AUSTRALIA Page 10 - South Australia/Victoria - February 2007.

Australia, the adopted homeland of both Mal and Lee. The only continent under one government and the country we both love. The picture above is the “skyline” of our city, you can click on the picture to get a larger image. Perth is one of the most isolated regional capital cities in the world. There are so many things to say about our country that I simply do not know where to begin...


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Thursday February 8th 2007 Robe Rest Day.
Approx.
k's Average Speed kph Cycling time Hr(s) Min. Max speed. kph Max temp we recorded °C (Shade)
Terrain:
. Road Conditions: O/night Accom.: $. Standard)

Talking to one of the parks “guests”, an elderly man. He said he was here to get away from “things”. Pressed further as he was obviously upset, he said they had just lost their Grandson; he was 20yrs old. The boy, a Cyclist, was wiped out by a Car/Caravan “combo”. So sad. He also told us about the young woman Cyclist from Mt Gambier age 29. She was killed by a Logging Truck (To the “layman” like me they seem similar to a road train – 3 separate loads, on an articulated vehicle) Reading the newspaper today, (The Advertiser) we found a few lines about the death of the lady cyclist on page 31... Cyclists don't rate much news?

Friday February 9th 2007 Robe to Beachport.
Approx.
52.53k's Average Speed 12.36kph Cycling time 4Hr(s) 14Min. Max speed. 24kph Max temp we recorded 23°C (Shade)
Terrain:
Virtually Flat. Road Conditions: OK, No wind to Light Headwind O/night Accom.: $. Standard)

Good ride today with pleasant countryside. Wary a little, knowing the two cyclists had just lost their lives on the road. Logging trucks were out and about, but all seemed caring in their driving. Also the Car/Cvan combos were in abundance, these too drove in a caring manner. We did the entire 52k's without stopping (except for the occasional pee). There are two Caravan parks in this tiny town (Pop 400) we picked the one with the least facilities I think. If you are coming this way and are “tenting” avoid the one in the centre of town away from the beach...



$19.00 and no facilities... The said they have a camp kitchen, but, it is a Microwave, cooker and fridge ONLY. No table, no chairs, no toaster, no kettle, no lights, no pots/pans, no cleaning gear, etc, etc.., It is a dismal tiny room. If you do come and are not happy, expose them.

Saturday February 10th 2007 Beachport to Millicent.
Approx.
39.39k's Average Speed 10.95kph Cycling time 3Hr(s) 35Min. Max speed. 34kph Max temp we recorded 21°C (Shade)
Terrain:
Slightly Undulating. Road Conditions: Poor, Savage Side/Headwind O/night Accom.: $. Standard)

Light Rain fell occasionally during the night and this morning. We waited for a break before a rushed “packing up” took place. Our intention was to go to Millicent a mere 32k's away. We stopped at points of interest and did an extra few k's. The wind was terrible – it seems sooo long since we had a tailwind. Poor roads (Commonplace throughout SA) were the order of the day... Nice places to stop in the small settlements made up for it.



This “Quadrangle” stopping place ensured a wind free seat. Two compartments had tables and two none... as you can see staying out of the wind for us meant no table... Why is it always so????

We pulled into Millicent some 15k's later and stopped at an information bay... It showed only one Caravan Park... Cut a long story short I wrote the following letter:-

To whom it may concern.

My wife and myself are Cyclists. We have cycled from Perth and are passing through your town; Millicent.

As is our custom, we stop at the “information” bay(s) that often precede entry into a town. (I'm sure many other tourists do as well) Our stop at the information “board” outside the main street of Millicent indicated only ONE Caravan Park.

We continued on to the Information Centre which was staffed by a very knowledgeable Senior Citizen called Joan. Joan told us there were two Caravan Parks and assisted us in finding the one best suited to our needs – even calling them on our behalf.

One could be forgiven for believing that some form of “favouritism” is being shown by only displaying ONE Caravan Park on your information board. Of course this could simply be an oversight.

Our hosts Allan and Gloria, of the “Hillview Caravan Park”. Were disappointed to learn of our complaint and asked that we put it in writing. They have offered to pass on this short note, in the hope changes can be made to restore an “equitable” return to “Fair Trading”.

Yours



Mal & Lee NOBLE.

Cycle Tourists from Perth WA.

Website: http://www.pcw.iinet.net.au


Probably will not do anything -  but you never know...

Sunday February 11th 2007 Millicent - Rest Day.
Approx.
k's Average Speed kph Cycling time Hr(s) Min. Max speed. kph Max temp we recorded °C (Shade)
Terrain:
. Road Conditions: OK, O/night Accom.: $. Standard

Rest Day

Monday February 12th 2007 Millicent to Port MacDonnell.
Approx.
71.85k's Average Speed 11.41kph Cycling time 6Hr(s) 17Min. Max speed. 31kph Max temp we recorded 29°C (Shade)
Terrain:
Virtually Flat some small hills. Road Conditions: OK, No wind-Light Headwind-strong headwind O/night Accom.: $.

Terrific Cycling day. We chose “back roads” to get here... quite a few extra k's but beautiful cattle country. We cycled through those feeding on the “Long Paddock” and rounded up strays. An interesting ride. Had no choice but to turn on the main hyw for the last 15k's and face the bloody awful traffic. However before we did that we had a swim in the “Little Blue Lake” The access pontoon is a recent and welcome addition



Yes I did swim... the water felt ok. What I did not realise is that was only the top few inches... When I dived in I nearly had a heart attack.. IT WAS FREEZING... The surface water for maybe up to a foot (24cm) was “warmish”... IF I ever swim in another lake I will “lower” myself in gently :-) Both Lee and myself had a swim, we felt very invigorated after that.. Just outside Port MacDonnell there is a information board.. It showed no C/Van parks. We went into town and asked at the local store... We were told there is only one... “Harbour Views C/Van Park”. It cost a wopping $22.00 per night and was absolutely filthy... One shower only (dirty) and two loo's. No facilities whatsoever... I suggest if anyone reads this the avoid the place altogether....

THE STATE OF VICTORIA


Tuesday February 13th 2007 Port MacDonnell to Nelson.

Approx. 37.54k's Average Speed 11.59kph Cycling time 3Hr(s) 14Min. Max speed. 47kph Max temp we recorded 33°C (Shade)
Terrain:
Virtually Flat some small/large hills. Road Conditions: OK, No wind to Light TAILWIND O/night Accom.: $.

Once again chose the “back roads” adding about 9k's to our journey and 5 k's of dirt road. It is much more enjoyable riding without trucks on the road. The dirt section slowed our average speed down somewhat... We are now in Victoria



For the purists... Here is a pic of our bikes at the same spot:



We continued on into Nelson from the above pic... Got some maps from the tourist “information” centre and harassed the girl on the counter. Then continued on to the C/Van Park... First one full and no staff; second one nice facilities and an acceptable $13.50 pn for two, however you need a bus from the camping area to the showers... Studying the map there is little we can do but ride the next 70++ ks to Portland... After Portland all except the lightest of trucks are banned from the road :-).... Well that's what they said in the info centre?...... Catchya later.

Wednesday February 14th 2007 Nelson to Bush camp about 45 k's from Portland.

Approx. 31.35k's Average Speed 9.23kph Cycling time 3Hr(s) 23Min. Max speed. 42kph Max temp we recorded 33°C (Shade)
Terrain:
VERY Hilly. Road Conditions: Good, Strong headwind O/night Accom.: $.

Gave Lee some beautiful “Red Gum” “Roses”. Yes I remembered valentines day :-)



Everything (almost) slowed us down today – the hills were murder and Lee had her first puncture. The trucks were atrocious... Death everywhere, Roo's Emu, Koala and birds Trucks = Death...



It is a major logging route and trucks of other types, with Mt Gambier on them, seem to proliferate. I will add pic's when I have power. I have broken a terminal on my 12V Battery, hence cannot use my inverter/Solar array to charge the laptop. Hoping for repairs in Portland... Hoping is what I said!.... Conserve power – Catchya Later

Thursday February 15th 2007 Bush camp about 45 k's from Portland to Portland

Approx. 51.92k's Average Speed 11.92kph Cycling time 4Hr(s) 21Min. Max speed. 40kph Max temp we recorded 38°C (Shade)
Terrain:
VERY Hilly. Road Conditions: Good, Slight headwind O/night Accom.: $.

And we thought Victoria was cooler... We are in an unusual weather pattern of very high temperature's and very high humidity.... Very uncomfortable riding conditions. Fantastic Bush camp teeming with wildlife, saw our first Echidna <sp> today, could not get pic in time.



Guy in a Ute... (Toyota) stopped and started masturbating for the benefit (Or so the creep thought) of Lee... I was about half a km ahead when she radioed.. Too late the scumbag drove off. We called in the Police Station at Portland and made a report... As we did not have the rego (But a detailed description) the Police only made a diary entry.. Upsetting for Lee.



We are in a C/van park Quite good facilities and great Camp Kitchen... Plenty of “drunks” but harmless (to date)... Called in a couple of places but could not get the soldering job done... ??? Will try again before we leave tomorrow.

Portland (16-2-2007)

No Stat's Unscheduled rest day for repairs

Need repairs to trailer, Lee's bike (locate annoying noise) and solar array. Plus general maintenance.

Friday February 16th 2007 Portland Rest Day

Approx. k's Average Speed kph Cycling time Hr(s) Min. Max speed. kph Max temp we recorded °C (Shade)
Terrain:
. Road Conditions: O/night Accom.: $.

Rest day no stat's...

Saturday February 17th 2007 Portland to Port Fairy

Approx. 70.05k's Average Speed 11.18kph Cycling time 6Hr(s) 15Min. Max speed. 50kph Max temp we recorded 45°C (Shade)
Terrain:
Moderately hilly to start then gently undulating. Road Conditions: Good, Slight headwind O/night Accom.: $.

Super hot weather, records going down all over the place... We sat under a tree in the total shade – bike and all. The temp was 45C (approx.113F) on the bike computer.. Official Max 38C and more in the small towns away from the sea. Lots of waves today and interesting people to talk with. Few trucks hence less tension whilst ridding.. We made our usual mistake of pulling into the first C/van park we found... This is the place to avoid....


Expensive and dirty... Camp kitchen had only a fridge and kettle. BBQ's were filthy and not from yesterday... Looks like weeks of accumulated muck. Renovations were happening, but the new owners have been there for a year... Really no excuse for this type of neglect. BTW there are 6 C/van parks in Pt Fairy... ALL are better than the one we stayed at. Well not much else so will... Catchya Tomorrow.

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