Stage 79: Victoria

Port Fairy to  Port Campbell
Date: 12-01-2014 Time: 05:28 h Σ Time: 446:57 h
Distance: 98 km
Σ km: 9470 km Temp: 12/28°C
Up: 773 m Σ Up: 80103 m Down: 779 m
Calories: 3818 kcal Σ kcal: 201708 kcal  
Conditions: A perfect cycling and exploration day! A manageable short distance with room for extras, so no hurry and exhaustion, and finally very scenic.
(I added 18 extra kilometers with side trips)

This day was meant to be a treat, after the past hard days. Not only because it was short (just 98 km, without extra tours), but more important because someone seemed to have ‘hacked’ the ‘iWind’ application and modified the program to provide us with a fine tailwind. For me a day of joy riding. Almost no effort to get along, thus no hurry at photo stops or limited with side trips; which I had many today. Although my net cycling/hiking time was 5.5hours for the 116km, I arrived at camp just right in time for dinner at 6pm, with an elapsed time of 11 hours. I already spent 2.5 hours in the Tower Hill Crater Lake National Park with hiking and game watching, before I continued. It was worth the 8km detour and additional climbing. Koalas, Emus, Kangaroos, Birds in a stunning scenery, which I almost had for myself the first hour before the park officially opened. I informed Andreas, that I will be all day exploring off the beaten track, and nobody should wait at lunch for or sweeping me. I arrived at the 28km ‘marker’ – The Pavilion Café’ – at around 11:00, just right for a brunch! The other riders found it closed when they stopped there hours earlier. So I had another 7 hours to complete the final 70+km before 6pm. On the Great Ocean Road there are many sightseeing opportunities, besides the 2 mentioned on the whiteboard. So I followed my Garmin and the map I got from the Information Center in Port Fairy. It was a breathtaking afternoon. The sky cleared up and the sun painted the steep cliffs and the sea of the Great Ocean Road in fantastic colors. The time flew by and it was already 5pm when I left the last lookout point. From there I did not return to the main road, but followed the Port Campbell Walking Trail, a 4.5km hiking trail to town. It wasn’t a problem to ride it with my MTB, except for the final drop to the beach, which was via a very narrow and steep steps, cut into the rocks. So I had to walk my bike down to the beach which was right next to the campsite.

Tomorrow is another ‘short’ day, with many options to extend it.

I will sort out my photos tomorrow, as we will have another rest day after just 2 days of cycling and before we leave the Great Ocean Road to Melbourne!