IP Day 26 – Tailem Bend to Policeman Point

Saturday 16th April, 2022

104km, +336m
Moving 4:04 Elapsed 7:22
Max 51.7 Avg 25.6

Now that was a better average pace! 25.6 km/h!

We had time today to have a civilised ‘daylight breakfast’ (ie. one I had a chance of eating and keeping down), so we rolled out of the motel around 7am and around the block to a little cafe in the main street (such as it was- Tailem Bend isn’t very big!) I think it was Simon’s Bass Cafe, and it was a fairly new venture for the owner (Simon, I assume!) He was super friendly, opened up a side gate for us to leave the bike somewhere secure, and chatted with us a bit. We also bought a snack to take with us and set off before 8 o’clock. 53km to Meningie – nothing to speak of in between. It was a relief to turn off the A1 about 2km out of town – couldn’t have coped with any more of that dual carriageway shenanigans like yesterday. (Actually, at that intersection, we were actually staying on the Princes Hwy (designated B1) and the main, more direct, highway to Melbourne becomes the A8 Dukes Hwy, with no dual carriageway

We got into Meningie just after 10am, and because there was no point getting to the hotel-motel we’d booked along the Coorong at Policeman Point too early, we sat around in a takeaway cafe joint for nearly 2 hours, first having brunch, and then lunch, and then faffing around at the park filling up water and going to the loo.

Meningie is on a lake, so it’s quite pleasant in the park. Paying homage to the local pelicans.

Throughout the ride the riders’ WhatsApp chat group was going off, mainly frontrunners passing on the benefit of their experience in regard to the next stretch. This morning there was a message from Derek to give us the heads up that there wasn’t really anything much for 90km between Meningie and Kingston – not really aware that I’d plotted the distances between accommodation and food probably a bit more forensically than most! (We just won’t talk about that spreadsheet error back before Clare!) Others flew by the seat of their pants in regard to accommodation, prevailing on more spontaneous hospitality along the way. We’d well and truly given up on that M.O., especially over Easter, and, also with various states’ school holidays both before and after Easter.

He told us that Coorong Hotel Motel was closed, but that the guy there would take in strays. (Derek had rolled up and kind of begged for accommodation, so the owner had taken him in and also cooked him a great steak.) I’m not sure if Scotty and Greta tried there (I think maybe they knocked), but they ended up prevailing on the owners of the coffee van in Salt Creek (9km further on from Policeman Point) who took them into their house and gave them dinner and a bed for the night.

Marc had, however, rung old mate Raymond at Coorong Hotel Motel over a week ago, when we were in Wirrulla, and we were booked in for Saturday night, no problems! (He just didn’t have two nights.)

And then Marc even got a text confirmation from him this morning! We told Derek we must be special!

Raymond turned out to be a little bit eccentric, (and he apparently has a bit of a reputation for that) but I think he’s had some stuff go down in his life and he just doesn’t like surprises. He was still happy to have us stay tonight even though he had family coming to stay for some of the Easter Weekend with him.

I’m getting ahead of myself here, however.

We had another 2.5 hours/50km to Policeman Point. It was pretty good riding along the water with good views of the Coorong, and we kept up a good average pace. These sort of days had been few and far between, so we were enjoying it.

We arrived at the Coorong Hotel Motel at about 2.30, and old mate was sitting out the front. As we chatted, a couple of guys on touring bikes, headed west, rolled in. Raymond was quick to tell them he didn’t have any vacancies! They weren’t after accommodation yet anyway. This pair – an Australian, and the other German, maybe?… had met in a hostel or some such in Melbourne, and just spontaneously decided to ride together. They were headed to Adelaide and then north to Darwin! They filled up with some water and headed off.

We went inside and had a beer! And Raymond put the Closed/No vacancy sign up. Lol.

After a shower and some handwashing, we went for a wander around the back to get some more views of the Coorong, and then were treated to the amazing sight of the full moon rising.

We took Derek’s advice about the steak and had that for dinner. Then bed. I was keen to have a little bit of a sleep-in again as it was only 90k to Kingston, but the forecast was for the wind to swing around to a southerly by late morning. Breakfast would have to be snacks along the road.

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