For the first day of the trip I woke to a dry tent. My clothes had dried on the tree as well. I could sit at a school lunch bench for breakfast, and I stayed warm. I even had a visitor to wish me well for the day ahead, and give some advice about the route to Portland. Thank you Narrawong.
With only 10km into Portland, and even taking the coastal route, which was not particularly scenic, I got to the Info Centre just as it was opening. A very helpful young lady gave me great advice, and also suggested several places I might want to visit......Most were about an hours drive.....that's a days bike ride..... Thanks, but no thanks.
She did help me find an IGA, where I bought a loaf of bread, the market, which I decided to just ride past, and the brand new Maccers. Yep I went to McDonald's.....for the free Internet. Gotta say it was very very busy. A new thing for Portland, and being Sunday morning, lots were in for McCafe stuff, including a group of about 6 who had obviously just been running. I got my blogs posted, and was about to skype Ju, when it was suggested that if I wasn't buying, perhaps I needed to make way for customers.....oh no...another Aussie institution that I've been kicked out of.......
So headed west. Pretty unexciting scenery really. Could very well have been the road through the Kaiangaroa Forest for many parts, except for the signage....Watch out for Kangaroos....and the bird life flying amongst the conifers. Did see my first kangaroo of the trip. This one was really munted, and must have left a large dent on some vehicle sometime in the last day or two.
The road was gently undulating, the upward undulations seemingly getting bigger as the day progressed, and then suddenly, Nelson appeared, sitting prettily on a coastal river. The first thing I saw was a Fish n Chip shop, and knew that was my initial stopping place. The Kiosk served them up with a lovely salad, and I demolished the lot, plus a ginger beer in short order.
Next was a camping spot. Info Centre folk were not impressed with my idea of freedom camping, so ended up in a small camping area, with my own personal shower and toilet, and a friendly family from Ballarat next door. Spent the evening with Jamie and family, chatting over their BBQ. Great to have some company. Great chatting with them all about mundane stuff. Too much time alone on the bike can't be good for a guy........and its 9pm, and I've just come to bed. Latest night of the trip so far. Feeling good though.
Tomorrow I pass into a new State. South Australia. Just have to eat a dozen pieces of fruit before I cross the border.
Seems the Tuna are running. Both Portland and Nelson are crammed with boat trailers. This being a long weekend, everyone from across the state is 70km off the coast in 2m swells, working the shelf where the tuna are. Will be some tired drivers on the road tomorrow. I'm going to be taking the back roads.