15/3/16. The day from Eden to Genoa saw us going in a generally southwesterly direction but we have definitely turned the corner now and are heading west.
The campsite at Genoa was “basic” but you get what you pay for and there was the unexpected bonus of a pub a couple of hundred yards walk over the old bridge (now only used by pedestrians and two touring cyclists) with an off licence and a freezer full of ice creams – just what the doctor ordered!
When we set off the next morning the road was again busy with many caravans and boats heading home. Because the area is so remote there is nothing to slow the traffic down so, even if it gave us a wide berth, the draught often buffeted us. There were also more large trucks on the road for added excitement. But again, as on Monday, the traffic became less as the day progressed so that the afternoon was relatively quiet.
This was welcome as by then we had started a long (6 or 7 km) climb – thankfully not too steep – into Alfred National Park and the road was narrow and twisty. In compensation, the Park was lovely! Although we had been passing through almost continuous forest for a day and a half this seemed different. It was more lush, the trees were taller and there were tree ferns and moss growing lower down. We then noticed various references to “rainforest”.
One downside to being in Victoria is that, so far at least, the shoulder to the road is very intermittent compared to NSW – there are long stretches with a wide, sloping, bumpy verge covered in loose gravel which might be somewhere a stranded vehicle could get out of the way but is definitely not cyclable for a sustained period.
The weather has also changed over the last few days with rain overnight although we have only had a few spots during the days. It has also been much cooler (down to mid to high teens) and on the descent from the Park we both got quite chilly as our speed increased and the amount of work being done decreased.
We soon arrived at the town of Cann River which was quite a large, buzzy, apparently thriving place with 3 cafes, a couple of hotels, a filling station and a small supermarket. We made our way to the campsite on the other side of town which was unmanned so you had to select a site and then return to the main hotel to quote your site number and pay the fee. For us, being on an unpowered site, this was a very reasonable $11, although the only available facilities were toilets, showers and drinking water.