Month: October 2019

Wednesday 30th October

Glorious day riding. The sun was out but we were shaded by the trees lining the old railway line. We followed the great southern rail trail all morning, which led us nicely into fish creek for a lunch stop. A quirky little town with pictures and statues of fish pretty much every where.established 1884 as a railway town

After lunch back onto the trail for a few more miles until we had to turn off onto rolling country roads leading to the coastal/ fishing town of Inverloch. Situated on a shallow inlet and our home for the night.

Tuesday 29th October

A really hot day today with that dreaded head wind made today hard work. We cycled from our campsite in Woodstock to yarram ten miles up the road, this gave us the perfect place to stop for a coke and breakfast. Whilst in the cafe I noticed a man outside taking a picture of my bike. I didn’t think anything about it, it’s something that happens it’s all loaded up and people are intrigued by it. He came inside and instead of the normal questions she just said are you the Jewell’s on tour. I smiled and said yes, with that he told us that he followed us on Instagram and just left. We don’t know who he was and it’s strange being recognised.

Ten more hot miles up the road more refreshments needed we stop in Welshpool for another coke and a sandwich from here we can join the southern rail trail. A disused railway line made into a cycle path

From here we follow the path to our stop tonight in toora. A town established in 1860 to supply hardwood to Melbourne. It has many old buildings but unfortunately they have been neglected over the years.

We make the most of our campsite indoor pool and hot tub. That will do nicely after 40 hot miles.

Monday 28th October

Today was a good day. The sun was out, the scenery spectacular, the road quiet, and no wind.

We did a nice relaxing 35 miles enjoying ourselves still a little sore in places left over from yesterday’s Japanese torture day but we recover pretty quickly these days. Our poor old bodies are used to it.

Still no shops on the way but we stocked up before we left.

We arrived at the campsite nice and early 1:30pm and was greeted by the owner rather enthusiastically who chatted away about her travels and how beautiful Australia is. We basically have the place to ourselves. The camp kitchen has a fire place and Tv this will do nicely thank you very much.

Tuesday 22nd October

A perfect day for a bike ride.

Not to hot= no heat stroke.

Not to cold = shorts and t-shirt.

Not to sunny = no sticky sun block.

Not to hilly = good average speed.

Not to flat = great landscapes.

Feeling good we ride a nice little 30 miles into Bairnsdale, established 1842.

It’s streets cape has the architecture of a 1860s gold rush town.

We took the rail trail following traffic free paths

Long and straight. We met a couple on a tandem going our way. Elisa and Jack they are staying at the same campsite as us tonight so we cycled together. They are moving to London from Brisbane to continue their studies next year. We spent the evening chatting about cycle touring. They also have done a bit and are warm shower hosts.

Sunday 27th October

Today was like being a unsuspecting contestant on a very strange Japanese torture game show.

The day should of been easy enough, a mere 60 miles in beautiful countryside. A quiet road and only 500 ft of climbing no problem we are team Jewell, we’ve got this.

Ok let’s make it harder then said the weird Japanese game director, lets make sure that there’s no refreshments in between point A to point B that’ll get them! No problem we checked the map and prepared with plenty of water and snack bars. Mm harder still let’s make sure that there is no toilet available, got this I haven’t earned the nik name stop and squat for nothing it’s even on a sticker on my bike. ๐Ÿ˜‚ let’s give mike a upset stomach, good job we carry wet wipes.

Right then let’s put a time limit on it, make sure the only campsite in town reception closes at 6. Any later and you can’t use the toilets or shower as you need the code for the key pad. 60 miles at a average 10 mph yep can do this.

Darn we need to slow them down, cue the bloody head wind at 20 mph that should do it. Yep now my speed all day stays between 6 to 8 mph and it’s tiring.

For a bit of fun let’s put in a dog chase, peddle faster guys or he will bite you.

Still not enough bring in the snakes on the road, not the timid black ones that get out of the way, no bring on the aggressive brown ones. That will show them. Yep at one point Mike managed to get passed one given him a wide berth. Then from a safe distance waited for me waving his arms like a looney to make sure I see it. I see it, it sees me and it’s not going to get out of my way in-fact it looks angry. Its a narrow road and there is a lorry headed towards. I can’t stop I’m to close to the thing for comfort. in my head it’s lunging straight for my throat. I know, I’ve watched to many films but I don’t trust the evil little bugger. I can’t go round the truck is there. Mike is still waving and pointing like a complete lunatic bless. This has got the attention of the truck driver who has now slowed down to see what all the fuss is about giving me just enough time to swerve wide at last I’m safely passed.

Still going strong mad director decides to bring in a small bit of rain, not enough to bother us just enough to bring out the mosquitos. We stop to eat a snack bar and comfort break so not just one but a swarm of mosquitos attack us. What a day. What next!

Magpies. Magpies yep for the next 15 miles we have magpies swooping at our heads. It’s a common problem over here, they attack cyclists as they see us as some sort of threat. In fact not that long ago a gentleman died as a direct result from a magpie attack he swerved and lost balance, fell of his bike and suffered a fatal head injury.

Add all that to the normal close passes of the day. Drivers don’t like cyclists, I’ve even heard on the media cyclists being referred to as cockroaches. Nice and we certainly have experienced more of our fare share of hostility towards us.

We finally make it to camp 5:50pm to be greeted by a grumpy campsite owner who made a point of looking at his clock when we walked in. We asked him for the WiFi code, he mumbled something about eating into his profits, it didn’t work anyway. We rewarded ourselves with a en-suite pitch and a trip into town for a meal. To tired to cook.

I am sun/wind burnt. Covered in mozzie bites. And everything hurts,so tired but team Jewell are the winners of the day. Still living the dream.

Thursday 24th,Friday 25th and Saturday 26th October

Enjoying a few days off. The ferry to Raymond Island is free the 1st one in the morning is at 6:30am and the last at night is 11pm it’s only a two minute crossing. We make the most of it and go back and forth enjoying walking around the island taking in the wild life. It has lots of wild life.

Echidnas, black swans,kangaroos and lots of brightly coloured birds to name a few. But of course it’s the koalas that we came to see and we weren’t disappointed.

The island has over 300 koalas, they can be seen sleeping in the trees. They sleep a lot anything up to 20 hours a day we were lucky enough to see some awake but they were very sleepy.

Wednesday 23rd October

We have decided to take a slight detour, our route will take us to Phillip island and the moto gp is on. This means that all the accommodation has either sold out or is a out of our price range. So the plan is to go 10 miles out of our way to paynesville where we have heard about a Island off of it where we are guaranteed to see koalas. The 10 miles was nice and easy.

We got to paynesville early. Time to relax in a coffee shop and watch the world go by. We also used the library, tourist information centre and supermarket. It’s a small town but has everything we need on hand. It was originally a fishing village that sent over 1500 baskets of fish weighing 40 tons each into Melbourne weekly. It also rapidly grew due to boat building. And the reason we are here is it’s ferry service across to Raymond island.

Monday 21st October

We made the decision to take the day off. Yesterday’s wind was fierce and today my thighs were killing me, so much pushing against resistance I’ve got big pumped up muscles, at this moment in time I would probably make the worlds strongest man look like he skips legs day!

We also are headed into Phillip Island bad timing the moto g p is on this weekend putting the price of accommodation sky high and fat chance of seeing any wild life with all the bikers taking over. Best to sit it out.

So with a day to look around we headed into town. It’s actually bigger than most of the towns we pass through with lots of charity shops to have a rummage in, my favourite kind of shop you never know what you might find. Exciting news they have a brand new vinies opening this week and it’s huge.

Apart from the charity shops it’s also quite a nice town. A good selection of shops and restaurants all set in a nice harbour.

On the foreshore statues are carved into tree stumps of the Monterey trees that were planted in 1924. The stumps have been preserved by a local chainsaw artist John Brady as a memorial to world war 1 service men

The sun was out and it’s a beautiful day just to relax. Tomorrow we will ride on to the next town it’s only about 25 miles hopefully the weather will be kind.

Sunday 20th October

Finally some traffic free riding today. We join the gippsland rail trail which runs between Orbost and Bairnsdale.

It’s a bit tough with loose gravel and tree branches across the path from recent storms but it’s long and straight taking us through a tree lined route, we’re forever hopeful that we will spot a koala. Fat chance.

Lunch stop was in Nowa Nowa a small rural village home of several timber mills in its heyday.

Leaving Nowa Nowa behind we move on to Lakes Entrance home for the night. A holiday location that offers a wealth of activity’s. It’s also the base for Australia’s largest fishing fleet.

Just a brief stop to buy some hunny from a honesty shop, we ran out of hunny yesterday and missed it on our porridge this morning so was really pleased to see this pretty little hut on the road side.

It’s been hard going today we have been fighting a strong head wind so pleased with the 40 miles, I was brought to a standstill twice and mike pushed into a hedge but we didn’t give in and it will make us stronger.

Saturday 19th October

3rd night in a row staying in motels. We seem to be in the middle of nowhere. We have had no mobile service and no WiFi. There’s been hardly any house’s, no shops or petrol stations for miles. I really didn’t expect this for the south of Australia especially so close to the coast.

So today we are headed to a town called Orbost. I’m really not expecting much, but the map says it has all facilities and a campsite. It’s also the start of a rail trail that will get us off the highway for a bit.

9am on the road, the motel owner is keen to get rid of us early as it’s up for sale and we believe that someone is viewing it today. $400 k just less than ยฃ200k it has lots of land and owners home not bad. I’m sure I could run a little campsite here and 2 rooms easy!

We have to do 10 miles before we find some where for breakfast it’s funny you don’t get a breakfast in motels just room only and we have run out of porridge.

We find a cafe bosting home made pie. They must be good if we’re to believe the cat!

Tea and egg roll for me, we only have 15 more miles to go to Orbose the weather isn’t that great a bit cold and wet with a head wind against us. At least the hills are good nice long climbs and fast dissents a good day. We make town 12:30pm. Just as I feared not much here. A small store so we can buy tonight’s meal and tomorrow’s breakfast. A row of shops however all closed, we find that a lot in small towns over here they don’t open at weekends. And a tourist information centre which is in a old house built in 1872.

We pitch up the tent, shower and change and at last we can wash our smelly cycle clothes there’s a laundry room ๐Ÿ˜Š better still we have WiFi and phone service this town knows how to spoil us!

It’s a cold night so we have to rap up warm in our little tent, there is no camp kitchen to sit in but you can’t have everything.