Saturday, October 8, 2011
Korumburra to Foster
Korumburra to Foster via road and rail trail = 65km
Cummulative total = 241km
Lots of photos today but first of all HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!
What started out as a promising day ended up being very miserable (well for Kouta at least!).
We expected a bucket load of rain last night after looking at the weather radar but fortunately for us none came. So we woke this morning and headed off to the information center to find a map of the Leongatha to Foster rail trail. there was a farmers market on ther and I would have loved to have had a look but didn't really have time to stop. We realised that it starts at Leongatha which is about 17km from Korumburra by road and then onto Foster via the trail and that would be another 50km so a long day after all!
So we road along the highway and it wasn't bad, constant traffic but we had a shoulder most of the way until about 5km before Leongatha and then it decides to end! But at least is was predominantly down hill.
Found the trail - not at the start as I think we missed it and it may start at a bicycle rental place. Nothing is sign posted well with regard to any rail trail really!
this is Neil and Kouta where we joined it - nice track and it is well used to Koonawarra (8km). We had 2 young boys pass us at the start (around 11-13 years old) and we caught up with them at Koonawarra - they loved the fact that we had a dog! We then met up with them at Minns road because at Koonawarra the trail is not open between Koonawarra and Minns road as there are 3 trestle bridges that need to be mended and off course that will take eternity for the council and state governement to do - hence you go 3km back on the highway - now the 2 boys were picked up at Koonawarra and their fathers picked them up there and drove them the 3km to Minns road where they met us again. They stayed in front of us until Meeniyan where they pulled off and we continued.
if you look at the sign you will see and person riding a bike and in the front of the handle bar is a basket with a little dog on it - I wish I had a texta and drew a trailer at the back with a dog on it!
This is one of the bridges that have been constructed as the original trestle bridge (to the right) is not safe!
we finally find a sign along the track with the official name of the trail "the great souther rail trail" We continued on to Stony Creek for lunch and the 2 boys were behind us and we could see their fathers waiting for them - it is here that they called it a day - they road around 20km which is pretty good! I thought it was great that their fathers would wait for them especially at Koonawarra to drive them rather than ride on the road!
at this point I am absolutely starving so we had a cuppa and lunch.
Refreshed we started off again and not long down the trail we come across this munter of a sooty grunter of a wombat hole - freshly dug and you could see the trail it made to get up the embankment. There was a wombat in the cave as they are nocturnal and also Kouta was going balistic in the trailer and there was flies hanging around the entrance and there was a slight wild animal smell hanging around!
The trail being an ex railway line has nice ups and downs but I began to tire at Fish Creek - which is 12km from Foster. We take a break there before the short climb to the top of Hoddle Ranges and then the down hill to Foster.
now take look at the nice, clean, dry and happy Kouta in the photo above as in the next few photos down he is completely different!
Neil enjoying the ride along the track - it would be good in summer as there is alot of the trail in bush as well as open farm land. Once on the down hill to Foster there are gaps in the tree line which offer a sensational view of Wilsons Prom
Not long after taking this photo we felt a few drops of rain. So we put Koutas basket in the food bag, covered up the bags, put the raincoats on incase the rain got heavy and set off downhill for 9km to Foster ... the rain got heavier and heavier to the point I could barely see as water was pouring through the helmet and into my eyes and you could hear the grind of the bike chain with the lilydale topping for the trail splashing up on the chain, on the bags and our legs.
the rain was very heavy and pour Kouta was getting wet. We finally got to the bottom and it eased and we got to the campground and I turned around and there was Kouta ... poor Kouta.
Booked in and jumped of the bike, Neil grabbed the camera to take the 2 photos below ... now what do you think Kouta is thinking? ...
the bike, trailer, bags, bottles, legs and dog are covered in small sand gravel called lilydale topping from the rail trail - great to ride on when dry but awful to ride on when wet.
tomorrow we stay here and hopefully it will either rain heavily tonight to was the bikes or tomorrow we have to clean and brush off all the gravel which is everywhere ... thinking about it Mum - those good ole family hols in 'the batch' on Waiheke Island ... yes you remember how tough that was ... well this is worse! The tent has a certain 'wet dog' smell and feel to it!
We are all a happy wee family now that we are showered, dried and warm - dinner tonight is roast chicken from Foodworks and bread - Kouta is licking his lips!