4/4/16. Today we cycled the last 65 km into the centre of the city.
And glorious it was too! The weather was perfect at about 25° with barely a cloud in the sky – a lovely autumn day. We found a route that was along excellent shared paths almost all the way apart from the first km or so from the campsite. We could not ask for more.
Getting from Sydney has taken us 39 days and we have cycled a whisker over 1,300 km – so a very leisurely 33km per day on average including rest days – and we did actually ride all the way apart from 15-20 km into Ulladulla when Chris and Sharon took pity on us in the heat. It has given us a real sense of achievement (although if you look at it on a map of Australia it doesn’t look that impressive!) and we have seen some gorgeous and varied scenery on the way.
The first part of the day was along the Peninsula Link Trail which is a two lane concrete path for cyclists and pedestrians parallel to a motorway. After the aggressive driving we experienced on the day into Frankston, this was a blessed relief which more than compensated for the inevitable traffic noise.
There then followed a section on a hard packed gravel path to the coast of Port Phillip Bay at Mordialloc where we stopped for a coffee and cake. We shared a table with two ladies, Caroline and Nicole, who had very professional looking bikes and kit. Nicole was training for a triathlon and had already ridden 120 km that morning and had another 60 to go! Caroline was an expat Pom who used to live in Romsey and whose threes sons went to Stephen’s old school there. What a small world it is at times.
From Mordialloc we followed the Bay Trail which, as the name implies, goes all along the coast into the heart of the city through what must be among the most desirable parts of Melbourne in which to live. There were some fabulous houses looking out over the bay which must get wonderful sunset views.
Before we checked into the hostel which we had booked the previous day, we headed to the harbour area for a celebratory glass of bubbly. The self-congratulations continued when we treated ourselves to a beef stroganoff, rather than the usual pasta and tomato sauce, for dinner cooked by Stephen in the hostel kitchen.
That brings our cycling in Australia to an end, for this trip at least, as tomorrow we pick up the hire car to drive back to Sydney.