With The Lot

(65 Kms)

Tuesday, 23 Jan, 2018

Maria Island - Dunalley

It rained overnight so our tents were wet when we woke. We set some stuff out to dry whilst we had muesli and UHT milk for breakfast. I was surprised at how much less filling muesli is without yoghurt or maybe I was just really hungry.

Drying out the tents

The ferry was at 9:45 so we had plenty of time to dry the tents. We loaded all our gear on our bikes, as that was the most efficient way to move our gear to the jetty. Lots of people got off the boat, and gathered for a briefing with the ranger. Something we had not received on our journey over. Maybe a minimum number of participants is required.

We chatted to the bike hire man, who didn't seem surprised that people weren't wearing their helmets, though said he wouldn't hire out bikes if it was apparent that people weren't prepared to abide by the law. Three families boarded the ferry, so not a private cruise this time. The crew didn't seem fussed about our bags, and suggested that Georgia and I throw our panniers into the bin rather than carry them on as hand luggage.

Leaving Maria Island

Leaving Maria Island

On disembarking, Georgia and I headed straight to the supermarket, whilst Simon and Jonno sorted out the gear. With only an unrefrigerated cool bag for insulation, we needed something fairly robust for dinner, and settled on some roo and cheese sausages from the local butcher, accompanied by salad.

The road to Orford was lovely, with views across to Maria Island, though the winds were strong on the downhill. Whilst waiting for Simon and Georgia, I checked out the IGA and bought some peaches and mixed nuts. Though Orford was apparently a smaller town, the supermarket was better stocked.

We had been warned that the road out of Orford was unpleasant, with a rock wall on one side and the river on the other. As an added bonus, there was a really steep hill out of town, so the next few kilomdtres were not pleasant, though the views down the river were lovely. It was a relief when we reached the commencement of the overtaking lane.

The narrow road from Orford

There was a lot of roadworks on the road to Buckland, and we were fortunate to be ahead of the temporary road closures, which meant that we travelled some distance without any cars. We knew that there was a roadhouse in Buckland, and reconvened there for lunch.

Whilst the menu was limited, the next leg of our journey involved some major hills, so I was keen that the kids had a good lunch. It was burgers with the lot all round. They were substantial, including eggs, bacon and a big meat pattie. Lots of protein for the road ahead. Georgia had not been feeling well, but managed to eat a good lunch.

The Buckland Roadhouse

It was warm cycling out of Buckland, and the early part of the dirt road was gently undulating. Then the hill kicked in, and it was a long, hot slog until we met up with Jonno at what proved to be just a slight reprieve from the hill, and we climbed again. There was a little downhill through the hamlet of Nugent, and we met again at the junction to Kellevie, and we continued uphill again.

The road goes down

The road goes up

All together at the Kellevie junction

Finally we reached the long awaited downhill, and enjoyed the break. The road again undulated, but as we took the turn towards Copping, the dirt road unexpectedly became bitumen and we made good time to the highway.

A nice downhill section

Sealed road to the highway

There was a lot of uphill towards Dunalley, and we wondered when we would spy the coast, and some downhill riding. Finally the water came into view and we coasted down to Dunalley.

Coastal glimpses heading into Dunalley

Coastal glimpses heading into Dunalley

We found what we thought was Sharon's house but couldn't quite align the instructions provided with the house that we found. Eventually we rang, and Sharon came out of the house, and we realised that we were sharing the accomodation. The house was lovely, and Sharon was a delightful hostess.

We showered and put washing on, then relaxed in the lounge with some crackers and chilli brie cheese. It was close to 9pm when we started cooking our sausages, and then Sharon came in for a chat, and told us her life story, and about a recent hacking disaster in the real estate industry, where solicitor emails had been accessed with false settlement banking details.

It was very late by the time we ate dinner, and we were all glad of our comfortable beds.