Australia, Meningie to Strathalbyn

Last nights cabin was one of our best and possibly one of the cheapest, and to save even more money we were good and cooked both lunch and dinner in the cabin, can’t say we’ll be doing the same tonight !!
It’s a fairly short ride today, 45km over rolling hills, destination Wellington and the Wellington Hotel, we have a basic cabin booked. Basic means cheap but usually with hotels it also means that you have no facilities to cook your own food and it can be expensive eating out !!
We didn’t rush out, we took our time over breakfast, sat and drank coffee, then tidied up, packed, loaded the bikes and set off. It was warm, deep joy, I do so prefer it to be warm, beautiful blue sky and sunshine….hurrah !!
Our first stop was only about 1km from camp, it’s a plastic Ostrich, it’s there to commemorate a highway man who used an Ostrich as his mode of transport, he was only about 5 foot tall so it was a perfect match !!
We of course took some silly photos of us on the plastic beast before setting off on our ride. There were a few small hills which afforded some good views and also gave our legs a rest on the downhills. People always assume that you’d prefer to not have any hills but they’d be wrong, cycling on the flat can be very tiring as you never get a rest and it’s the same tempo all day. Pedalling up a hill can actually give some muscles a rest and then there’s the descent where you get to rest everything 😉
Apart from one other stop for a quick photo we didn’t stop again until we reached the small ferry at Wellington, a town split in two by the Murray River, although most of the town and certainly all the hotels are on the west side. The ferry is free and is one of eleven similar ferries in the area, I guess that without them many communities would suffer huge losses in trade !!
As soon as you get off the ferry you ride up a short hill and arrive at the Old Courthouse and cafe, well we had to have a look not to mention a coffee and cake 😉
An interesting place, it used to be the prison, police station, post office and courthouse until it fell into disrepair, it’s now been fully restored and is an historical museum and cafe, excellent on both counts !!
The hotel was only a few hundred yards away and soon we were booked in and shown our room, it looks like a walk in fridge or meat locker from outside but it’s deceptive, inside it’s bright, clean and is even ensuite, not to mention it has a kettle and toaster, that’s breakfast sorted then !!
We did however have dinner in the hotel, $12 Schnitzel night, just can’t go wrong, did however have a couple of beers to wash it down though !!
And so for the usual photo show….

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Slept well last night, nothing like a comfy bed in a warm room, I do miss my tent though and look forward to being in Turkey so I can use it some more !!
We set off into yet another lovely day, blue sky and sunshine, a beautiful crisp autumn day. We only had 50km to ride, destination Strathalbyn, it’s right in the middle of wine country and was founded by wealthy scots towards the end of the 1800,s.
With the headwinds we’ve been suffering for the last few days taking a day off we managed to get a bit of a move on. We soon left the wetlands and Murray River behind, our route took us near Lake Alexandria, not that close, although we did get glimpses of it occasionally. The landscape changed from sparse scrub and low lying vegetation to trees and vineyards, cattle and sheep grazing on lush pasture, such a welcome site after the last few days. I feel like I’ve returned to civilisation, there are even one or two small villages on route so we could stop for coffee.
We cruised into Langhorne Creek, a small pretty little village about 35km into our ride. It’s slap bang in the middle of a wine producing area and you can tell there’s a little money about. We stopped at the local grocery shop, it’s also a cafe and I have to say the coffee and cakes were excellent 😉
With only 15km left to ride we slowed a little and took it easy for the rest of the ride, appreciating the beautiful surroundings. Once we arrived in Strathalbyn we made our way to the tourist info and asked about things to do, routes and maps into Adelaide and as per usual the staff were helpful and friendly, not sure what we’d do without them !!
From there we made our way to the Victoria hotel, we’d booked a room and were allowed to check in despite it being very early. We’d also booked dinner and breakfast and got a very good deal, lovely big room with a complimentary bottle of wine…fantastic !!
We went out and had a little walk through the park, past the church and along the river before heading back into town for a well earned coffee. In the coffee shop was a notice about some local guys heading off on a charity motor bike ride, the charity is called beyondblue, it’s an independent, non profit organisation that’s working to raise awareness of depression and anxiety. For some reason the suicide rate in this town is 3 to 4 times higher than the national average, as you can imagine as a sufferer myself this is frankly alarming. We made a contribution to this worthwhile cause and if you’d like to you can do so here http://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-involved/make-a-donation .
So, after our little wander we made our way back to the hotel to relax and catch up on email, FB and the like before dinner, we may also have indulged an a little wine as well…hic !!
Dinner was average but at least it was included in the price, or at least $30 of it was. And so to bed, two more cycle days until we arrive in Adelaide, very excited now, it’s been a long trip 😉
Ok, more photos….

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And so, that wraps up another blog, not to many more to write in Australia but we’ll soon be in Turkey and I’m sure they’ll be something worthy of comment there !!
Take care and keep reading 😉
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, Strathalbyn and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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