Day 63 – Baxter Rest Area To Esperance (509 km)

The problem with road-side rest areas is that, well, they’re next to a road – and the Nullabor has a steady stream of road-trains 24hrs/day. So, even with earplugs, I didn’t sleep well and woke with the headache. A fistful of ibuprofen did the trick though.

Back in WA time (with no daylight saving) I exited the tent at tweetie-bird time and sunrise, only to find it was still 4:30 fricken AM! I was up, and the other grey nomads were making their noise too so there wasn’t any point trying to go back to sleep.

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Day 62 – Ceduna To Baxter Rest Area (896 km)

Ok – this rain thing isn’t funny anymore. Drizzle drizzle. It’s not that I don’t like rain, or mind riding in it (if you have the right gear) but it does make for a slow start in the morning… having to wait for it to stop, rush out from under cover, pack a bit more, rush back under cover, rinse, repeat. Either that or everything gets wet. I eventually had it all done with the 1 thing that wasn’t going to go in the trailer dry and that was the tent itself – absolutely waterlogged. Never mind though – with a bit of sun and wind it dries very quickly so that will happen later tonight.

Ceduna – been there, done that – Eucla here I come.

The rain/drizzle continued sporadically for several hours. A little annoying but it did keep the temperature down. As I mentioned before, some find it boring, but it is an ever-changing scenery.

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Day 61 – Wilmington To Ceduna (534 km)

Horrocks Pass is a short road that winds its way through the Southern Flinders Ranges. It’s a road that I’ve ridden twice before (to and from Adelaide in 2013). Each time the weather was crap at the time, so the views weren’t brilliant.

Yesterday I spent most of the day riding into a storm that also covered Horrocks Pass, so part of my decision to stay in Wilmington was to give it a chance to clear. That was a waste of time.

The road itself was covered by cloud when I woke in the morning, and the rain came a bit later to add something “extra special” to the ride. ☹

I thought of just hanging around some more but that would just waste time, the park wasn’t that interesting, the rain had come, and I could be there for a while. So, bugger it – off I went.

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Day 60 – Adelaide To Wilmington (346 km)

I slept well. It was only a brief stay, but it was great to catch up with Derek & Julia again. Ellie & I will definitely be paying them a visit when we come through here… just not sure when.

Anyway, I headed slightly south-east to get to the hills rather than tackle Adelaide’s traffic (even though it was around 10 when I left). It was a warm one… 32 on departure.

I headed up to Mount Lofty (a great name for a mountain)… lots of twisties I wasn’t expecting.

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Day 59 – Victor Harbor To Adelaide (168 km)

A short-ish ride today… just down to Cape Jervis and then back up to Adelaide as I’ll be staying with our great family friends Derek & Julia… starting of course with the obligatory quick ride around town before departing… just a refresher really as I remember my visit in 2013 quite vividly now. Victor Harbor (spelling correct now) is a very nice & clean town and it’s little wonder one of the go-to places for holidays from Adelaide.

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Day 57 – Halls Gap To Naracoorte (333 km)

After some late night rain, the tent was very wet, again. So, I took my time to pack up – I had plenty of time (too much perhaps).

Probably the last to leave, I completed the twisty roads in and around Halls Gap, then headed west towards Horsham but then turned south to run down along the western side of the Grampions towards Casterton, through Coloraine, Casterton, Penola (Coonawarra country), and then eventually settling into Naracoorte for the day.

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Day 56 – Apollo Bay To Halls Gap (317 km)

Early start? Nope. It was still around 8:30 before I managed to leave the park… it’s coffee and muesli with the news on the phone that’s doing me in. Oh well…

Traffic was still fairly light, but there’s always one bugger who does half the posted speed limit and refuses to let others through. No wonder there’s road rage! Grrrr. It was still better than yesterday though.

The Great Ocean Road is great (duh). No need to go into details. Although, what I didn’t know is that the Otway National Park through which it passes is yet another rainforest. Before I left on the trip I thought we only had the Daintree. No wonder I sucked at geography.

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Day 55 – Ballarat To Apollo Bay (200 km)

I kept flip-flopping with regards to what I would do. Last night I thought I’d stay an extra night to have a good look around Ballarat. However, after sleeping on it I figured that would be a waste of a day… I have spent a fair bit of time in Ballarat (early 2000s for work) so I’d seen a fair bit. Plus, I know Ellie & I will be back this way.

Since “doing” the Great Ocean Rd was a must, it was unlikely that I’d be able to attend the SA/Vic meet at Halls Gap tonight. However, I could still make the lunch tomorrow. Since this trip was about the ride, and the Club, I figured that was the real goal. So, off I went… after a ride around town for one last peek.

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