Sunday, January 27, 2008

Day 122: Warrnambool to Port Campbell

Time: 4:08
Distance: 68.32 km
Avg Speed: 16.4 kph
Terrain: Rolling
Location: 38 37 10.5 S, 142 59 48.2 E

We had an odd morning this morning since I forgot to run to the grocery store last night for some breakfast this morning. We had coffee and split a cup of muesli before we left for some more food for the road. It is Australian Day here today. It is the equivalent of the 4th of July in the states without the fireworks. We considered ourselves lucky at the time to find a grocer open and then a cafĂ© as well. We rolled out of town by 9:00 and began our journey east. We took back roads for the first hour of the day through some pretty farm land and into a small town for a bathroom break. From there we jumped on the Great Ocean Road and promptly met up with an Australian cycle tourist from Adelaide. He is taking a year off as well, but will be working his way around Victoria and New South Wales as a volunteer. He is working with a group called WWOOF, which is Worldwide Opportunities On Organic Farms. They put him up with room and board and he provides 5 hours or so of labor per day in exchange. We have seen a lot of this group on our travels. It is kind of a neat way to see the countryside and make a positive impact as well. We left our new Aussie friend and took some back roads towards Childers Cove. About 20 minutes down the road we saw our first live snake. We had read about tiger snakes in the Grampians Visitor Center and were warned that they were poisonous. I saw it first and swerved and Leslie gave it a wide berth after me. It was about a meter long and by the time we had grabbed our camera to take a picture it was upon us! The snake had made a b-line towards Leslie’s back tire and began striking it. I thought for sure we were done for but right at that point…GOTCHA! It actually slithered off before we could even snap a photo. We did ride the rest of the back roads right down the middle though. By the time we made it to the beach we were in full force Aussie saluting. An Aussie salute is a wave that you make to get the flies out of your face. Everyone does it, all the way from the news reporters in the field to the tennis players at the open. The fact that there is a name for it means that it is commonplace. The beach scenery was spectacular today and the riding went by quick. We are hoping for some better light tomorrow as we head off to some famous landmarks along our route.
Happy Australia Day!!

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