Wednesday, November 23, 2011

3 Day Tour 21-23 November 2011 - Colac to Apollo Bay ... and back !!

This is just my second bike tour and this time we decided to do it fast and light. The main aim was to ride Turton's Track in the Otways.

The sculpture at Gellibrand - We are Still at the Low Bit on The Left...

Train to Colac, then 45 km ride up to Beech Forrest. The road follows the Beech Forrest Rail Trail for much of the way and at Colac Gellibrand and Beech Forrest there are these sculptural representations of the old logging line and the elevations at various points along the way. We stopped at Gellibrand for a quick snack and a photo.

The Old Beechy Pub had basic accomodation (cold shower !!) but a hearty dinner, even though the bar is actually closed on Mondays. We were the only two people there. When you order a mixed grill at a country pub you get the lot - steak, 2 snags, 2 eggs, onions, about half a kilo of bacon, onions and chips.

Old Beechy Pub Mixed Grill

Basic motel cereal breakfast was not enough for hungry cyclists so the traditional breakfast of champions was taken at the Lavers Hill Roadhouse after an hour of riding the ridge road in windy drizzle, much like our last visit 4 weeks ago. Not quite so cold this time though.

Breakfast of Champions

We made it out to the Cape Otway Lighthouse - a really nice side-trip and a nice ride as well. You can see the lighthouse in the background .... just. No really it's there...

At the Cape Otway Lighthouse

We stayed Tuesday night at the Apollo Bay YHA (again) - it's a great hostel, very modern and a total contrast to the Old Beechy Pub. Next morning we tackled the return journey to Colac which included the formidible Skene's Ck climb and the lovely Turton's Track back to Beech Forrest. As we expected we got a bit of drizzle on the climb and it was damp on Turton's Track - to be expected when the ridge area includes Weeaproinah, which 'boasts' the most wet days per year in Australia. But the views were great on the climb and the forest on Turton's tTrack is impressive. Restricted traffic makes it a great cycling route as well.

Looking back to Apollo Bay from the Skene's Ck Rd - Justin doing some kung fu ...

Turton's Track ...saw maybe 3 vehicles in an hour of beautiful riding.

All up we rode about 225 kms from Colac, and climbed over 2200m over the 3 days. Good endurance training for the Audax Alpine Classic in January !!

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