Camping in Delegate. The sunshine is back! After about 1900m of climbs we set camp on a real basic campsite in Delegate, along the Snowy River. Only 1 shower & 1 toilet per gender. However power plugs for everyone and infinite space to setup tents.
It would be a great place, if there were NO FLIES!!
We left Victoria and entered New South Wales. The ride through the forest was stunning. After a big fire life is back and trees and ferns are in bright green colors.
The final 6 cycling days to Sydney don’t seem to be an easy ‘walk’. It is not an easy roll-in after 88 days of going through all forms of torture. Lots of climbs and always between 110 and 160 kilometers. A ‘Taste of Indonesia’ for our Australia cyclists. Nevertheless, we can’t be stopped. Sydney, keep the Champagne ready and cold, we are coming!
A nice rail trail, if you are willing to ride it – otherwise the main road, less busy as the day before. The weather turned fine today.
What a treat today. We stayed dry all day. Sunny and warmer than the past weeks. It was a short riding day, if you decided to take the main road. Optional, but unofficial, the rail trail could be taken. Because it was loose gravel, sand and rocks, and a bit washed out, after the rain of the past days, the rail trail was not recommended for the road bikes. After the Great Ocean Road, I wanted to ride at least a few kilometers on the Great Alpine Road. Therefore I stayed the first 20 km on the main road, before I switched to the rail tail. Not a bad idea, as the start was quite scenic and the low clouds covered the hills and green fields into a nice picture. It was a beautiful ride on the trail. Only myself and dozens of kangaroos/wallabies, a wombat and a giant water dragon were on the trail this morning. Henry, Ursula and Rae were far behind, as they also cycled the first 20km. The kangaroos were almost on every corner, starring at me before they hopped into the forest. At the Stony Creek Trestle Bride, a giant water dragon appeared out of the deeper grass and slowly founds its way around me to walk deeper into the woods. It was definitely harder to ride on the trail than on the road, but worth every inch. Mostly far away from the road, there was only the sound of the birds and wind in the trees. Although I was one of the latest in camp, it was still early in the day to enjoy the warming sun and stroll through the small town.
I am cycling the rail trail from Bairnsdale to Orbot, far away from the Highway. A beautiful trail on an retired railway, cut into the forest. Pure nature, wallabies, a wombat, a giant monitor lizard and the sounds of birds are my only companions.
Soon the trail will lead me along the Princess HWY towards Nowa Nowa, where I might meet my fellow riders, who stayed on the road.
A too busy road. No rain, but sky always covered with a few sun rays peaking through the clouds.
After yesterday’s fantastic ride on the rail trail, we stayed all day on the busy Princess Highway. Too many trucks, and fast going cars, very noisy. It was not very enjoyable, but obviously no alternatives to get us to Bairnsdale, or next rest day location. The first 100km I did a solo ride, with Lydia slipstreaming me for the last 60km. Then I made a joke and said ‘I am on strike’ and let me fall back a bit. Lydia obviously took this very serious and went ahead, leaving me back on my own. However, I soon closed up with her again, when she stopped to help an injured bird. I stayed behind her for a while. Not soon later she asked me ‘are you still on strike’? I confirmed that the German Cycling Union had called off the strike and took over the lead again. Along the highway there we signs, telling the motorists ‘to not tailgate and to keep a 3 seconds distance to the previous car’. Lydia asked me if this also applies to cyclist, to what I replied ‘in principle Yes, but if a someone tailgates you for 100+ kilometers, this combination is called a tandem for which the rule does not apply’. We arrived at the new campsite at 12:30pm. I did laundry, shopping and bike and equipment maintenance, and prepared for a real rest day. There is not much to do in Bairnsdale, especially being trapped in the tent on another rainy rest day.
Getting ready for the grand final – 7 cycling days left.
It may look, as if the final cycling week into Canberra and Sydney could bring us back a bit of the sun and dry weather we liked in the outback. Enough of the cold and wet weather that we have since we arrived in Southern Australia, about 3 weeks ago!
Cold but dry in the morning. Fantastic rail trail ride away from the main road.
10000 kilometers done! Shortly before our current campsite, the 10000 kilometer EFI marker was passed.
It was a fantastic ride today. Although still cold but not raining anymore, with good supporting wind it was nice to ride. Everything covered in green and in numberless shades. Huge ferns along the trail and frog concerts wherever there was water. The old Southern Railway track is transformed into a bike & hiking trail, with a sandy, but compact surface that lets you fast advance. Too fast for a second breakfast in Fish Creek, as we arrived too early. I considered a detour to the most southern point of Australia, that we passed today. However, adding an extra ~70 kilometers on a cold day was too much to enjoy, thus I skipped this thought. The ‘signs’ at lunch indicated rain. A local farmer explained: “If all cows are standing it means ‘fine weather’, if there is a mix of standing and resting cows it means ‘drizzling rain’. However if the majority is resting in the grass it means ‘rain showers’. I asked Bob, who wasn’t riding today, but supporting Doug with lunch, to make sure that the majority of the cows will get on there feet! It seemed to work. On arrival in Yarram the sky opened and sunshine broke through. I did not go straight to camp, as the odometer showed just 98.5 km. Instead I continued to town, found a bakery and had tea and cake, before I turned and got to camp, ensuring I made another century (100km).
A wet start but sunny afternoon on this short cycling day.
Just 57 km on the board to ride today. Lydia, Eric and I added 9 extra kilometers to ride though the Koala Reserve on Phillip Island. It continued to rain during the night, so back to rain coats and wind breaker jackets, with the hope of improvements in the afternoon. We made it quickly to the park and rode the trails, scanning the trees for the cute little bears. Wallabies, rabbits and some kangaroos looked quite puzzled at us, riding in our fancy outfit through their territory. I detected 1 sleeping koala in a tree, but not more. Unfortunately the conservatory opens only at 10am, more than 2 hours later, so we couldn’t go into the sanctuary, where we would have seen more and much closer. At least 1 in the wild, more than Eric had seen since Adelaide. Back to the main route we stayed the first 40 km together. I decided to take an alternate route on a sandy hiking trail, away from the busy main road. An extended breakfast stop in town delayed my arrival to camp by another hour. However the sun was already breaking through the clouds and heated the air. So I could dry my tent, and all clothes, including the sleeping bag and liner. What a great feeling, after the last few days in moist! After updating the blog I ‘ll suck in some sun, before I work on selecting some more photos to publish later.
Tomorrow we will cross the 10000 kilometer mark, with 9 cycling days left to Sydney.
I found this sign worth to stop in the pouring rain on this cold Sunday morning … luckily only a view ‘mad’ cyclists and runners were willing or forced to leave their comfort zone and therefore the promenade wasn’t to populated.