Australia, Port Fairy to Nelson

When we left Port Fairy the lady that runs the YHA said there was rain on the way, boy oh boy was she right. We rode straight into it, pretty much 72km in the rain and wind and not even much to look at. To be honest though for the most part the rain was drizzle but every now and then it was torrential, we were soaked !!
And like I say, the scenery was dreary, maybe it was just the heavy grey skies that made it look that way, I don’t know, but it just didn’t inspire us at all !! My camera barely left the bag and even when it did I ended up with water on the lens….pointless. We put our heads down and just stuck at it for 50km until we finally found somewhere to stop for a coffee and a snack, another of those multi purpose shops in another tired little town.
From the coffee stop we only had 20km into Portland and we’d already booked a motel so at least we’d be warm and dry, we also had another day off here as we’d like to cycle out to Cape Bridgwater to see the seal colony and blow holes.
We cycled straight to the Admella Motel and were greeted warmly by the host Brian, he very kindly locked our bikes in the storeroom for us before showing us to our room. Large, comfortable and ground floor next to the storeroom….perfect. We wasted no time in turning on the kettle and heating before showering and laying all our kit out to dry. Then we wandered into town for a look about, a bit of lunch and some grocery shopping, the joys of cycle touring !!
Back at the motel we borrowed a few DVDs from Brian and settled back to watch one, makes a nice change to actually do nothing !!
As we watched, the rain started, the wind really got up and before we knew it we had a full scale storm, winds of over 70kph and so much rain, I could barely see the other side of the car park. We were so glad we’d made good time to Portland, we couldn’t have cycled in that atrocious weather !!
All night the rain continued and by morning although it had abated slightly the wind was still blowing hard, our trip to Cape Bridgewater was off !!
We stayed in, planning our next trip through Turkey and Eastern Europe, until the rain finally stopped then we dashed out for a bit of fresh air. We took a walk round by the docks and up to the lighthouse, we’d only been gone an hour or so and just made it back before the rain started again. We popped into the office on our way back to check if our bikes were still ok and not in the way. Sadly we were told by Brian’s wife that he was in hospital, he’d fallen off a ladder while trying to clear the rain gulley, broken elbow….very painful !
Oh well, it looks like were having another night in, no point getting wet for the sake of it and to be honest there’s not much to do or see here so it’ll be an early night ready for tomorrow’s 70km dash. Just hope the weather is kind to us tomorrow or at least I hope the wind dies down a bit, wish us luck 😉
Now there aren’t to many photos from the ride into Portland but I did manage to take a few once the rain stopped, so here they are…

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Not our favourite town but maybe it looks better when the sun shines !!
I opened the curtains this morning full of dread, the last couple of days the weather has been terrible and the forecast wasn’t any better. But I almost cried with joy at the blue sky and sunrise, I could almost feel the warmth of the rays through the window, today will be a good day 😉
We went through the usual morning routine, dressing, breakfast and packing. We took the keys and DVDs back and wished Brian a speedy recovery and with that done, we set off.
Our route today is 75km and will take us over gently rolling hills to Nelson. Firstly we cycled back out of Portland towards Warrnambool for about 2km before turning left on the tourist route. This route takes you through man made forests, planted for the logging trade and normally the road would be full of logging trucks but it’s Sunday and we have the road to ourselves 😉
We barely saw any traffic in the four hours it took to get to Nelson and there’s certainly nothing in between, no shops at all. As I said we were riding through trees for most of it, although after about 40km just as we climbed a slight hill we got a brief look at the ocean before once again riding into the trees.
The sun continued to shine, albeit weakly for most of the journey, this is a bit of a rarity at the moment and was most welcome.
Just as we entered Nelson there were three cyclists heading the way we’d just come, we waved as they past us and thought no more about it. We stopped at the petrol station, they had a small cafe and we wanted some lunch. We entered a brightly lit room with Formica tables and no character, only one other diner present. We noticed that next to the other diner was a walking frame and that he never acknowledged us or said hello despite me saying hi. Our food arrived and as we started to eat the other diner started to get up. He was obviously struggling, he had his hands on the table for support and was desperately trying to get into a standing position but the table kept tilting towards him. I asked if he needed help, he nodded, I got up and asked him what he’d like me to do. He pointed at the table, I lent my full weight on it and as I did he tried again to get to his feet. This time the table refused to budge and with every ounce of his strength and will he made it to his feet. I could easily have lifted him but his persistence reminded me that even as your body fails you, your mind can still be active, to make it to his feet on his own might look like a small thing but imagine the satisfaction from his point of view. He proceeded to have a conversation with me via an electronic keyboard, he had to type his questions and they’d appear on screen for me to read. It turns out that he suffers from Motor Neurone Disease, the three cyclists that we saw on our way in are cycling from Adelaide to Melbourne to raise money for MND, he is there support man. Outside was a V8 pickup truck, the lid and doors all worked on hydraulic arms via the buttons on the key fob. I followed him outside but refused to help unless asked, he showed his gratitude with a lop sided smile. With his dignity and self respect still intact he climbed into his car, tooted the horn and shot off. What a guy, such determination !!
I went back indoors to finish my meal but all I could think was how lucky I am, to have my health, I only hope that if it fails I have his courage and determination to continue to lead as good and productive life as he was doing !!
From the cafe it was only a couple of kilometres to the caravan park and our lovely warm cabin. So glad we booked it because only an hour or so later the heavens opened yet again and it got cold.
So we spent another afternoon inside watching the rain, I sure hope this trend stops soon !!
Oh well, short day tomorrow into Mount Gambier, fingers crossed !!
Not a lot of photos today, let’s face it we all know what trees look like !!

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See what I mean about the roads, empty !!
Oh well, that does it for another blog, not the most exciting but hopefully things will improve again soon !!
Take care
JC

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About John Chevis

I'm a forty something single guy who spent far to long depressed, but luckily for me I found an answer in the form of exercise !! I started running and cycling on a regular basis and now two and a half years later I'm cycling the world !!
This entry was posted in Australia, Cycling and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Australia, Port Fairy to Nelson

  1. Kev says:

    Once again awesome story telling.

    Was great to be reminded of my cycling days in Victorian weather. True test of ones spirt and love of turning pedals.

    MND, nasty business. We said goodbye to a true champion Scott ‘Sully’ Sulivan last week who’s life was cut short by that terrible disease. We miss him.

    Ride safe my friend. Tell me about Turkey, you never know, perhaps I’ll come out of retirement!!

    • John Chevis says:

      Great to know your still reading, sorry to hear about your friend. I think it’s an illness that takes people long before they actually die, it must be incredibly frustrating for the victim !!
      As for Turkey, the blogs and photos will keep right on coming 😉
      Take care
      JC

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