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March 17-22, 2001: Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia


March 16: First up - a day trip to Phillip Island with our friend Sherry. Here we were able to see some Koalas, Kangaroos, and Fairy Penguins as they came in for the night from their day fishing in the Pacific Ocean. It was a great day of hanging out with Sherry, seeing some of the countryside around Melbourne from the comfort of a car. Next up would be seeing some of it by bike.

Our riding trip then begins on the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia.

March 17: Train from Melbourne to Warnambool, ride to Peterborough, camping. It was raining when we had a quick lunch in Warnambool, but we decided to press on - which was a pretty good decision. We got a bit of rain during the ride, which went with the strong wind for perhaps 20km of the 66km we rode during the afternoon. Peterboro's campsight was fine, but a storm blowing through during the evening tested our tents quite well (fortunately, no leaks, but lots of wind to blow the tent walls around).

March 18: An easy day's riding from Peterborough to Princetown, with lots of stops along the way to view the famous sights along the road such as the Twelve Apostles, London Arch, and many interesting coves and rocky cliffs. Again, some rain, but not too bad, finishing with a fairly depressing campsight in Princetown.

March 19: A difficult ride up to Lavers Hill, the highest point along the Great Ocean Road at about 550m above sea level. Our heavy load of camping gear definitely took it's toll when climbing, and the rain-slicked roads kept us from opening it up on the downhills. Camping in Apollo Bay back on the shore, along a river that was home to a Duck-billed Platypus (although we didn't get to see him).

March 20: Finally, a beautiful, sunny day! Just in time for perhaps the most scenic section along the Great Ocean Road. We cut the day shorter when Steve pulled a muscle in his back, and we treated ourselves to a hotel room in Lorne for the comfortable beds. The sound of a loud rainstorm that night was music to our ears from inside the room.

March 21: A continuation of the good weather for our ride from Lorne to Torquay, where we rented a cabin. A massage for Steve helped loosten up his back. The wind and rain on the tin roof sounded like Armageddon, and we again were very happy to have a warm place to sleep for the night.

March 22: Short ride up to Geelong in the rain, on to the train, and back to Melbourne. The ride was uneventful and generally unscenic, but the wind off the shore helped push us along, and we only had to stay in the rain for a little while.

Thank goodness for GoreTex! We're told that we helped to break a 4 month long drought. We are happy to help, but wish it could have been in other ways.


Twelve Apostles

Kangaroos Crossing

Great Ocean Road sign


March 17-22, 2001: Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia