GOR Day 9: Majestic coastline, and yet MORE headwind! (PC to Glenaire) 23 March 2007

Twelve ApostlesA few days back, our bike tire pump broke down died (the valve head just came off!), and we couldn’t quite get our act together to get a new one. Of course it happened on the weekend, and everything here in these little town closes early, especially on Saturdays, and the one bike shope we found didn’t have what we needed. We have been using compressed air canisters, which is cold, so the tires go a little flat rather quickly, and it is more work (just what we *don’t* need) to ride on low tires. So, this morning I am sitting in a little motel lobby in Port Campbell using their one internet PC to update these travelogues, while the others have all headed BACK 67k to Warnambool (it is Monday morning) to buy a new pump.

They finally arrived back in PC at about 12:45 with a new pump, and Jim proceeded to pump the tires, and promptly blew out two more tubes! He thinks that this Aussie pump doesn’t like our threaded US valves, and he has to pull too hard to get the pump off. (So *blown tubes* has been the 4th theme of our trip.)

We planned to ride 50k, but ended up riding only 29 – Pat and I hung out in PC having lunch and ice cream and riding up to the cliffs to watch the surfers while Jim & Irena drove out 15k to ride back to meet us. They have driven this part of the GOR before, and gave us strict instructions not to pass any scenic spots until we met up with them. So when we did, we just took our time, stopping at each parking lot to ride or walk our bikes out on the access paths to the cliffs with all the tourists to see Thunder Cave, the Blowhole, Loch Ard Gorge, and the most famous – the 12 Apostles (which are now really only 10 or 11 Apostles, because they have collapsed into the sea). Really majestic and beautiful – awesome scenery.

Crimson RosellasBut this was one of the hardest days of all (yeah, they seem to get harder!) – we have continued to be “blessed� with an so’easterly, so had a terrible headwind again, and our average speed was only about 8mph. We realized today that we measure our ‘success’ on the bike by either our speed over some distance or by how high we climb, so having to ride very slowly with so much effort is very demoralizing – we hate it!!!

Pat bird-watchingBut at least we ended up in the mountains in really lovely Glenaire cottage looking [far] out over the ocean, with a 90-degree view of the forest and hills and valleys, and a jacuzzi on the deck. 🙂 Emily: we celebrated with our bicycle pasta for dinner tonight – it was great! And best of all, we had the most amazing red and blue Crimson Rosella birds on the deck (see photos), the stars and the Milky Way were blazing in the dark night far from city lights, and the ocean waves are thundering nonstop in the 1K distance.