Australia, Nelson to Beachport

After a very comfortable night in our warm and cosy cabin, neither of us was to impressed to see it raining when we woke up. Fortunately by the time we’d had breakfast, packed and tidied up it had stopped raining and was now just cold and windy. Hmm, welcome to Australia !!
Just shows our ignorance about this country, all the guide books and TV program’s all show Australia as a sunny and warm place, try the south in April and May and you’ll soon see how wrong that is !!
We got our bikes all set to leave and were just having a chat with a fellow camper when a small kangaroo decided to join us, didn’t seem to mind us at all. Hopped to within a few feet and continued to munch on the grass. Now this leads me to another of my misconceptions about this country, I’ve always thought that it was over run with Koalas, Kangaroos, Wallabies, snakes and spiders. I was to be honest a little bit worried about camping out with so much talk of snakes and spiders. Do you know how many snakes I’ve seen…none !! And as for poisonous spiders….also none, and we’ve hardly seen any kangaroos and wallabies, a few but certainly not very many. And as for Koalas, the only ones we’ve seen were in a koala hospital !!
So if like me you fancy coming to this wonderful country and are put of by the wildlife, don’t be, if you make lots of noise it’ll get out of your way and you’ll probably never see it !!
Ok, back to the ride, it’s only 40km to Mount Gambier and we have a room booked for when we get there. We left the caravan park and turned left, climbed a steep hill up, enjoyed the descent to the T junction and turned right. Crossed the bridge over the Glenelg river and headed on towards Mt Gambier. To be honest this was as good as it got, not the most interesting journey I’ve ever had !! The roads are straight, nothing of interest to look at, very little traffic, people or buildings and certainly no shops or cafés !!
A lot of the route takes you through managed forests again so a dark grey day just gets even more dismal. Just before we got into town it did open up a bit and the sun briefly came out to illuminate a far of hill but to be honest we were both relieved to get into town for a well earned coffee and cake 😉
After our coffee we headed round the corner to our accomodation, The Old Mount Gambier Gaol, it stopped being a gaol back in 1995 and has been transformed into budget accomodation. The rooms are small and to be honest bloody cold but the lady on reception did give us a room heater. There are free showers with plenty of hot water and a nice kitchen with everything you need plus free tea and coffee, so not all bad.
Now Mt Gambier is famous for it’s lakes so after showering we set off for a walk up the hill to view them, Valley lake is the nearest to us, Leg of Mutton lake is next and Blue lake is furthest away, it’s a pleasant walk and the viewing platforms give you good opportunities for photos, not only of the lakes but also the fabulous colours of the trees in the valley !!
After our walk round the lakes we headed back into town, I managed to get my shoes repaired while I waited and we treated ourselves to a sticky bun before heading back to gaol.
We had a little look round, cooked dinner and headed to bed early, we have a long ride into Beachport tomorrow !!
And now for the photos…

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Even the bikes got in on the act !!
85km, that’s the distance from Mt Gambier to Beachport, again we’ve taken the liberty of booking a room, the weather has really turned cold and wet over the last couple of weeks and neither of us fancies camping unless it’s absolutely necessary !!
It’s just as well we had a dry day and no wind otherwise it would have been a shocker of a day, but we got lucky. We headed our of Mt Gambier, through the sprawling industrial zones, past the saw mills and huge caravan sales places, past the engineering works and builders merchants until it gives way to huge swathes of pastoral land. Cattle and sheep grazing on lush grass, as far as the eye can see, and nothing much else at all.
We kept a good pace, the road was ok although the shoulder did disappear now and again, but fortunately this route isn’t to busy. At about 30km there was a sign for a small town, Tantanoola, it boasted of toilets, coffee and food and as it was actually shorter to go through the town rather than round it we went to take a look.
Well, the toilets were there and they were clean and well maintained, sadly though there was no coffee or food, the only place likely to do either was the Tiger Hotel and it was closed !!
We pedalled on, the road was almost empty for the next few km until we got back on the main road and even then it was still very quiet. The 18km into Millicent passed in a flash and we soon found a cafe where we could have a bit of lunch and a coffee.
From Millicent we still had 35km to go and the roads were smooth, flat and almost empty, Naomi was, as always at the front and was determined to get there in four hours of riding time from Mt Gambier. We were now doing 29kmph, it felt great and in no time at all we reached to beach just opposite our hotel, 85km covered in exactly 4 hours, not bad on our heavy bikes !!
The hotel was lovely as was the room, all it needed was the heating on for a bit and it was lovely and cosy. We sorted ourselves out and left the heater on while we went for a walk round the town. To be honest that didn’t take long, in fact it took longer to walk the length of the Jetty than it did to walk round the town. In days gone by it would have taken even longer but it’s been shortened by 500m !!
Well, not much else to tell you really, we only have a short day into Robe tomorrow so no hurry to leave in the morning, just hope the weather behaves itself !!
Not a lot to see but here goes…

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Well folks, another page or two in this adventure finished, keep reading, it can only get better 😉
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 !!
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