GOR Day 10: 32 KOALAS! (Glenaire UP Laver’s Hill to Otway Bay) 23 March 2007

Dinosaur CoveToday was a fantastic day. Our ‘success’ was getting out early (7:45 am – we are staying in this cottage for two nights), and riding up one of the most famous landmarks of this traditional ride – Laver’s Hill. It was about 1900 feet of elevation gain over 10 miles, and we worked hard, but actually enjoyed doing it. Coffee and croissants at the top with a view were a treat, as was the ride back down – I broke my speed record from 4 days ago and reached 37.3mph (over 60kph)! Then Jim and I kept going down from the cottage to order dinner (about 1k) and saw the most spectacular view yet from the bikes on our trip – steep downhill, headed straight for the ocean.

More trivia: Irena decided her knee would not be well served by the hard work up the hills, so she did not go with us. But she had bad dreams all night before that Jim would crash coming down the mountain, so we were anxious to get back to her. She was about ready to come looking for us when we returned around 10:45am. to Otway Bay

Then, to top off an already great day, we rode/drove to Otway Bay National Park. Two great things happened on the way back: after 10 days on the road, we finally figured out how to load 4 bikes on the hitch rack (duhhhh – take off ALL front tires and ALL the tool bags!!!), and we saw 32 koalas high in the gum trees! Jim has *never* seen them before in all his 30-odd years in Australia, so he was ‘terribly pleased’. About 5 cars were parked on the side of the road as we drove out, so we stopped as well, and after 20 minutes or so of watching and photographing, Koalawe just started walking along the road looking for them, and counting – up to 14. Then we got back in the car (bikes were on the back now), and as we drove, just kept counting – WOW again! I am still smiling.

Back at Glenaire cottage, after showers, our masseuse showed up – a lovely young woman. I was the one who was most insistent that we schedule these half way through our ride, but we let Jim go first (had ridden the most miles!). The crazy Mala (Irena) got some really funny photos of his face through the head rest on the massage table!! Then Patricia went in to get her massage, and the masseuse got sick! She was dizzy, and we wise old crones figured out that as a new, nursing mother, she had not had enough to eat that day for the two of them. So Patricia and I didn’t get our massages 🙁 – major bummer, and the poor gal felt really bad. But oh well!

All was better soon as our gourmet dinner was delivered – starters of sweet chili calamari and Greek salad, Atlantic salmon, pepper steak, ’10-Second Chicken’ (the roast chicken and veggie dish fell on the floor when we pulled it from the oven, but we used the ‘10-second rule’), Pinocchio Aneis white wine. This feast was followed up with an after-dark dip in the hot tub. As Patricia likes to say, “Could life get any better??