Adelaide for the final stages to Sydney. In Mt. Gambier we decided to detour to the Blue Lake, a crater lake which changes its color, twice a year. We were told at the information center, that it is a huge climb up to the crater and lake. Well, huge in connection with elevation gain has a different meaning for Australians. It was only 60m up within a few kilometers; nothing for an Indonesian ‘certified’ rider. The circumvention of the lake on the rim was stunning. I’ve never seen a lake as blue as this one. Definitely worth the extra 7 kilometer, even on an already long and wind battered day. The camp ground in Nelson is away from the sea and sheltered from wind. We got kangaroo/wallaby visits at dawn. Some of them seemed to be used to humans and stayed right between us.
A shorter cycling day with an early arrival. The wind in Beachport was blowing all day and night
Short enough to ride solo into the SE-wind and still arrive early in camp. This morning was kangaroo parade; more than 50 spread over a few 100 meters. They outnumbered the cows on the fields this day. Even an Australian rider said, he’d never seen such a large group of kangaroos. Only a short 3 km extra to see the Woakwine Cutting, a 1 kilometer long cut into the terrain, 34m at its deepest point, to drain a swamp and gain more land. Beachport was reach before lunch. Camp was only separated by a road from the beach. It wasn’t easy to setup tents in the blowing wind. The majority decided to rent cabins or apartments for a saver sleep. After all tents were setup, the caravan park owner offered us to use a more wind sheltered campground. A few of us, including me, took to offer and relocated our tents to the new ground, with little wind that rattled on our tents. I used the afternoon to ride along a scenic route, with a salty lake (7 times saltier than the ocean), nice beaches and the second largest jetty in Australia. In the evening we had wine tasting and dinner in Gerald’s ‘shelter’ and a photo slideshow on his TV.