After the nice tourist-style sightseeing ride along the Great Ocean Road, it’s time to hit Adelaide! Our route takes us along the southern Australian coast through the border of Victoria and South Australia, (with a 30 min time difference)
It’s good to at last have our counters go over 100km in one day! After a day of rest, clothes cleaning and internet posting in Warnambool, we hit the road and did a nice 137km ride through south Victoria, including going inside a volcano crater in Tower Hill! I didn’t even know there were (extinct) volcanoes in Australia, let alone that I would ride inside one of them! A nice off-road track to ut our bikes to the test (and lose a flip flop in a bump), and see loads of kangaroos and some emus hop across the track!
After our quickest camping setup so far and a night under the southern stars, we set out and met our first family of cycle-tourists! A dutch couple cycling around the world, supporting an Indian Foundation, with their two children aged 3 and 1! They convert the hospitality they get from people into money for the foundation, by giving the money they would otherwise have spent on food and accomodation. They seemed quite used to the rough and simple outdoors camping life, and had an extra load of diapers to carry (not to mention the two kids!), I have to say this “lifted” my feeling a bit regarding the weight of my bike. . . And we also met a Taiwanese guy cycling around Australia in his shorts and flip flops! I suddenly didn’t feel that much crazy anymore about the trip I started. . .
I learned that day, as we crossed the border (with some backpackers posing in front of the border sign), that Australia is not exactly flat, and that it’s definitely windy! crossing South Australia’s bumpy plains to get to Mount Gambier (another old volcano with a city on top of it) was no easy task, but the ride has to go on! We still managed to get over the 100km psychological limit!
I learned that you don’t choose your speed when you cycle, the bike does. If you have to go slow, then that’s how it’s gonna be, because if you want to get to the other end of the road, you definitely want the machine (you) to keep running! So you give up on speed if it’s too hard to make it, and the Ks always build up quicker when you don’t exhaust yourself! (and your backside will thank you too!). I have to say, also, that when you don’t have any expenses on petrol and accomodation, you can treat yourself on some heavy duty food supplies! Although the bike feels a little heavier, being able to feast at every break gives a good boost to our morale!
We now enjoy the shelter and free unlimited internet of Milicent Public Library, while crazy stormy winds rage outside! After a surprisingly tough 20km ride this morning, we prepare to face a few days of strong headwinds as we head North to Adelaide. This will be no easy ride, but it has to go on!