GOR – Day 6: SHORT! (Nelson to Portland, VIC) 18 March 2007

This day was a blast! We had planned for 76k, but ended up leaving the last of the logging road to the trucks, and rode only 30k (19 miles); average speed 18.87mph! It was drizzling when we woke up, so we loaded up, drove the hilly, winding road about 5 miles out to the beach Lighthouse(which would have been a *great* warm-up ride, major bummer), and then drove to our next stop for the night in Portland.

After checking into our caravan park cabin, we found another bike shop to replenish our supply of tubes – we have had 6 flats already, 3 from the tubes blowing when removing the pump. We then hopped on our bikes, and took a beautiful ride out to the Cape Nelson Lighthouse on the point – a winding, *very* hilly (the Information Center lady said it was FLAT!), rough-surfaced coastal road , with spectacular dunes and ocean views. At the lighthouse we found a standing compass and located due South, straining to see Antarctica (tricky with a 50-mile horizon). On the way back we saw an echidna – like a very shy, roly-poly porcupine. It was in the road, and as we approached, it waddled quickly to the undergrowth, curling up into a motionless ball under some dead branches, hoping we wouldn’t notice it, though we were right above it.

I reached my top speed ever today, of 36.2mph! And I felt fantastic after a 24-hour break, and could have ridden another 30-40 miles. But we decided to keep it short. Patricia had another flat from a nail on the road, just as we got back into town, that destroyed her tire.

Cape BridgewaterAfter collecting the bikes and chatting with the lady bike-shop owner, we piddled a few more hours away looking for internet access – nearly a lost cause late on a Saturday afternoon in a sleepy little town. We did find it – the last 30 minutes of the business day, in a steamy laundry (of all places!), with hot sun burning through the plate-glass window. Then we drove to Cape Bridgewater, about 30k due west, visited the Blow Holes and the Petrified Forest, and had a leisurely dinner on the patio of a great little beach, watching the waves – it was a really great riding, relaxing day.