Warrnambool to Narrawong 85km.
Cycling away from the backpackers this morning and I saw the Warrnambool to Port Fairy Rail Trail. Fair dinkem Trev. Worth a punt. Cut on to it. The first three cyclists I tried to get some info from weren't interested. All but ignored me, but the sweet young lady out running couldn't help herself, and stopped to give me advice. "Yes the trail goes all the way to Port Fairy. Yes it's all bikeable and signage is pretty good, but you do have to go past a very smelly factory.
Really pleasant biking. Hard surface of pressed gravel mostly, passing along the edge of wetlands. Lots of birds. Swans, geese, ducks, cranes, Herons, and even a couple of pelicans. And then the 4392 seagulls, all hanging out at the smelly factory, a??????, where all the slinkies and the like are taken. Got to be honest, almost lost my breakfast, but I don't suppose it will be the last bad smell I experience on my trip......but it was not sweet.
The trail then went across farm land, and alongside a back road, with a specially constructed fence to protect me from the traffic, there was none, under a major road, and then the long grind started. Yep, railways go straight if they can....... Still some of it was downhill, although I had to pass through some muddy patches where herds of dairy cows had crossed, so everything got a bit grubby.
Perhaps my young Pommie friend from last night knows a thing or two......saw a Fontera tanker today, and another cheese factory.
Back to the rail trail, and the last 10km were pretty tedious. Mind you at least I'm not in as much trouble as one guy. Him and his lady were heading the opposite direction to me. She was on a City Cruiser bike, and dressed for the Mall or Market, and was not happy. Which ever way they went they had at least 10km to go to get back to the main road.
Fiona (my sweet Ogre) developed a chain rattle. Couldn't figure out what was causing it. Continued whether or not I peddled, fast or slow, braked, changed gear, swerved..... Eventually I stopped. The noise continued.........Frogs in the wetlands......
Eventually got to Port Fairy. A small town, on the coast, sort of a cross between Arrowtown and Hanmer.....but on the coast. Today was market day. Quite a big affair......but it was persisting it down....and the band played on....almost as good as Hanmers own Notables. I think I even recognized a couple of the tunes.
Saw my first cycle tourists, or at least their bikes. I think they were being sensible and sitting in the pub.
I decided to soldier on, into the squalls. Normal dilemma, too hot, too cold, getting wet, sweating. Finally sorted it by keeping all the layers on, and just zipping the various layers up or down. Gotta say, my new Arcteryx Raincoat from Bivouac Outdoors, is the boss, but the zipper is too small.
Saw an amazing flock of Gallah and Cockatoo. Must have been several hundred of them feeding in a field alongside the road. Cars would whizz past and they wouldn't move, but when I came past they all took flight, and started screeching. Wow, and all too quick for a photo.
By 80km I was getting a little weary. It was close to 3pm, which is when I normally start to look for a campsite. Spotted a car outside Narrawong School, so called in. Yep I can put up a tent in a sheltered corner. Yes I can use a toilet, and the water is good. Pity it is a Saturday, because the 60 kids would love to meet me.......
So Hanmer Springs School, and Miss Duncans class in Chch, I am going to ask you a favour. Please find an address for Narrawong School, and email them a thank you for allowing me to stay. I'm pretty sure one or two of the classes might be interested in exchanging emails, letters and the like as well. Thanks Guys.
Barney & Jen gave me a Swiss Army Knife before I left Hanmer. It's fantastic guys, I use it every day. Today for the first time I saw the inscription. Very, very special my friends. It made me cry.
Saw quite a few dead frogs on the side of the road today......does that mean the French are going to be thrashed by the Aussies Tonight? Saw no signs that hint the outcome of the All Blacks vs England......but I'm pretty confident we'll do okay. Go the All Blacks. Will miss sitting in Fletch n Karryns lounge listening to our councilor tell the refs how to do their job.......