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 Cindie's Great Ocean Road, Victoria #1, Australia Blog, Daily Journal, Travel Writing and, Travelogue
Nelson to Melbourne, Australia
(October 21 - November 13, 2006)

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Oct 21 Mount Gambier - Bush camp Nelson.  We received an email last night from a reporter with the New York Times.  He is writing an article about how couples get along while traveling for a long time.  The article should be coming out in three weeks or so, when it does I will provide a link in my journal to it.  I guess Tim and I have mastered getting along while traveling.  It certainly is different then when we were working at home.  Again it was raining in the morning so we did not leave until after l pm. The wind was in our face and waiting until the afternoon did not help, it usually is stronger in the afternoon. We picked up water in Nelson and bush camped about 8 km past Nelson.  We did not have much time to pitch the tent and make dinner before sunset was happening.  Just as the sun was setting a pair of kangaroos stopped by our camp to check us out. Actually they were quite startled that we were there and hopped off after staring at us for a while.  The evening was really cold.  I wore all my clothes to bed including my jacket, hat and gloves.  It was below freezing, it has been a long time since I have slept in this cold a temperature.  We also arrived in the state of Victoria today and set our clocks a half hour ahead.  In about a week we spring forward another hour for daylight savings.

the ride - wind from the southeast, a cold head wind.

47 km
Oct 22 Bush camp Nelson - Portland.  We set out early and the wind was still in our face. We are riding through pine forest here and there. Planted by Kimberly-Clark.  Today happens to be Sunday so the road was free of logging trucks.  I had read in previous journals that the road here was narrow with no shoulder.  Well they tried to remedy the situation but did a so so job. They laid the gravel down but skipped the final rolling so the pavement was uneven and was getting pot holes rather quickly.  We stayed at a caravan park in Portland, paid $18 for an unpowered site.

the ride - wind from the southeast, a cold head wind.

65 km
Oct 23 Portland - Port Fairy.

the ride - wind from the southeast, a cold head wind.

65 km
Oct 24 Port Fairy.  Took the day off and explored Griffith Island and the town itself. Nice town.  We ride our bikes all over now and Tim and I rode into town to buy groceries.  We were riding in one direction and then rode across the street to get to the grocery store. Tim stayed outside with the bikes while I went in to shop.  Tim sat down on a bench next to a local and the local proceeded to tell Tim that he broke the law by riding across the double yellow line.  Whow, that is a new one, someone telling us that we broke the law while riding our bikes.  The fact is true, we should not ride across a double yellow line, but this particular law is broken by cars as well, still it does not make it right. Ok my point, people follow the rules for the most part here, not so in Asia so we tend to ride without regard for the rules.  We had the same problem when we went back to the USA after traveling in Latin America for two years.  
Oct 25 Port Fairy - Peterborough.  It rained in the evening and we were not sure if we were going to leave the next day.  Morning came and the sun was out so we decided to ride to Peterborough.  At first we had a tailwind but by the time we rode into Warrnambool,  29 km away, we had a headwind again.  The wind was out of the southeast and in our face.  We did make a few stops along the way. We tried to use the wireless hotspot at McDonalds but we could not get on. We tried to buy a Phoneaway Card for Telstra, it turns out that the lady at the cash register sold me the wrong card.  Then I tried to use my credit card on their web site but that did not work either.  I have never had such a hard time connecting on a wireless connection.  We pushed on to Peterborough into the wind and stopped at the Bay of Islands before we went to the caravan park.  The caravan park was $20 Au ($15) it had a nice camp kitchen and great showers, a hot shower took the chill off.  As we were setting up the lady next to us asked if we wanted a cup of coffee, sure we said, and sat and talked with a couple from Perth who were driving their caravan around Australia, they thought we were crazy but then again they all do. The coffee was a welcome warm up after a cold day of riding. 82 km
Oct 26 Peterborough - Princeton.  This is one of the spectacular sections of the Great Ocean Road.  We took our time today and and stopped at every viewing area, including the famous twelve apostles.  I heard over 6 different languages while viewing the 12 Apostles which are called sea stacks by geologists.  The day was sunny and we even had a tailwind.  We made camp near the town of Princeton near the estuary.

the ride - terrain flat, tailwind from the southwest

40 km
Oct 27 Princeton - Cape Otway Bimbi Park.  We woke to a cloudy day and realized we better pack up the tent before it rains.  We knew if we could get everything in our panniers our gear would stay dry.  We rushed around and started riding earlier than usual.  The rain came just a kilometer down the road.  We began climbing immediately and the rain came down in sheets, I was glad to be riding up hill because it kept me warm. It was not a good time to find out that my gortex socks are not water proof anymore.  What can I expect after wearing them for 4 years. In addition, I had the wrong socks on, cotton instead of wool so my feet were ice blocks going up the hill. We rode from sea level to 550 meters (1800 feet).  The ride was better once we were in the rainforest. At Lavers Hill we stopped and had lunch and warmed up inside.  The wind had picked up since we were inside at lunch  and the road was now dry.  We planned to ride back down to sea level and back up another hill to Otway National Park.  The road was dry but steep is some sections.  The wind was coming off the ocean at 20 or 30 mph, in some places it was a cross wind and I had to get as low on the bike as I could to keep from being blown over.  At one switchback I was blown from one side of the road all the way over to the other side. Scary, I was grateful that there were no cars on the road at the time.  After 3 or 4 sections of fighting the wind I was feeling pretty tired.  The last two kilometers up the next hill were pretty steep.  I was feeling pretty worn out when we turned to go to Bimbi Caravan Park where we planned to camp under the koalas.  It was 7 km to Bimbi Caravan park through the national forest, it is a temperate rain forest with Eucalyptus trees also called gum tree. When we reached our turn off we looked up in a tree and there she was, a momma koala with her young baby.  It made the days effort totally worth it.  We rode into Bimbi Park and set up in an unpowered site for $17 Au $(12.75) have a look at their web site. 69 km
Oct 28 -30 Cape Otway Bimbi Park.  We went hunting for koalas today and we found fourteen in the campground alone. I really enjoy watching their behavior patterns without disturbing them.  Apparently, it is mating season now and since koalas are nocturnal they carried on all night long.  The male koala makes grunting noises like a wild pig or monkey, the female koala makes a high pitched screaming noise like a women screaming.  I never thought I would say this but the koalas kept me up most of the night with all the noise they were making.  We settled into the wonderful camp kitchen and working on our third video for Malaysia. This one is about David's Guesthouse in Malaysia, we really had a wonderful time there and hope other cyclists will visit him on their way through Malaysia, his web site is :

We did make a short trek to Rainbow falls near station beach.  It was a nice three hour trip but the flies were really bad. I had to knock at least 50 of them off of Tim before we went inside the camp kitchen.  I guess flies are pretty common in Australia, the one thing I do not like, I even had one dive bomb the back of my throat.  I had no choice but to swallow it.  Yuck!

Oct 31 Cape Otway - Apollo Bay.  I woke up with a cold, sore throat, stuffy nose.  The works.  We decided to ride anyway because it looked like the weather was going to turn bad in a couple of days.  I was achy all over so we made it a short day to Apollo Bay.  We had some climbing to do to get back to the road and then took a rest at Mait Rest, it is a small piece of rainforest that has not been touched by logging.  Then it was a long quick descent, well mostly, into Apollo Bay. 30 km
Nov 1 Apollo Bay - Anglesea.  This has to be my favorite section of the Great Ocean Road, great views of the ocean all along the way. We happen to have a nice sunny day and a tailwind to boot. I couldn't be happier, well ok, I could be happier.  As we were traveling along I heard a noise and to my great disbelief, I saw a Koala in a tree, not one but two.  OK now I was really happy.  Nothing like watching a couple of koalas, they are usually nocturnal but here it was the middle of the day and they were wide awake.  I think that mating season may have something to do with it.  We stopped at Lorne and had lunch and gave Ed a call in Anglesea.  We met Ed and Gaye in Vientiane Laos, they were riding from London, England to Anglesea, Australia.  Their web site is Ed was home when we called and rode out to met us on the road.  They live near the Anglesea golf course, famous for it's kangaroos. Due to the ongoing drought in Australia, Anglesea is on level three water restrictions.    Even though we, Tim and I, lived in Arizona a desert we always had plenty of water and never really have been restricted on our water use.  One thing is for sure, Australians do not use their bath tubs. I have seen them turned into decorations but they are not used here. I feel a bit wasteful about the way I use water, now my showers are short, really short.  Gaye reuses their grey water (from the washing machine) on the plants outside.  A minimal amount of water is used to wash dishes as well. 77 km
Nov 2 Anglesea.  We had a rest day with Ed and Gaye and I really needed it.  I was sicker than a dog.  I could not breath and my sinuses are swelled up too.  I went from a cold to hay fever and back again. Ed and Gaye treated us well and cooked fantastic meals for us too.  Ed showed us a bike route up at the top end, from Cairns to Darwin that is on dirt roads and riding from river to river.  It sounds like an appealing ride, well until Gaye said, watch for crocs when you go down to the rivers edge.  We will keep the ride in mind when we get to that part of Australia.  
Nov 3 Anglesea - Castlemaine.  We have been writing email with a few folks from the Melbourne Bicycle Touring Club and it turns out that they were going to Castlemaine for the long weekend. Australia is the first country I have been to where the entire country goes on holiday for a horse race.  My kinda place. We decided to ride to Geelong, take the train to Melbourne and then take another train out to Castlemaine.  We were told that we could just roll our bikes onto the train.  We could not believe it was that easy but it was. We rolled on in Geelong and then changed trains and rolled on again.  Before we knew it we were pushing our bikes off in Castlemaine.  A change in plans is always a welcome event. Turns out that it was warmer and drier in Castlemaine. 40 km
Nov 4 - 8 Castlemaine.  The bike club started showing up in the morning and they just kept pouring in.  There was every kind of rider that you could imagine, from young to old and from recreational rider to racer.  There were a number of rides planned for the day and we decided to ride with Glen to the Welsh village.  I think there were 17 riders in all and we took off for the hills to find the Welsh village.  Castlemaine is in the heart of gold mining country and this area experienced a gold rush at the same time the States had their gold rush in the mid 1800s.  Well we rode and rode and never did find that Welsh village but I have to say, a good time was had by all even when we had to get off our bikes and walk/slide down the hill.  The next day a majority of the club rode to Mauldon, a small little settlement, for the annual folk festival.  There were musicians and dancers on every street corner.  Over the weekend we finally met up with Jenny and Peter who had been emailing us about the club and the weekend's activities.  Jenny has been following us for over 4 years so she certainly knew us well.  Having someone know us well and then not know them very well at all is a strange phenomena that has resulted from our web page.  It still feels a bit strange but we quickly get over that because familiarity sets in quickly.  We went on two more rides over the weekend, it was nice to ride unloaded.  Our plans were set, we were going back to Melbourne, stay with Jon Miller, the club president and then go on to Tasmania via the ferry.  All we had to do was get on the train from Castlemaine.  The club had hired a D class car which is basically a baggage car because there would be at least 11 bikes getting on the train.  We were all lined up on the platform ready to get on when Glen yelled, "There is no D class car" as the train rolled in.  The conductor was quite confused and only let 3 of the 11 cyclists on.  Ouch! we were now separated and a lot of people were going to be getting home late.  Some of the best laid plans can go hay wire.  The next train wasn't for a hour so we all had time to plan for the next disaster (not getting on the train).  The train rolled in, we spread out to different doors and there was a mad scramble to get on the train.  Luckily, the conductor on this train let us on, I guess she was ready for us this time.  In the end there were 15 bikes on the velocity train.  We arrived in Melbourne an hour and a half later and followed Jon through the streets of Melbourne to his house.  
Nov 8 - 13 Melbourne.  We stayed in Jon's extra room down stairs.  It was like having our own apartment. Our plans were to stay for a couple of days, go to a club meeting and then go on down to Tasmania. 

Jon is an IT guy and had to go to work the next day.  Jon does not own a car and commutes to work by bike and has for years.  Tim and I have traveled on our bikes for years but we have not been commuters, usually when we get to a city we use public transportation.  Here in Melbourne there is plenty of public transportation but it is also easy, relatively, to commute by bicycle.  There are bike lanes everywhere and more importantly, the drivers are use to sharing the road with bikes.  I was really impressed the morning that Jon rode his bike to work, in the rain.  We ended up staying longer in Melbourne then originally anticipated, we attended a club meeting, I can't say I have been in a room with so many touring cyclists.  We watched a talk on the use of a GPS, the speaker didn't really know his audience, we all wanted to know more about the higher end units not the lower basic units. Ah well it was still an interesting talk.  We have often contemplated getting a GPS but I still do not see the benefit outweighing the cost.  I would welcome any information for someone who uses one and can't live with out it.  There wasn't much time at the club meeting to give a slide show on our trip so we planned an impromptu get together at Jon's house.  First we spent the day with Glen, a lifetime member of the Melbourne Bicycle Touring Club, he showed us Melbourne by bike.  We also visited Seres (I don't know what it stands for) where they grow organic vegetables and have a bike recycle center.  It was interesting to watch people go through old bikes and grab the parts they needed to fix their new bike.  We also stopped by the Botanical garden and local bike shop.  Tim replaced a chain, again, and on the way home it broke again.  Ok, we have not had chain problems in years and now it seems we have the plaque. Saturday night came and Tim gave a slide and video show about our trip.  We just recently finished a video about our friend David in Malaysia.  Check out our video page to see it.


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INDEX #4 Australia
9-15-06 to 9-15-07

1North and
Central America
3-30-02 to 4-17-03

2 South America
6-3-03 to 6-17-04

3 SE Asia / China
11-22-04 to

4 Australia
9-15-06 to 9-15-07

5 New Zealand
9-16-07 to 5-2-08
6 Alaska, Canada, and the USA
5-3-08 to 4-30-10
7 India. Nepal, and the Subcontinent
5-1-10 to present

(see all 3 book)

 South Australia
Adelaide to Mount Gambier (Sept 15 - Oct 20, 2006)

Cindie's Daily Journals

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Culture Shock in Australia

Best Place to see Pictures
Thumbnail Pictures of the state of South Australia

Full size Picture Pages

- The city of Adelaide
- Tanunda, Barossa Valley
- Cudlee Creek and Gorge Wildlife Park.
- Barossa Valley Wineries and Vineyards
- Murray River Pictures of Tanunda to Strathalbyn
- Macclesfield to Menengie
-Coorong National Park from Parnka Point to 42 Mile Crossing.
- Robe to Mt. Gambier


 Great Ocean Road, Victoria
Nelson to Melbourne, Victoria (Oct. 21 to Nov. 12, 2006)

Cindie's Daily Journals

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)

Best Place to see Pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- Nelson to Port Fairy
- Warrnambool to Princeton
- Otway National Park: camping under the Koalas
- Apollo Bay, Lorne to Geelong
- Castlemaine with the Melbourne Bicycle Touring Club MBTC
- Melbourne Australia the capital of the state of Victoria, Australia.


Devonport to Devonport (Nov 13, 2006 - Jan 4 2007)

Cindie's Daily Journals for Tasmania

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Downloadable Malaysian Video Postcard From the Road

Best Place to see Pictures for Tasmania

Full size Picture Pages

- Devonport to Strahan
- Cradle Mountain National Park Tasmania
- Strahn to The Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park and World Heritage Area
- Lake St. Clair Wilderness Park
- Tarralleah to New Norfolk
- Pictures of Mount Field National Park
-Hobart Wharf, Salamanca Market, Parliament Building in Tasmania
- Eagle Hawk Neck dog line to Swansea
- Port Arthur National Park and Penitentiary Ruins. #1.
- Port Arthur National Historic Site and Prison Ruins #2
- Swansea to Bicheno
- Freycinet National Park
- Nature World Animal Park
- Bicheno to the boat ferry at Devonport

Melbourne to Jindabyne , Australia  (January 5 - February 9, 2007)

Cindie's Victoria Daily Journals

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
How do we stay married while traveling together 24/7?

Best Place to see Victoria Pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- Melbourne to Wilsons Promontory National Park
- Tarra Bulga National Park
- Bairnsdale to Jindabyne

 New South Wales
Jindabyne to Mudgeeraba (February 10 - April 24, 2007)

Cindie's Daily Journals for New South Wales

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)

Best Place to see all thumbnail Pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- Jindabyne to Khancoban, Australian Alps
- Wild Flowers of Mount Kosciusko Peak Hike.
- Threadbo ski field and snow sports area
- Khancoban to Adaminaby
- Adaminaby, NSW to Canberra, ACT
- Parliament House in Canberra to Sydney
-Sydney Australia with the Aquarium, Opera House and walk across the Harbor Bridge
- Sydney to Diamond Head, Crowdy Bay National Park
- Port Macquarie to Nimbin.
- Nimbin to Mount Nimbil Lodge Campground Gold Coast.


 Queensland - Outback
Sunshine Coast, to Wollogorang Station (April 25 - July 23, 2007)

Cindie's Daily Journals for Queensland

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)

Best Place to see all the Queensland Thumbnail Pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- Sunshine Coast and Maroochydore surfing beach
- Snorkeling and diving on the Great Barrier Reef at Lady Elliot Island.
- Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo
- Lamington National Park
- Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary Brisbane, Australia.
- Cairns to Atherton Tablelands
- Cairns Rain Forest Botanical Garden
- Mossman Gorge in the Daintree National Park
- Atherton Tablelands to Georgetown, Queensland, Australia
- Georgetown to Burketown
.- Burketown to Wollogorang Station


 Northern Territory and Outback
Wollogorang Station to Darwin
(July 22 - September 14, 2007)

Cindie's Daily Journals for the Northern Territory

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)


Best Place to see Pictures of the Outback

Full size Picture Pages

- Wollogorang to Borroloola and Heart Break Hotel
- Daly Waters to Katherine
- Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory
- Yellow Water Boat Trip #1
- Yellow Water River Cruise and Boat Tour #2.
- Aboriginal community Oenpelli (Gunbalanya) and festival
-Aboriginal rock art at Ubirr and Merl campground in Kakadu National Park Northern Territory, Australia

1North and
Central America
3-30-02 to 4-17-03

2 South America
6-3-03 to 6-17-04

3 SE Asia / China
11-22-04 to

4 Australia
9-15-06 to 9-15-07

5 New Zealand
9-16-07 to 5-2-08
6 Alaska, Canada, and the USA
5-3-08 to 4-30-10
7 India. Nepal, and the Subcontinent
5-1-10 to present
Where am I  now

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