Overnight some light showers came over so the tent got packed up wet. This always seems to make a difference as I'm conscious of getting to my destination with at least a tiny bit of daylight left to dry it out before use. My tent is an ultra small, ultra light 1 person MacPac Microlight – I'm really happy with it and it will keep you dry...if pitched dry.
I got a nice early start anyway and was on my way out of town before 8.30. The South Gippsland Highway was blissfully quiet too. Today's plan was an indirect route eastwards off the main roads as much as possible. I wanted to check out 90 mile beach, which would add quite a bit of distance on.
Turning off the Highway, I was rewarded with a cyclists dream down Giffard Road. This was 1 lane, freshly re-laid bitumen that wound its way through a mixture of forest and farmland. Eventually this hits the coast at the town of Seaspray. Here the coast stretched off in the distance with barely a soul to be seen...just one older women doing Yoga and 'Saluting the Sun' which seemed superbly apt. I was hoping to find food here but with only takeaways on offer, had to stick to some spare crackers. It was with a great deal of reluctance I got back on the bike to moving again!
From here, it was north to Sale. The entrance from the south was very busy but I found a bike path that avoided the freeway bridge that runs into town. It really warmed up as the afternoon wore on, so filled up on water for a third time, before leaving town and heading east. I thought maybe I had a chance of reaching Paynesville or Bairnesdale...but as the heat of the afternoon beat down...I found myself low on water yet again still with at least 30km to go before either of those options. Google maps showed a camp ground at a town called Meerlieu I which was my 'Plan B'. As it turned out, the camp ground is a good 7/8km further south of the town down an unsurfaced road that was pretty rough on my road tires. By the time I hauled into camp I was hot and knackered...this camp ground almost looked a little derelict. There was hardly a soul to be seen! The women running the place looked very surpised to see me, and only charge me $10 to pitch my tent. Money well spent for some water and a shower even though the place was pretty run down. Can't really complain with that price...plus, there was this:
Lake Wellington when the sun when down:
This coincided with a massive invasion of midges, mosquito's...and all other things small and crawly. They attacked every inch of exposed skin...I foolishly had no repellent. Walking to the toilet after dark I wondered what the bright lights reflecting off the ground were, only to get close and see they were spiders eyes! My wife would not have liked this place...
Big day all up though! And very rewarding.
Day 3 Distance: 147 km
Number of bug bites: lost count. Too many to the head.