Sunday, January 27, 2008

Lord of the Flies

Day 123
Port Campbell to Lavers Hill
Time: 3:37:58
Distance: 49.54 k
Avg Speed: 13.6 kph
Terrain: Rolling with one big 19k climb
Location: 38˚ 41’ 4.9” S, 143˚ 23’ 3.9” E

When you travel for long amounts of time, you get to know yourself pretty well. Chris has learned that he’s not a big fan of bugs. His insect stories began during a late night meeting in Fiji with a cockroach and continued in Costa Rica with giant caterpillars. More recently he’s been in near nervous breakdown mode with the flies in Australia. Today he packed his bug head net toward the top of a pannier just in case. It didn’t take but fifteen minutes of riding and he was sporting a whole new look. Function trumped fashion in my case and I donned mine as well. We both looked like a cross between bee keepers and aliens. The nets we actually ok to ride with. The hoop keeps the netting out of your face and it’s possible to drink water without too much trouble. The only problem I found was a little wind drag while descending hills.
Let’s get to the important stuff…
We started out a little earlier today to stop at a few viewpoints along the Great Ocean Rd. The first stop was Loch Ard Gorge which was the site of an 1878 shipwreck in which only two people survived. We had a chance to hike down to the beach where the two survivors washed ashore. It was breathtaking to witness the energy of the ocean driving through the narrow opening of the sheer limestone cliffs.
The next stop was the infamous Twelve Apostles. A century ago they had been named the Sow and Piglets but someone decided that a name like that wasn’t appropriate. I guess they needed to dress it up a bit. Anyway, the Apostles are limestone sea stacks that have been weathered over time by wind and water. The unique geologic formations stood like sentinels just off the coast and demanded our attention. It would have been easy to waste several hours just gazing down the shoreline.
Unfortunately, we had to move on because a large climb loomed in the distance. We said farewell to the dry plateau and limestone cliffs and starting climbing through the dense eucalyptus forests of the Otway Range. We were thankful for a cooler cloudy day since it was granny gear for most of the ascent. We reached Lavers Hill by mid afternoon and will be looking forward to a nice pub meal this evening.
Here’s to keeping the flies at bay,

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I feel your pain Chris!! I think I was almost in a panic attack more than once on Red Sandstone Rd with flies in my face... - JH