Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Paynesville to Bruthen
Paynesville - Bruthen = 51km (via Bairnsdale and East Gippsland Rail Trail)
Cummulative total = 415km
The day started with mossies and hayfever, poor Neil basically he did most of the packing and all I managed to do was blow my nose, curse the mossies and pack up the food bags!
We cycled the 18km into Bairnsdale to stock up on food and tissues and went to the information center to find out where the trail starts. Picked up a very informative map there that covers us all the way to Lakes Entrance and up to Bright. Found the bike trail and of course did the mandatory photo sessions.
The trail was sort of sealed between Bairnsdale and Nicholson which is around 9km away. Lovely trail, not too many people on it but there was an older man ahead of us and Neil spoke to him at Nicholson and it was Michael Oxer who was one of the original members of Bicycle Victoria and who is now the chairman of the management committee for the rail trail. Which do an excellent job with the maintenance of the rail trail as after Nicholson the trail becomes unsealed and the usual Lillydale topping and sort of fine sand gravel that when riding along it it feels as though you have a flat tyre! Going along a rail trail is alot harder than a sealed road but I think Neil and I both agree that it is far more pleasant to go on a trail.
At Nicholson we had a small food break and enjoyed the scenery, we met on the bridge a man who said that his wife is just up the track and heading to Bairnsdale and is walking from Orbost to Bairnsdale as part of the Relay for Life Cancer Research. She left Orbost on Saturday and walked 38km the first day, 30 odd km on Sunday and will arrive in Bairnsdale Monday afternoon with the grand distance total of nearly 100km ... wow what an effort!
So there we were cycling along the trail enjoying the quietness and the path to ourselves. The weather is warm and sunny and we both have begun our free sun tanning session where we end up with these ridiculous tan lines! Didn't see alot of wildlife but we did see heaps of wombat holes along the path, you knew they were there as there was always these little dirt mounds on the path from where the wombat while digging his/her hole has kicked the dirt onto the trail!
We made the 30km to Bruthen and are now camped at the local campground which is right next to the sports ground and has a caretaker. It is costing us $15 to camp and the showers and toilets are okay, has a very charming and rustic kitchen which has a fridge, bbq, toaster, jug, sink and power points so we can plug the computer in, but the reception is not so great, similar to dial up! so we can't put this on tonight and will try tomorrow.
We went for a walk this evening and there was a horse in the field that we walked past and the horse came up to the fence for company and below is a photo of Kouta encountering his first horse ... I think he was thinking some where along the lines of ... "wow this is a big dog"!!!
Tomorrow we are free camping at Toastaree in a roadside stop. Only a short day around 37km and I think the temperature is going to get even warmer tomorrow.
Happy travels everyone!