Mannum to Mount Pleasant - A Little Ride Around Murray Bridge - CycleBlaze

April 30, 2022

Mannum to Mount Pleasant

Up, up, up its a Great day for Up. (Dr. Seuss)

One word to describe today... Up! Not that this was a surprise of course, I did plan the route  🙂

The clouds and rain had cleared and it was a beautiful start to the morning, but really the day started where yesterdays ended, with coffee at the bakery.

Breakfast coffee
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We started our cycling day by riding along the Murray River out of Mannum.  We soon turned up off the flat toward Mount Pleasant.

Nice picture of the bikes by The Murray River and the green grass, an uncommon sight at the end of summer in South Australia
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Making our way along the Long Gully Road we spied a cemetary in the middle of nowhere.  We stopped to take a look. It is the Milendella cemetery and it has some very old graves.  Several of the older graves have head stones written in a language that looks something like German.  

Old cemeterys always makes me thankful for modern medicine, there was a seperate section of childrens graves.
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Then more heavy duty up. As we headed into Gap Rd, Kevin thinks he knows where we are going and I get a sense of anticipation about what we're going to see.

Made enough elevation to get the first good view back the way we came
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Gap road goes up and into the Milendalla creek, following it along until we come to Raetjen Gap.  The photos don't give you the sense of ore that I felt.  It was a bit like being in the Flinders Rangers for just a moment.  Once we come up and out of the valley again, we were back onto brown farm land with no hint to the magic we left behind. Quite surreal.

Down into the Milendalla creek line. Those are peppercorn trees infront of Kevin, they were right along the creek.
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Raetjen Gap
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The Gap up close. Honestly the photo doesn't give you the dense of rugged beauty I felt. Note the Yucca's in the rocks and along the ridge
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Many Wanderer butterflies (also called Monarch) to see in the valley
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A quick ride onto our next challenge. Borthwick Brae Rd. Such a grand name for an ill kept road reserve. 

Our first thought; we'll have to walk that! Which changed to...  if this was any wetting we couldn't walk this. The only alternative was to ride down to Palmer and then ride up the bituman with the cars and truck traffic.  Not a very attractive idea, so we decide to see how we went. 

A steep 300m of walking and it flattened out somewhat and the surface also improved enough that we could ride.  Now we were committed.  The road was tough and involved a bit more walking at times, but the views made it worth the effort.  We had lunch at the top up next to a rock formation to get out of the wind.

Amazing view from lunch
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Looking back at my photos I realised I didn't take that many shots up there. I was just admiring it instead.  oops.  The big white Palmer sylos are visible off to the right in the distance, you'll just have to use your imagination :-)

Borthwick Brae Road on the other side as we head down for a bit.
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When we got to a gate at the end of Bothwick Brae road there a post that had a tiny sign on it.  You are on camera and your image has just been uploaded to the cloud, hehe, I wonder how many bikes they get :-)

From there it was more up and down on gravel roads and into Mount Pleasant.  They have a Lovell's bakery there too so we ordered coffee and I got a chocolate donut, Yum!

The council caravan park at Mount Pleasant had lots of caravans checked in, very busy for a small town.  The office lady put us right next to these huge sheds so we'd get some protect from any rain or wind.  The sheds are used for a weekly market.

Home for the night
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Another great day, my favorite one of the trip.

Today's ride: 40 km (25 miles)
Total: 94 km (58 miles)

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