October 01, 2010 GMT
Apollo Landings and Fairy Stories

Wednesday 29 September 2010 - After my first real run of any distance on the bike I found I was quite exhausted so decided to land at Apollo Bay for 3 days. Was amazed at how tired my legs were so contented myself with short walks around the town and along the beach, watching the waves swell and crash for hours on end. Even the weather picked up and I got beautiful sunshine for my last day. Unfortunately, the next morning it was chucking it down again, but I felt I really should press on so quickly loaded up the bike in the downpour only to discover I hadn’t secured my load very well and had to do it all again in the soaking wet – you know what they say “more haste, less speed”!

Anyway, the rain dried up within a few miles so all I then had to contend with was the freezing wind.

The warden at the hostel told me to turn off the road at Cape Otway to see some koalas. Just as I was wondering how far I’d have to go before I saw any I saw a large contingent of Japanese tourists pointing wilding to the trees and enthusiastically taking pictures. And sure enough, there they were. I fired off some shots too but alas, my camera didn’t really have a long enough lens to get close enough. See, its true, size does matter!

Next stop was Port Campbell National Park. This is where the 12 Apostles are so I spent the next couple of hours getting on and off the bike to explore every nook and cranny of the place. Magnificent views but biting wind.

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When I got to the Warrnambool I was obviously starting to tire as at a set of traffic lights I almost dropped the bike. A car ahead of me tried to run a red light, thought better of it and slammed on the breaks then reversed back behind the line. All of this I saw and gave him plenty of space to manoeuvre but must have lost my concentration for a moment as next thing I knew I was ripping my arm out of its socket trying to hold the machine up! Luckily I managed to get it back in balance but it was a bit of a scary moment.

Again, by the time I reached Port Fairy YHA I was exhausted so decided to stay there a couple of nights too.

So today I decided to go exploring again. I went round Gilbert’s Island and in the space of an hour got soaked by rain, lashed by hail, blown dry by the wind and warmed by a sudden outbreak of sunshine. On the way back, I passed the wharf where a boatful of fishermen invited me to come on board. Having nothing else in particular to do, I decided I would. They were hilarious and quite drunk and, when they heard I’d worked on a prawn trawler on my first visit to Oz, offered me a job as a “deckie”. Upon further enquiry it turned out they fished for shark and cray (lobster) and went out for 5 days at a time. As the boat was not in the finest condition, and I was also pretty sure being a deckie would involve having to kill the beasts when they arrived on deck, not the mention that the skipper, nice as he was, had 2 black eyes, I decided to decline their kind offer. To make up for the priceless experience I’d no doubt be missing out on, one of the others then offered me the skipper’s hand in marriage! Again, I politely declined.

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Posted by Jill Maden at October 01, 2010 10:54 AM GMT
 


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