PrinceTown to Apollo Bay - Adelaide to Geelong Tour - CycleBlaze

May 3, 2021

PrinceTown to Apollo Bay

As todays ride has got closer I have been concerned that I was attempting to much in one day. 79kms is an ok distance, but 21 kms is on gravel and there is over 1,100 metres of climbing. Could I do this?  Added to this the weather was coming in cool and wet. 

Ideally I'd make it to Apollo Bay but I found 2 other options for camping. The first, Johanna Beach, is a Great Ocean Walk campsite. Toilets and water available but no power. The Second was Bimbi Park, off my route by about 5kms heading down to the Cape Otway lighthouse. It looks nice.

The latest forecast had the rain starting after 3pm. I heading at 8am to get ahead of the weather.

I rode briefly along the B100 and turned off on The Old Ocean road.

The Great Ocean road meanders along the wetlands
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It's was very scenic and the road was in good condition.

Gellibrand River
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The Old Ocean road meets up with the B100 and then it was a slow climb up hill. Going up almost 400m took me about an hour. The day was cool but I was nice and warm.

Before getting to Lavers Hill I turned off onto the Hiders Access road. It had recently been graded, bonus.

Beautiful old trees in the Otway National Park.
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It was a beautiful ride through tall gums  and tree ferns, very green.

Views over farmer land
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I turned off onto the The Old Coach road. This is part of the Great Ocean Walk. As I got further down hill and closer to Johanna Beach the road became more and more rutted. Definitely wouldn't do this section without a MTB.

Making my way around and down to that beach in the distance.
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Johanna beach, almost there
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Looking the other way up the coast, north west.
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The Johanna beach campsite is really nice. It sits behind a vegetated sand hill, so is well protected. There is a walking path down to the beach.  If I was hiking I'd be pleased to spend the night there. It even has flushing toilets.

These little wrens are super friendly at the Johanna Beach camp. So I finally got a photo today.
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Johanna Beach campsite
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The weather is holding so we moved on. Riding up the Red Johanna road. Only a small rise this time. Then through the Aire River Wildlife Reserve and up another big climb. Once again I needed to climb almost 400m. My legs are very tired by now and it was a mental game as well as a physical one. Not far from the top I reach the turn off to Bimbi Park.  It feels like my bike is dragging but I thinks it's just my legs. I checked the tire pressure anyway, all good. There is a small amount of fog around and it's trying to rain, but it's only 1 hr to Apollo Bay and somewhere along the way I've decided on getting a cabin at the caravan park. Fixated on that warm cabin, I moved on. 

I didn't take any more photos due to the weather and focusing on making Apollo Bay before the rain. I was cold by now and aware that's not good either. 

Downhill into Apollo Bay a small amount of rain started. Now I was truly cold. I checked into the Apollo Bay Holiday Park and managed to get my panniers in the front door and the heavens opened up.  Just in time, yay!

I'm feeling very pleased with completing todays ride. I'm glad I didn't change my route to simplify it and just followed the B100. It was challenging but still mostly fun.

I'm spending 2 nights in Apollo Bay ( as planned) the weather will have improved by then and I can do some laundry with a machine instead of by hand.

Today's ride: 79 km (49 miles)
Total: 940 km (584 miles)

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