Day 2 - Monday 11/04/2016
Warrnmabool to Melbourne
Left Warrnambool a bit later than anticipated at 7:45am. I 'thought' the 'scattered coastal showers' would blow over if I waited.
Qld definition of scattered coastal showers - a single crazy sporadic cloud that will dump it's load in under 5 mins flat, creating a wall of water under sunshine.
Vic definition of scattered coastal showers - have a stretch of about 250 KILOMETERS of almost solid clouds blocking out all sun, alternating between mild to heavy rain. About the only thing that changes is the ANGLE of the rain: coming straight down, or nearly parallel to the ground, helping get into your helmet's ventilation vents!!
From Warrnambool to past Mt Gambier it was a little... Soggy. During this stretch I did discover (& mastered) the efficient operation of that little rubber strip sewn into your left-hand glove next to your thumb. Who over thought of this in-built motorcyclist's windscreen wipers was obviously in a similar situation that I was in. Due to this, I think I probably didn't get to appreciate as much the countryside an pretty little coastal towns had to offer.
There were 2 places however, that I just had to stop by along this stretch. For any scuba or free-divers these are a must.
1) Picanninnie Ponds,
Earls Road (Picanninnie Ponds Road, doesn't show in all maps or GPS's), Wye. Although you need a permit to dive here, I've heard it is one of the best freshwater cave to dive. What makes it special is the freshwater "Chasm" that falls to about 100+m in depth of crystal clear fresh water so close to the sea.
2) If you feel like being a human salt lick or giving your skin a mineral boost for free - The Pool of Siloam, crn McCourt & Bowman Scenic Dr, Beachport. Apparently 7 times saltier than the Dead Sea, nothing is going to sink (I guess scuba diving is out of the question).
Mount Gambier to Meningie, Princes Hwy:
Immediately out of Mt Gambier the landscape is dotted with white flecks of protruding limestones from grazing farms. You can sometimes you can catch glimpses of actual caves!
The stretch between Kingston SE & Meningie is a place for larger bikes to excel with larger & smoother engines, than my single banger cylinder.... The ride is most straight and albeit a bit boring, but good to do at least once simply for the scenery. Beautiful coastal lands, pink salt flats that carry on for miles, reflective salt pools & tussocks of salt cough. a contrast to the limestone outcroppings, where you can't tell from the colour whether they're rock scatters or grazing sheep.
The rd surface more so is undulating with a few dips. With open graded asphalt for good drainage. Hardly any potholes. The policed part of this stretch seems to be from Salt Creek to Meningie so stick to the speed limit or follow a faster vehicle for cop fodder!
The pink flats gave me a chance to dry out somewhat and get excited about meeting @Eric from Adelaide.
This champ volunteered to meet up with me at Meningie and showcase some of the Adelaide hills afternoon delights!
Tired and a little sore, Putting into Meningie & seeing his black Honda (1980) 250cc beast was sublime for I wanted to twist & bank my bike through hills after about 400kms of straight flat roads! Boredom buster
With only minimal chit chat introductions of people and bikes, Eric then proceeded to lead me over Wellington ferry and to a pretty little town of Strathalbyn overrun by correlas for a short relief stop before we got to the serious business of getting most wonderfully lost in the twistes!
I couldn't even begin to recall the town's or rd names, for I was enjoying finding my tyres edges & trying to keep up with Eric's tiny but commanding beastie. Taking the corners like a pro it certainly made for poetry in motion seeing such a light weight machine.... There's hope for little bikes yet! Especially seeing one that was older than me!
Only places such as Mt Lofty & Chain of Ponds stuck to mind...
Had so much fun I forgot to take photos. Except in a car park before exchanging a happy dance & riding off (literally) into the sunset!
A humongous thank you to @Ericthe champ for having taken the day to show me some of Adelaide's curlies, even after a huge shift the night before with no sleep!! Now that's commitment!
All in all, After about 10hrs on the bike, straights, flats, tight twistes, deserted & then traffic, farmland, caves, lakes, salt flats, mountains, rain & sunshine - I was pooped. But with a smile on my dial.
Bike touring. This is what it's all about!!