AUSTRALIA Page 12 - 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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Wednesday February 21st 2007 Bush Camp about 9k's from Port Campbell to Bush Camp 5k's up “Lavers Hill”.
Approx. 46.58k's Average Speed 8.83kph Cycling time 5Hr(s) 16Min. Max speed. 51kph Max temp we recorded 26°C (Shade)
VERY Hilly. Road Conditions: Good, Light headwind, occasional tailwind , O/night Accom.: $.

The hills today were much like the south west of WA – so is our average speed, the lowest for many months. Lavers Hill is 19k's of “up” from the Gellibrand River. A long slow “spin” for us, averaging between 2-4 kph. Met two adventurers on the road today..... One a Japanese Cyclist... He had a cheap bike WITH NO GEARS? He said he averaged about 20kph on the flat and walked up all the hills... No panniers and just a basket on the front with a huge bag in it and a huge plastic box on the rear... “Occy” straps were the securing mechanism!!! He walked up the hills at about 4kph.. He had cycled from Brisbane on a round Australia Trip.... A staggering achievement considering his equipment. The bike and its owner.......

We talked about the bag on the front and he said, it was hard to steer and a bit difficult to see over?????

Not long after, we met a bloke that was walking the Great Ocean Road.. He had been walking for only eight days, sleeping in the bush.

Too much Fog for us to even see the ocean... The 12 apostles were completely obscured from view.... Here is a pic from the Internet to show what we missed :-(

We have spent many hours “spinning” up hills... We did stop at a “Rest Area” that was “thee” best we have seen, free BBQ's, hot water, and great seats... The pic just does not do it justice

In the early part of the day, before the fog, we were able to get a pic of “London Bridge” after it fell down some years ago... still a spectacular sight........

Thursday February 22nd 2007 Bush Camp 5k's up “Lavers Hill” to Bush Camp 20k's from Apollo Bay.
Approx. 46.11k's Average Speed 7.62kph Cycling time 6Hr(s) 02Min. Max speed. 64kph Max temp we recorded 29°C (Shade)
VERY very very Hilly. Road Conditions: Good, No wind, O/night Accom.: $.

Lee is friends with “Murphy” and his LAW was in full force this morning. We just got well into an unsealed section of road with roadwork's, when lee hollered that her tyre was flat... Rear tyre and first time puncture. It was drizzling some nice wetting rain and there was mud, no shoulder, Trucks and all manner of cantankerous morons. Knowing that no one will jump from the bush and fix it... I knuckled down to a muddy job... about 30 minutes later we were back “spinning” up Lavers Hill. It truly is a grind and took us about 5 hrs to complete, with stops.

The decent was not spectacular as there were two significant “ups” on the way down. The climb into the Otway National Park was almost as tough if not tougher than Lavers Hill... Of course we were pretty tired by then. We were in the seat for over 11hrs with only 6 hrs. peddling... Lots of stops to catch breath... Too tired tonight to write more... will finish later..

Back again, next day. Last night we camped in the bush in the Otway National Park, It is magnificent temperate rainforest... something so rare on our planet. Most have been destroyed and more are scheduled for destruction... The Otway National Park is surrounded by Loggers... the countryside around here has been raped for the benefit of the few. As you ride/drive along you are reminded (by signage) that this is PRIVATE land and that they are planting/harvesting/planting for their profits and YOU are not permitted on any of their land. They use and chew up the roads YOU pay for... with giant logging Trucks. These trucks thunder along the beautiful, narrow winding mountain roads, oblivious to all other road users. I do understand that we need wood, I just wish we could look at alternatives to paper and other “wood” use, so that we minimise the impact on our planet. The information centre in Apollo Bay said they are stopping shortly, the logging of the National Park !!!

Friday February 23rd 2007 Bush Camp 20k's from Apollo Bay to Apollo Bay.
Approx. 19.95k's Average Speed 13.34kph Cycling time 1Hr(s) 30Min. Max speed. 61kph Max temp we recorded 24°C (Shade)
VERY very very Hilly- again. Road Conditions: Good, No wind, O/night Accom.: $.

What a magnificent night in the Bush... The wildlife is so diverse, it is an etymologists dream, I have never seen such a diverse array of insect life as I did last night. Sure tropical regions have enormous insect populations but this was spectacularly different. The bird life was awesome, both in the magnificent colouring and incredible diversity.

Bellow is a mushroom, the likes of which I have never seen.. Undamaged and perfectly formed about the size of a “Side Plate”. The edge is not damaged, it is "crawling" over the piece of bark.

Saw some cyclists today but none were prepared to stop and talk... Too hilly and it is hard to “wash off” speed just to natter with someone. Catchya Later...

Saturday February 24th 2007 Apollo Bay - Rest day.
Approx. k's Average Speed kph Cycling time Hr(s) Min. Max speed. kph Max temp we recorded °C (Shade)
. Road Conditions: Good, O/night Accom.: $.

We did walk around Apollo Bay and saw these two (Amongst others) Cyclists.. They connected the bikes to a Blender and will pedal up your “smoothie”... Both looked superbly fit...

Sunday February 25th 2007 Apollo Bay to Lorne.
Approx. 46.15k's Average Speed 12.05kph Cycling time 3Hr(s) 49Min. Max speed. 48kph Max temp we recorded 23°C (Shade)
Undulating. Road Conditions: Good, Strong tailwind at times O/night Accom.: $.

Fantastic ride today, all along the Ocean.

See how the road gently undulates... in the distance in the centre of the photo... They can be long climbs, but not too steep.

Saw heaps of Cyclists, most seem to have enjoyed themselves. Two or three drivers/passengers hurled abuse, no objects were thrown.... only words. All errant drivers today, were young “P” plate drivers...? Lots of people asking questions and wanting to ride the bikes.. I have to say no to riding as they damage the bike. Plus without “cleats” trike's can be dangerous to the unfamiliar. Along the way we saw Australias wonderful wildlife – Lee snapped a beauty, of a Koala with young...

Easily our best pic of the trip.... Thanks Lee

We have stopped in the overpriced town of Lorne... We could have gone on, but, Lee was fed up with the cars today and the narrow winding road made her uncomfortable.. There is not much more – about 20k's, like this.

We should be in Melbourne by Wednesday... We are staying with Charlie B.. who has kindly offered to put us up for a few days... We have not met Charlie; he is part of an WORLD wide network of people that offer “Warm Showers” to fellow Cyclists... You do not have to be a Cyclist to offer this service see Here Those that do will be rewarded with wonderful experiences, meeting people from all parts of the world. Anyhow read the site and make up your own mind. Hey Drew (My mate in the USA) we got a ripper tailwind today... :-) Catchya Later...

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