Going to The Prom

28th to 30th April 2017

Foster, Wilsons Promontory and Sale

Drizzle! That is all that is forecast for today. Well, that doesn’t sound so bad, so we will ride out and have a look around Wilsons Promontory, or The Prom, as the locals call it. The bikes are unloaded, have new tyres, so it should be a pretty good ride, and we’ve mapped out a route that will take us to Fish Creek, for a beer at the end of the day. So it was just a little overcast when we left, and headed out of Foster. Not too far along, we spotted a cafe, just as it started to “Drizzle”, so we thought it was a good spot for a warm cuppa and to stay dry. Yanakie is a small settlement, mostly farms, and of course, trying to capture some of the tourist traffic passing by.

The guy running this place was from Rockingham! Never ceases to amaze me.

Okay, my paranoia wasn’t worth it, no rain, but a nice hot chocolate, and half a jam donut, before carrying on our explore. There was a loop road from this cafe, out towards the ocean, and back to the main road into the national park, so we decided to take it and see what we could see. Farms, farms and more farms, with a quick view of dunes and ocean. But a nice little diversion.

Back on today’s track, the road was wet and a bit worn, but the scenery was great. As we came into the National Park area, the bush thickened, and there were lots of signs telling us to watch out for animals, and to pull off the road when watching the wildlife. Gosh, must be heaps out here. Just about now, the so called “drizzle” started, and it didn’t really stop. The ride was still great, and imagining the road, dry and sunny, was enough to keep us happy. We just took it really easy, as it was fairly dark, overcast and getting wetter by the second.

This bridge was wiped out by a flood, stranding 300+ campers years back.

Really scenic, great road, just a bit wet, that’s all. Take it easy folks.

We stopped at a couple of scenic points, before arriving at Tidal River, which is the main camping area, with a little shop and info centre. The river meets the sea here, and it is really beautiful, even on a day like today, in the rain (Victorian drizzle). Holed up at the public toilet building at the river mouth, we waited for the worst of it to pass, but it just seemed to be wave after wave of very dense drizzle, so in between them, we walked down to the beach to take a couple of photos, and spotted one crazy guy heading out for a surf. Who’s crazier, him, or the two astronauts (that’s what we looked like in our riding suits) on the beach?

This looks like a great spot for a sunny warm day. Very pretty.

The poor kids abandoned in the rain, and we can’t come all this way and not step onto the beach, even if we are dressed for planet Mars.

Enough was enough, time to head back, and stop at a couple more scenic lookouts for photos. Plenty of walks here for able bodied people, all lengths, from 1km to 3 nighters. It really is fantastic, and aside from school holidays, would have a great range of camping opportunities too. The only wildlife we did see, was some emus, strolling in a clearing, as we rode past, but as it was drizzling constantly, we just carried on, trying not to get too wet.

IMG_3880
Squint, and you can see the rainbow in the ocean.

Through the park, we veered left towards Fish Creek. When we passed through here yesterday, we spotted the Art Deco Pub, with a fish on it’s roof. It was so funny, we had to go have a beer there. Also this road was one we hadn’t been on, and it was really scenic, past lots of hills, windy roads, farms, wineries, you name it. Nice for motorbikes. The drizzle had stayed in the national park, so other than getting a bit cold, we were happy. This pub was built in 1939, hence the style. The original wooden building burned down in the January, and this one was finished in the following October. Important building for this small little town. The fish on the roof, is a sculpture from an exhibition in Mt Gambier, in 1990. The pub owner saw the exhibition and bought the fish, transported it and mounted it on his pub roof. It is a Stunned Mullet, and has recently been refurbished by the original artist, who was from Venus Bay, nearby. Just too much fun to let go.

Great work Fish Creek Hotel. I’m not sure about Ride The Wild Goat though, what is that about?

We had a beer, just one small one, riding after drinking is definitely not on, and rode the last 15kms to Foster, to the pub. Very quiet for a Friday arvo, but they had the fire going, and we had another small beer, before riding 500 meters back to the YHA. A few little jobs, and then we walked back to the pub for dinner, which was a bit pricey for where we were, but again, they had the fire going, and the meal was nice. One more beer, then limp back for an early night. The ride was enjoyable, even though it was wetter than expected, and cold at the end.

I don’t look impressed, but I’m just cold. The fire is good and warm, I’ll be right soon enough.

Saturday was a nothing day, with a big sleep in, a big (well for us stupid dick leg people, right now) walk, and dinner using all the left overs we had. Around town, there are a couple of good walks, showing some history, and lovely bush. We discovered that Paddy Hannan was here when Gold was big here, and so was Lewis Lassiter. Gee those old dudes got around this huge country. The local footy was on at the community sports ground, and we thought we’d pop in and watch, but they wanted $15 each to enter. Hmmph, I’m not that keen to watch you old farmers bust round the oval, I’ve seen the professionals. A quiet day, just getting prepared for the next part of this adventure. Lots of organising and booking. We’re heading over to The Land of The Long White Cloud! Yep, we’ve decided to add in a month in the North Island of New Zealand. I’ve got heaps of relo’s over there, who we need to visit, and catch up with. It’s pretty cheap from Melbourne, and we’re here, so why not? So that’s why we ate all our food supplies, and spent a lazy day on the Internet, getting things together. Tomorrow we’re off to Sale, in the Gippslands, to catch up with a friend of Will’s, from school days.

Yoga to stretch the hammers and lengthen the spine, a bit of local history, a local, and are these mushies magic?

So Sunday meant, up, nuts and berries, pack and get out of Foster. The day looked pretty. Sun shining, a few white clouds, no wind, and about 15C. Nice. Morning duties done, we first stopped at the local Bp servo, for fuel and to check the air in our new tyres. They didn’t feel quite right on our Prom ride. Fuel wasn’t a problem, but getting the air turned into a mini saga. It sounded like it was working, but not much pressure pushing the air out into the tyres. Will’s back tyre was low, and every time he tried to add more, it let air out. Aarggh, bugger, not good! After a quick chat to the lady inside, they discovered the generator/compressor, had tripped out, so a quick reset, and all was super. Both back tyres were down about 10psi, which was not good, and the lesson here is to check before you ride off on brand new tyres. We assumed they would be right, but were not. Luckily, Will has a clue, as I would have just thought the changes in handling were because of the tread variation. But all is good.

I’m ready and waiting, Will is jamming the last few things into the Mule.

Ready to head to Sale, all of about 100kms away, we had decided to check out Agnes Falls, on the way, and take a few back roads to extend it all out a bit. The GPS was set for the falls, and from the servo, it sent us around the block, and I mean that literally, and tried to send us down a dirt, dead end, track. What the hell D2, what sort of mental are you? We should have really noted this attitude from our new GPS, as it happened many times in our short ride. Verbally overriding D2, we finally got out of Foster, onto the South Gippsland Highway, and soon came to Toora, and just snuck past the first turn off to the falls. A quick U-turn, and we were on a lovely windy road through the farming hills, enjoying a cruise without traffic. We followed the signs, and came to a beautiful little picnic area, along a river, and headed off on foot, to the falls. The highest single span falls in Victoria, at 59 meters, it was pretty nice. Not a long walk, or difficult, but enough for us limpies.

Another great spot, with some easy walks, picnic tables and Eco toilets.

On our way back to the highway, good old D2 ( in true GPS fashion), sent us down some muddy, slippery, dirt, No Through Road, where we couldn’t find a safe spot to turn around when we knew it was wrong, like straight away, so we ended up at someone’s farm, at the top of a hill. Hey, but what a view? The ocean, the hills and farms, cool. But back we go through the cow poop and slippery down hill. Back on the sealed road, we were slowed up by some farmers moving their young cows. They were a bit skittish, so we had to turn off the bikes, and wait for them to pass. I didn’t take photos, cause Will had the GoPro on, but little did we know, the memory card was full. Bugger!

Wrong way numb-nuts…..turn around…..but where?

Back to the highway, we cruised along enjoying the ride until the GPS told us to again turn onto a minor gravel road, just off the highway. We hummed and ha’d, and decided to follow it. It went for about 6kms, and led us through to Old Sale Road. Almost to the end of it, another farmer was moving a small group of young bulls, and as I was cruising past very slowly and quietly, a couple of them spooked, and came heading towards me, aarrgghhh, bugger the slippery gravel, I gave it stick, and burst away. Holy cow, they are scary buggers. Again, no GoPro! Getting a bit cold, and needing a small break, we pulled into the service station as we came into Woodside. Toilet, iced coffee and a sausage roll and pie, then we were ready to finish for the day to Sale, where Alan was waiting for us.

The back roads rule. The old horse was wondering what we were doing on his road, so was I. 

This area of Victoria, is really lovely. Lots of bush and a bit hilly, with green farms, dairy cows, beef and sheep, I think it has everything. The ride through to Sale was straight forward, scenic, and enjoyable. There is a great cycle path along the highway, I’d love to use it. We found Alan’s house no worries, and he was there to welcome us. We had a nice night catching up, it had been about 6 years since we’d seen him, and as he is a helicopter pilot, he has some great experiences to share with us. Tomorrow we’ll have a look around Sale, wash the bikes, wash all the clothes, and get sorted for New Zealand. Tuesday, we are riding straight back to Melbourne, picking up some glasses I’ve organised (my sunnies broke just before we left home, with no time to get new ones, and I am blind without them, I also need a spare pair in case of disaster) get our bikes into storage and then to the airport for 6pm departure. Going to be a big day, and another interesting part to our adventure.

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