Date writ­ten: 31 August 2022

Date post­ed: 10 Sep­tem­ber 2022

This post was writ­ten by hand in my diary on the road, and entered into the blog when I got home.

I was awok­en at var­i­ous times dur­ing the night by the sound of cows moo­ing in the fields on the oppo­site bank of the Barham Riv­er. What nor­mal­ly might have been irri­tat­ing was actu­al­ly and per­verse­ly quite pleas­ant. I even­tu­al­ly rolled out of my sleep­ing bag just before 08:00, and imme­di­ate­ly packed up my gear, tent and bike and got moving.

I stopped in Apol­lo Bay town­ship for some break­fast at The Lit­tle Crumb Bak­ery. The food was good, but the friend­li­ness and cus­tomer ser­vice left a lot to be desired. One would imag­ine a hos­pi­tal­i­ty busi­ness being a lit­tle more hos­pitable to tourists in the off sea­son. I ordered my meal at the counter, paid and sat out front so I could be near my bike. Then dur­ing my break­fast I asked for an orange juice and was rude­ly rebuffed: No! If you want some­thing go inside and order it, and make sure you pay in full. Yeah mate, I’m going to jump on my bike and ride off like a ban­dit, rip­ping you off $5 after I pay for and eat a $35 break­fast. Any­way, I fin­ished my break­fast quick­ly, then walked down to Food­works and bought an orange juice there.

My camp on the Barham Riv­er in the morning

I stopped for some pho­tos on the way out of Apol­lo Bay, and imme­di­ate­ly noticed a slight change in the mood of the still very light traf­fic. Noth­ing overt, just a bit more per­sis­tence and a lit­tle less patience when over­tak­ing, etc. But the ride itself was love­ly. Rolling along the grad­ual ris­es and declines along the coastal road was easy enough, and even the ascents were great because descend­ing, with the full view of the crash­ing surf to my right, was worth every metre up. It was a case of rinse and repeat: climb a lit­tle, let a car pass, grab a pho­to whilst stopped, then roll effort­less­ly down and around the bends, reveal­ing the next cove and windswept wild beach, until reach­ing the bot­tom where a bridge crossed a lit­tle creek or riv­er wash­ing into the surf, then climb a lit­tle, let a car pass…

I stopped for a cof­fee at Ken­nett Riv­er, as I’d only had the one lit­tle cup in Apol­lo Bay due to my hur­ry to leave. Ken­nett Riv­er was great. I relaxed out the front in the already warm sun­shine, sip­ping my espres­so and enjoy­ing life. I stopped for lunch a few kilo­me­tres fur­ther along at Wye Riv­er, and shared my lunch table first with a hik­ing cou­ple who’d walked about sev­en kilo­me­tres from Jamieson Creek, then some hope­ful mag­pies and cock­a­toos. I cooked my Mex­i­can brown rice pack­et, then con­tin­ued on my way.

There were so many places to stop and take pho­tos, espe­cial­ly on a bicy­cle, that some of the stops sort of blend­ed togeth­er in my con­scious­ness and my mem­o­ry, even just a few hours old. Cape Pat­ton was quite built up, and seemed to be a major stop. I ran into a Kore­an tour bus on their way to the Twelve Apos­tles. I saw a seal frol­ick­ing in the sea down below the look­out as I chat­ted with the tour bus dri­ver, telling them there were whales on the coast along War­rnam­bool to Port Camp­bell but they did­n’t have time to go that far.

The Journey

I was leav­ing Cape Pat­ton look­out and descend­ing down the hill when I noticed my rear brakes weren’t work­ing very well. I wish I had more bicy­cle mechan­i­cal knowl­edge, and have been both try­ing to teach myself as well as sign­ing up for var­i­ous bike cours­es that haven’t gone ahead — long sto­ry there — but in the absence of more knowl­edge, I was lim­it­ed to mere­ly tight­en­ing and check­ing my brake cables, and when that did­n’t work I had to set­tle for going nice and easy and abus­ing my front brakes a lit­tle on the descents until I can find the next bike shop.

I was hop­ing Lorne would ful­fil my needs but there was­n’t any bike shops, so I’ll need to wait until tomor­row where I’m told I’ll find one at Angle­sea. I am stay­ing tonight at the Mantra resort in Lorne, hav­ing stayed here a few weeks ago and real­ly lik­ing both the place and the cus­tomer ser­vice, as a bit of a com­fort stop on my last night. As it turned out, I even got the same room as last time! I did a load of wash­ing and hung my wet clothes up to dry in the room on some 1.75mm Dyneema, and then walked along the beach smok­ing my pipe, and stop­ping at a lit­tle burg­er van called Pit Stop Lorne. The van boast­ed an Amer­i­cana theme and music, but they had about four tracks on repeat so it got old real­ly quickly.

I went back to the hotel, put my stuff away then head­ed to the Lorne Hotel for din­ner and beers. I had grilled wild fish with soy and gin­ger sauce, broc­col­i­ni and rice, and it was fuck­ing amaz­ing! But alas, the ser­vice itself was shit again! I had to order meals myself at the table using a QR code, and then the cheeky bas­tards want­ed a tip! For what? They did­n’t even take my order!!

On the way back to the resort I smoked a bowl of Alexan­der’s Moun­tain Camp and lis­tened to the surf before tak­ing a nice long soak in the huge bath in my room, and set­tling in for a good night’s sleep.

The stats

Distance ridden
0h 0m 0s
Riding time
Elevation (climbed)
Average speed
Max speed
Down­load file: Great_Ocean_Road_Winter_Tour_Day_4_Apollo_Bay_to_Lorne_.gpx

On my trav­els today, I passed through such beau­ti­ful coun­try and would like to acknowl­edge the tra­di­tion­al cus­to­di­ans of that land, the Gadubanud peo­ple, and pay my respects to their Elders, past and present.

Category: Cycling, Fishing
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