Genevieves Story - A must read! ...a "lonely Planet" author in the making!

04 July 2008
Gen at T.Track

Well yesterdays ride route was so good I think everyone should try it. Unbelievably magic countryside!!!!!!! Get the map out of the Otways and Hinterland and try and trace this through.

 

Start in Forrest at Jess’s warm hill top home, just on the other side of the range from Apollo Bay. Picture yourself in amongst the damp trees and ferns with no traffic noise and the wonderful smell that only the bush can bring.

Heading mainly uphill for about 14k through Barramunga and Mt Sabine and nearly to the top of Skenes Creek, but turn right before and go down Turtons track which has just been sealed (Phil Anderson had told Jess about this one) …..a tourist route only, no houses or fencing in sight……..its like a ‘penny lane’ in under the tree tops and ferns….unreal fairyland type, out of this world setting. The track/road was scattered with bark and sticks which made it even more authentic and wound itself slightly downhill (no straight sections) to Beech Forest (toilets here and a pub).

We have come out into the open land but are in the clouds now and passing through the area which has the largest rainfall in Victoria, seems like it’s on a ridge: Weeaproninah. It is so green and the cows are fat; the sheep need to be goats. We actually started a little stampede of about 20 cattle along the fence line running beside us for 300 metres or so, as it was so quiet, we ‘jumped’ them into a canter. The clouds are dripping on us. All bike lights are on. We are warm with the right gear on and of course pedalling. Then through Wyelangta and about 20k further to Lavers Hill for a stop to eat at the servo. 

 


 

A big down hill from here….check the brakes, lights on and hang on, as the rain had started and the road was a creek.

Down to Glenaire and into the valley below where the rain had stopped and we picked up a slight westerly tail wind to help the now saturated legs and feet.  We came through Horden Vale and the Otway National Park and onto Johanna…..the sea. It was a fantastic wild winter sea with a huge swell and lots of spray.

But onward westerly in the valley. This is a beautiful open area scattered with farm houses and flat land. Then came the biggest ‘up’ I had done in a long time. The next 5- 10 k seemed to go forever, so it wasn’t the longest climb but seemed very steep and straight. I think my head got to me because there were very few corners and my feet were very wet and heavy. I had to stop and power up with food as we were up to 75k and there was much more climbing to come.  It was still great countryside; fresh thinner air and more undulating UP. A few gusts of crosswinds from the west, but not a real worry.

At about 15k to go to Apollo Bay the scenery really opens up again and some of the downhill begins. Then at 10k to go it is a safe whoosh down to Marengo where the sea swell had gone ballistic and civilisation has arrived. Through lovely Apollo Bay and now at 96k we pasted Wild Dog creek, along the Great Ocean Road and then turn left up Skenes Creek for another 10k climb. I prefer this one. Magnificent views around every corner during this climb and good hot mix. Half way up though, we hung the white flag and were picked up at 106k. We were very wet and the rain was still coming.

The continuation of the ride was on to Tanybryn and back to Forrest over the same road we had started on in the morning, but downhill going home. We estimate about 135 - 140k in total. What a journey! Jess has plans to do this again in daylight savings time; leave at 7 am and home at 7 pm spending all day enjoying the scenery and stopping for the waterfalls and other sights.