IP Day 33 – Lavers Hill to Aireys Inlet

Sunday 24th April, 2022

110 km, +1215m
Moving 5:17 Elapsed 8:33
Max 58.6 kph Avg 21 kph

A little bit slower to get away this morning – a 7am start. 15km to the coast again, and mostly downhill albeit with one or two little uphill pinches. The ocean glimpse was a tease though… we were promptly heading back inland again, with 10km of pretty flat, riding through scenic farmland…

…before having to go up and over a big lump of a hill that sort of goes over the top of Cape Otway and through one section of Great Otway National Park. (The side trip out to Cape Otway Lightstation and lookout looks like it would be cool if you weren’t on a mission, and felt like riding 12k each way with some climbing to get back. ) We stuck to the Great Ocean Road because we were on a mission, and the 10k of climbing was more than enough!

Top of the hill. Had to say, it was pretty magnificent riding through that!

Then, 11km down to Apollo Bay! That was fun. We met Dotwatcher Bernadette as we got into town… we told her we would very definitely be stopping for some breakfast, so we rolled on a bit further to the park (with a loo!) and she walked down to meet us there. We had a lovely chat. It would have been great to have had a coffee and breakfast with her, but she had to get back to work, and so we had to settle on a cafe recommendation.

For the rest of the day’s riding, the Great Ocean Rd really lived up to its name, rarely moving away from hugging the ocean.

The traffic was starting to build up though. We stopped at Kennet River in a little cafe 24k on from Apollo Bay. Then it was another hour to Lorne. Late lunch. A big shout out to Joe at Grandma Shields Bakery! Because we were cycling he gave us a free bottle of water each. He likes to support cycling, and gives all cyclists a freebie! He hadn’t heard of IPWR but supports the ride that Cadel Evans runs.

Just one more hour of riding, as the traffic got worse. We were very much into Melbourne day-tripper territory now. And it was a Sunday, and, as I constantly bring up, in the middle of the bloody school holidays. (I always plan our touring around school holidays, and here we were in tourist country in the middle of it. Nuts. That’ll teach us for taking so bloody long. Otters didn’t have this issue.)

We could only be thankful to, of all things, Covid, for keeping the overseas tourists away. There is something rather disconcerting about seeing these reminder signs all along the GOR.

A quick stop before the Memorial Arch, just outside of Airey’s Inlet. The Great Ocean Road was actually built by returned soldiers between 1919 and 1932 and dedicated to soldiers killed during World War I. This kind of looks like it’s the eastern start/end of the Great Ocean Road, but it’s actually just a memorial. The GOR officially starts/ends in Torquay, which we’ll be riding through tomorrow. The western end is Allansford, so 243km in total.

We got to the motel at about 3.30. It felt later somehow – maybe because it had been a cloudy day. And yeah, just tired! I was glad to be out of the traffic.

We only had to walk across the road to the pub for dinner.

I don’t know why he felt like he had to buy this beer! Bit passive-aggressive of him if you ask me!

Fair to say I’ve had my moments, but so has Cranky Mr ! He wasn’t cranky with a beer that is ‘dry hopped to oblivion’.

Tomorrow, Melbourne.

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