GOR – Day 5: LOGGING TRUCKS (Beachport to Nelson, VIC) 18 March 2007

Today was planned as a 124k day, and again I rode 65k (40 miles); average speed 13.1mph. Wombat crazyAfter enjoying a spectacular sunrise over the ocean, Patricia and I headed out from Beachport, along the beach and more stately Norfolk Island pine trees, while Jim and Irena drove out half way to Millicent, the next town, and rode back to meet us. We tag teamed like that into Mt. Gambier (Karen’s home town), and dropped our bikes at a bike shop for servicing, had lunch, and then while waiting for the bikes, drove for a “squiz? (look-see, also called a “sticky beak?!) at the Blue Lake of the volcano (the mount) – it has an impossibly blue color that changes to grey in winter, and back to blue again in summer. It is a city water supply, and according to Jim, is even blue in the bathtub!

More Wombat crazyRemember that 300-smackeroos ticket we got in Meningie (or ‘Meningitis’)? Well, Jim got a good laugh when he went into the Mt. Gambier post office to pay the fine – he met a “zip-zip? brain, as Lester would say… One of the older ladies chatting with her mates immediately spotted Jim as he entered in his cycling garb with his blue (ticket) paper in his hand, and said with a grin “Haven’t been speeding on your push-bike, have you?!? (Bicycles are all commonly called “push-bikes? here in Oz; sounds weird to me; try to imagine the Aussie accent.) Then at the ridiculous amount, she said “You must have been going pretty fast!? Blue Lake

Anyway, Irena and I were completely trashed after the morning’s ride, yet again into the wind, so we drove slightly ahead of Jim and Patricia to our next stop in Nelson, past many Radiata Pine tree plantations, on a road with no shoulder and lots of fast-moving traffic – very scary, and tried not to think too much about them on their little push-bikes. At one point while we had stopped and were waiting for them, WE were nearly blown off the road by several huge logging trucks passing at 120k per hour. When they caught up to us, they reported nearly being hit by at least one logging truck. The road continued like that all the way to Nelson.

It was another tough day, and we finished just over the state line into Victoria. We had excellent fish and chips and steak in the pub next door to our ‘Keg Cottage at Nelson House’ while it rained outside, and after dinner we were treated to a beautiful sunset framed by the ubiquitous and lovely Norfolk pines.