Stage 80: Victoria

Port Campbell to  Apollo Bay
Date: 12-02-2014 Time: 05:20 h Σ Time: 452:17 h
Distance: 96 km
Σ km: 9566 km Temp: 11/18°C
Up: 1550 m Σ Up: 81653 m Down: 1577 m
Calories: 2516 kcal Σ kcal: 204224 kcal  
Conditions: Another day on the Great Ocean Road that invited for side trips. Cold, misty and hilly, but still good tailwind. 2 steep climbs (8-13%)
(I added 10 extra kilometers with side trips)

A misty, cold morning awaited us for the second day on the Great Ocean Road, with the supposed to be highlight of ‘The 12 Apostles’ . I added 2 additional lookouts on my way to the first major scenic attraction, the Loch Ard Gorge, where the clipper after the place was named, shipwrecked in 1878, loosing all 52 lives on board. There are many stunning lookouts at this place and time went by very fast. The next stop was the 12 Apostles, a cliff formation in the sea, from which only 8 are still standing, the other 4 vanished over the years in the rough weather and sea conditions. It was already 2 hours into the cycling day, and we had only 11 official stage kilometers on our odometers. Remarkably the 2 French riders, who usually are building the spearhead to camp, were also on a sightseeing mission and with me and Henry at the very end of the pack. Unfortunately the weather was not as good as yesterday afternoon, low hanging clouds, misty and drizzling, getting us wet and cold, and making photos very difficult. I took another breakout and followed the Gibsons Steps down to a beach. This is when I lost contact to the others and cycled on my own to the first Coke Stop at Lavers Hill, where I met others in a Café warming up with hot coffee or chocolate. At this point we had already 1000m of climb through lush and green rain or eucalyptus forests. A new Australia for us! A nice downhill brought us to lunch. The weather started a bit to improve. After lunch the downhill continued to sea level, leaving us with 500m meters to climb up again in the National Park, before we had a final 10 km long descend to Apollo Bay. A stunning view opened in front of us, when we left the forest, with a deep blue sea and white beaches, surrounded by green hills and blue sky and sunshine; Apollo Bay; what a difference to the steep limestone cliffs we had earlier.

A rest day after 2 short, but loaded cycling days. The little town (~1000 citizens) is a surfer or water sports paradise and a tourist attraction. Young people everywhere. Prices very high! After dinner I had an ice cream at the most awarded ice cream place. 2 scoops in a waffle, costs: 7.60$, but the ice cream what unbelievable good.

The weather forecast for tomorrow is not so good. Hope the showers do not realize and keep us trapped in our tents. Nevertheless, I’ll use the day off to publish more of my photos …