Month: November 2019

17th-30th November

After a few days staying at Jeff’s we headed off to explore the coast heading south. Jeff very kindly lent us his landy and some camping table and chairs. Road trip time.

We followed the old coast road to Busselton where we spent a couple of days just relaxing, looking around the pretty seaside town and walking the jetty. The jetty is a very long one a nice spot to watch the sun set and see what the many fishermen catch. It’s also a great spot to watch the migrating whales.

After leaving Busselton we carried on south to Margaret River, we love it there a laid back town close to the sea and surrounded by vineyards. Our campsite was right on the river bank and we could walk into town following a river side trail. we stayed here for a week just going on walks and having day trips out. We visited a chocolate factory and tried out the free samples they were delicious. We visited a brewery I tried the free samples shame mike was driving I had to have his to!๐Ÿ˜ƒ

I also got to sample some local wine from a organic winery mike likes driving ๐Ÿ˜‡๐ŸทI’m only to glad to be the official taster. There’s also lots of caves open to public here one was called jewel cave so of course the Jewell’s had to go there

Add some friendly birds to feed,a river swim and a morning of kayaking we had a great time before heading back up to Jeff ‘s.

Wednesday 12th November till Saturday 16th November

Jeff and family have been brilliant we are sleeping very well in our bed a old cast ion bed frame with a new comfy mattress his home is full of quirky old bits and pieces that they have found and repurposed or repaired a beautiful home. They have very kindly loaned us a Land Rover to get out and about while they have to work or look after little one.

We have gone out for a couple of day trips, one of which was visiting mundaring weir a feat of engineering providing water to gold fields and agricultural regions. The engineer C Y O’Connor took his life before completion due a high level of ridicule stating that the dam and pipe line would never work.

It did work and very successfully for years to come.

Monday 11th November and Tuesday 12th November

We have managed to book a flight for tomorrow 8pm, so today we spent the day washing clothes,packing and boxing up the bikes. We booked another night at the ibis and payed for a late checkout that gives us until midday then a taxi to the airport nice and early good plan.

The bikes fitted into the boxes nice and snug mikes getting a expert in this. To fly as luggage they have to be in a standard size bike box, tires deflated and weighing less than 25kgs that bit is always the struggle our bikes are big and heavy and we always end up paying at the airport for the weight oh well nothing we can do about that.

Tuesday we are flying to Perth. Mike has a friend that lives in Perth. Jeff, Mike met Jeff back in 2005 on a motorbike trip and has stayed in touch but I haven’t met him and neither of us has met his wife Kerry, that said they are very kindly opening up there home and letting us stay for as long as we want.

We check in at Melbourne airport my bike was ok but we had to pay for mikes let’s just hope that they get to Perth in one piece.

And we’re off a easy flight and by the time we ate our airplane food and watched a movie the 4hrs passed quickly what with Perth being 3hours behind Melbourne it was time travel. Arriving 1 hour after we left.

Both airports are so easy to navigate and when we were at luggage collection Jeff came and found us, he only lives 15 minutes away from the airport and before we new it we were at his home meeting Kerry and his toddler Mahale a cheeky bright little girl.

Our room is in a annex off the garage a beautiful room with en-suite we will be very comfortable here.๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Sunday 10th November

We awoke to more wind and rain but not as bad so always the optimist we checked the ferry website and there was no indication that the ferry had been cancelled today.

So we packed up and headed for the jetty hoping for the best the water looked choppy to say the lest In the distance we could see a little boat bob bob bobbing it’s way slowly towards us, yes we can leave the island. It’s funny when you are involuntary staying somewhere you do feel like a prisoner even though you still have your freedom your still stuck in limbo and it’s a strange feeling.

Five brave soles boarded the small vessel us and three older ladies out on a day trip they were excitingly chatting and taking selfies not in the least bit worried about the rough crossing un like mike and myself I guess we’re just wimps!

Half a hour later feeling slightly queasy we are on main land and it’s good to start cycling.

It’s easy going, a bit of wind and rain but nothing to challenging and we make good progress. However we are now heading into the city of Melbourne the traffic is heavy and drivers have no regard for our safety close passes and angry beeps galore. Australia is by far the worst country we have ever cycled. I was stopped at a busy junction waiting to turn left, a gap in traffic so I pulled out the car behind decided to pull out at the same time cutting the corner and me up. He had only just missed me by a hair width. I know that I was going slow enough that if he did hit me I would live but anyone whose been in that situation will tell you how scary it is and would probably end up with something broken it’s getting beyond a joke.

We are in a ibis for the night as the campsite is more expensive, city prices! Opposite is a bike shop and the airport is only 30 miles away. So after reflection and with a heavy heart we have decided to fly to Perth. People all along have warned us not to cycle the great ocean road because the drivers are bad, not taking the chance that they are worse than what we have already experienced we went into the bike shop and got two cardboard boxes, decision made tomorrow we will box up the bikes, book a flight and head to Perth.

Saturday 2nd November-Friday 8th November

We have been relaxing on Phillip Island for the week. From Phillip Island we can get a pedestrian ferry across to Melbourne and then continue our journey on. Well that’s the plan but unfortunately for us it’s a small ferry. Only taking 30 minutes to cross meaning that in bad weather it gets cancelled, it’s not run for the last 3 days and the weather forecast is still pretty bad for the next few days. Even had snow in Melbourne and there was us thinking Australia was going to be to hot.

So a extended stay in Phillip Island we are staying in a small town called Cowes there are a lot of similarities to the Isle of Wight, there’s a Ventnor also,and the landscape and beaches are similar add to that the rain and wind we’ve been having we could of just stayed a weeks holiday back home we only live a short ferry ride away from cowes.

Mind you you don’t get penguins on the Isle of Wight. Phillip Island is home to one of Australia’s largest penguin colonies. Little penguins are the smallest of 17 penguin species and the only penguin that lives permanently in Australia. They are counted in each night at a place called penguin parade, last nights count was 2.5k they make their way from the sea to shore every night at sunset such a awesome site.

The rest of our time has been spent walking the long empty beaches and browsing through the tourist trash and trinket shops it’s good to have a rest of the bikes. We can sit the weather out and wait for the ferry to run or do a 100 mile detour around against the 25mph wind and cycle to Melbourne. I think we will wait!

Friday 1st November

Wow November already where does the time go. So another short day following a rail trail this time we joined the bass rail trail a lovely easy route passing beaches into kilcunda where we had a lunch break tea and toasted sandwiches.

We passed over a old trestle bridge but I couldn’t find any information about it, just a old railway bridge.

After lunch we joined the cycle path onto Phillip Island and for some unknown reason they made the cycle path steeper than the road, ha ha Australia you’re so funny!

We are staying on the island for the next week and the weather is looking rather damp.

Thursday 31st October

Happy Halloween. Well this year is the first year that I’ve experience a summer Halloween, it doesn’t feel right. A really hot day,bright sun shine, people in shorts and T-shirts it can’t be Halloween it just doesn’t work.

As I said it’s a hot day today the hottest in oz we have had so far spring has changed into early summer lovely. This and the fact that it’s a holiday weekend in Melbourne something to do with horses. The Melbourne cup we keep the miles down. A mere 10 or so miles following the easy rail trail.

Inverloch to Wonthaggi. The last goods train on 7th November 1978 marked the official closing of the rail line, the last passenger train had already departed on the4th December 1977. The rail line was transformed into the coastal rail trail in 2000.

Tonight we camp in Wonthaggi a former gold mining town, the campsite is basic not a cooking kitchen, we have a kettle and toaster so breakfast is fine but for the evening meal we have pub grub. Roasted pumpkin risotto for me, you gotta have pumpkin on Halloween ๐ŸŽƒ. The pub has giant whale bones outside it’s door from a sperm whale that got washed up on a nearby beach in 1923.