Saturday, 22 October 2011

On schedule, back

Hindsight being 20/20, I now know I should have pushed on to Princetown. I must stop doubting myself.

It was a fast, twisting downhill run to a river crossing, where I got on the Old Great Ocean Road. This unsealed portion ran dead flat on a flood plain to Princetown. I could easily have made it on the 20th.
There was a stop at the Melba Gully rainforest walk which was very interesting. Massive trees and ferns. Getting back to the road involved a bit of a climb which was welcome as the morning was quite wet and cold (full rain gear and merino jersey). The effort was warming.
I stopped in Princetown for elevenses where I chatted with an adult family unit led by an older Aussie who had run a hostel in Amsterdam.
The next section of Great Ocean Road was the one I had been waiting for. It features sheer cliffs, stacks and plenty of shipwrecks. Pappy would like it. I stopped at a number of outlooks to admire the view. In doing so, I kept meeting the same bunch of people including the family from Princetown. They were impressed I was more or less keeping pace with them. The wind was favourable.
After lunch in Port Campbell, the landscape changed into dairy farms spread over very gently rolling terrain. After two days of hilly terrain and the good wind, I flew along only stopping to photograph some white parrots, before getting to Cheese World in Allansford.It had an agricultural museum, fine cheese and wine store and a restaurant which Lonely Planet said had good milkshakes. I had been looking forwards to one of these. Regrettably, the restaurant had just closed for the day. As I left, a couple said they had been seeing me now and again all day and were impressed at how fast I was covering ground.

I rolled tired but determined into Warrnambool (Warnerbol) where I got a bed at the hostel in a dorm with an expatriate Irishman from Limmerick.

Today I went to a beach side cafe called Simon's for a second breakfast. The man running the place was very friendly. As I was finishing, he came by to offer me a free cup of coffee and a homemade yo-yo. The latter is something like a large melting moment.
Afterwards, I braved the cold water and big waves (by my standards) to get a brief swim in the Ocean.
In the afternoon I visited the Flagstaff Hill maritime village museum. It was some amusing hokum but it had some fascinating stories of the local trading ketches. They seem to have sailed into the 1960s!

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