1-3/3/16. A route via Kiama Heights to Mount Pleasant partly on the A1 Prince”s Highway was not an enticing start to the day.
As it turned out it wasn’t quite as bad as we first feared as there was a gentle tailwind and the section on the highway was only 4 km long with a reasonable shoulder to shelter in. However, the combination of the sun and wind was clearing the clouds that had brought a coupke of overnight showers and cooler weather. This jacked up both the temperature and the humidity making climb off the highway into Gerringong hard going. We recovered with a rest and a cold drink in a cafe before setting off again along an undulating and surprisingly busy road through Gerroa before reaching the road along the edge of Seven Mile Beach National Park.
Although the road remained busy, life got easier as it was much flatter and the rail wind had increased in strength. We bowled along at a good pace and this continued as we turned inland along the Shoalhaven River towards Nowra. We passed a number of vineyards around Coolangatta Mountain (it is more of a hill in reality) and then, as we approached Nowra, an extensive industrial plant that looked like an oil refinery but which was where the wine is produced – not as appealing as an ancient French chateau!
Crossing the river, we headed back east for a couple of kilometres to the campsite which brought home to us the strength of the wind that had been helping us along previously. Being inland this was the first night since Sydney when we didn’t fall asleep to the sound of waves on the beach!
The next day we faced rejoining the Prince’s Highway for about 15 km or taking a bit of a detour and then just having a short 4 km on the highway before heading off towards Jervis Bay. We chose the latter even though it was a bit of a climb as, even the longer route was less than 35 km.
We arrived at Huskisson (or Husky), the main town on Jervis Bay just after lunch and had a relaxing afternoon wandering around town. There was a park commemorating a naval disaster just off the coast in which, in 1962, an Australian aircraft carrier cut another warship in half while they were on an exercise with the loss of 82 lives.
After the easy day we faced a longer trip mainly on the highway through a large forested area with almost nothing on the road itself, other than dead-end turnings to small places on the coast, before reaching Ulladulla. Even before we set off it was obvious that it was going to be a hot one.
Initially we followed a lovely cyclepath alongside the beach before turning inland towards the highway. We were both feeling the effect of the heat and humidity and we were grateful that we had bought extra water when topping up on supplies.
After about 20 km we joined the highway which by now was only a single carriageway with occasional overtaking lanes. There was a shoulder of varying width and quality for most of the way but every now and then we had to join the fast moving traffic for short stretches. The speed limit was up to 100 kph and we are sure a sizeable proportion was going faster so it was quite “exciting”!
With about 17 km to go, Stephen reached the top of a hill and, leaving his bike, walked back down to help Christine push hers up the last bit. As we were approaching the top a couple got out of their car and asked if we were heading for Ulladulla. They then insisted that they would fetch a trailer and give us a lift because it was too hot and there were a couple of big hills coming up. How kind is that?
We protested, but not too strongly, and so Chris drove off to get the trailer while Sharon stayed with us. When he returned they took us down to see a little village called Fisherman’s Paradise where they live just 2 km off the main road where there is a peaceful little creek before heading off towards Ulladulla.
The two hills would have been hard work and unpleasant, especially the second one which narrow and without a shoulder for much of the way. It may have been “cheating” to accept the lift but it was a good decision!
Our Good Samaritans took us to look at the lovely beach at Mollymook, just a little north of Ulladulla itself, where we had a late lunch and Stephen and Chris had a cooling paddle.
Afterwards, Chris and Sharon drove us to the campsite on a small headland (again with accompanying surf noises) where we were pleasantly surprised to find our cheapest night’s stay ($26) so far in Australia in one of the best sites – plenty of shade, spacious, good grass cover and nice kitchen. With the hot weather settled in for the next week, we both quickly reached the conclusion that it would be good to take Friday as a rest day before heading off to Batemans Bay on Saturday.