On the first day on the Great Ocean Road I spent 2.5 hours in the Tower Hill State Game Reserve, which sits inside an extinct volcano formed some 30,000 years ago, and was declared Victoria’s first National Park in 1892.
I arrived at around 7am and was the only person so far in the park. Undisturbed wildlife welcomed me! Usually when a group of cyclist (or any group) is in the wilderness, there is too much noise and talks, and the animals disappear before even seen by us. So I was lucky to have it all for myself – the kangaroos and emus next to the road, the koalas sleeping in the eucalyptus trees. I had to wait a long time, before they slowly woke up and climbed down from their sleeping branches. What a fun scene to watch them climbing down backwards, leaping from on branch to the other, or walking and running on the ground. These koalas are the most adoring animals I’ve seen so far. They seem to watch me with the same curiosity as I watched them. I was lucky to carry a second 64GB memory card with me, as I quickly run out of disk space. I didn’t want to leave them, but after 2 hours I had to go, and with the first arriving tourists they also climbed higher into the trees, making it more difficult to see them. 2 German students were having breakfast at the rest place, closely monitored by an emu with her kids. There are many hiking trails around the lakes, especially for bird watching. I added time to walk a loop road in the dense forest. Eventually I left my ‘little Australian Ngorngoro’ with a final look over the rim into the crater and the surrounding ocean.
Here is a collection of photos taken in the crater park
I just arrived at The Great Ocean Road, 46km and 6 hours into the day!
After having spent a long time with my friends in the Tower Hill Crater Lake
I am finally an my way to the next camp in Port Campbell, to meet the rest of the group.
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?!
We frequently have visitors to our camp grounds. Some less shy or curious about us and our fancy equipment than others.
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.
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.
It is breakfast time in the camp. All but 1 tent are already stored back into the duffle bags and riders enjoying a hot coffee and a delicious breakfast, ready to go back on the road. But who is the rider, enjoying an extended night of sleep in the cool Riverton camp?
Still busy with the final cleanup in the background, the guy (let’s name him Eric) is almost ready to join the breakfast party.
There is still more drill needed to get Eric ready for his Cairo to Cape Town tour next January. Otherwise we might find him still sleeping in his tent in the Nubian Desert in Sudan, when the tour is already on its last leg to Cape Town.
Tip: Subscribe to the TdA water bucket alarm, if you don’t hear the sound of your own alarm clock!
What kind of test was this? We all survived the Outback, the warm coke and beer, the dangerous bugs and critters, the road trains, the brutal heat and gusty head winds, hangouts in roadhouses, cold and hot pools, … Why are we being sent over this pass, instead of riding the much shorter and flat road into town? Are we cycling zombies or still considered to be alive?
If the Indonesian road builders had been trained by Australians, the whole country would be plastered with these ‘walk your bike’ signs.
No way I push my bike, unless it is to cross a river or alike.