2023 Indi-Pac Day 16 Report

Sunday April 2, 2023: Out of my hotel room at 4:30am (which was really 5:30am as clocks had gone back an hour overnight due to the end of Daylight Savings time) and  straight next door to to the 24hr OTR Servo for a breakfast of champions – 2 x pasties, 1 x meat pie and a variety of caffeinated beverages. As I indulged I checked Maprogress. For a variety of reasons I had parked the racing element of the “ride” since circa midday on Day 12, when I had got a whiff of Matt Smith. I had not literally smelt him………although he is English😉………sorry……….but I had got within 50k’s of him, mainly due to the fact that he lost a good amount of time due to a wrong turn. His lead since had ballooned out to 200+ kilometres.

As of 5am this morning though he was 120k’s down the road in Millicent.

Catching him today was not a realistic objective but I was dead keen to have a crack at eating into that 120k’s.

Sunday April 2, 2023: As the sign says…..

Sunday April 2, 2023: Brekky of champs….

Back on the road by about 5am…….

(yep, I got the day wrong again)

Sunday April 2, 2023: Another one…..

Sunday April 2, 2023: The Southern Ports Highway between Kingston and Robe.

I checked Maprogress again on the outskirts of the fishing port town of Robe (Pop. 1,152). Matt was still in Millicent. 80k’s away now.

Giddyup!

Further into the Limestone coast region of South Australia, agriculture – particularly cattle farming and forestry dominating the scenery as I plugged away.

Sunday April 2, 2023: Rolling through the outskirts of Robe. (the main part of town is just off route)

Sunday April 2, 2023: The Southern Ports Highway between Robe and Millicent.

Sunday April 2, 2023: The Southern Ports Highway between Robe and Millicent. Take 2.

Sunday April 2, 2023: The Cows were inquisitive but not that conversive……….I did try.

Sunday April 2, 2023: The Cows were inquisitive but not that conversive……….I did try. Take 2.

Sunday April 2, 2023: As the sign says…..

Sunday April 2, 2023: The route ducks off the Princes Highway for a bit onto the much quieter Tantanoola Road….

Sunday April 2, 2023: Still on Tantanoola Road – the first signs of Forestry.

Sunday April 2, 2023: Still on Tantanoola Road – the first signs of Forestry. Side on view….

Sunday April 2, 2023: Back on the Princes Highway. The section before Mt Gambier.

Mount Gambier

Given that forestry dominates in the area, the section of Princes Highway into the city of Mount Gambier (Pop. 33,233) can be pretty hectic for cyclists, I was informed, due to rather aggressive log truck drivers. It sort of makes sense when you think about it. Timber cutting is a dangerous business as is truck driving, so an individual involved in both trades is more than likely to have a more “relaxed” attitude when it comes to caution and safety.

I had no dramas though – Sunday arvo must be the optimal time for a cyclist to make the approach.

The big tourist attraction is the Blue Lake, a large crater later, the water of which turns a deep turquoise colour each November and gradually returning to a duller blue colour in late February to March. The exact cause of this phenomenon is still a matter of conjecture, but it is likely to have something to do with water temperature and calcium carbonate………and stuff……

Mount Gambier also has a very active Indi-Pac dot-watching community. I was met by Ashleigh Staude on the way into town and by Jason Buckland at the Endeavour Gas Station where I recharged and resupplied for an hour or so.

Sunday April 2, 2023: The Mount Gambier Rail Trail.

Sunday April 2, 2023: Mount Gambier.

Sunday April 2, 2023: Short climb up to the Blue Lake.

Sunday April 2, 2023: The Blue Lake.

Sunday April 2, 2023: The Blue Lake. Take 2.

Sunday April 2, 2023: The Blue Lake. Take 3.

More Treeeeeeessss

Yep, about 20k’s out of Mount Gambier there were some more trees……………and a few Emu’s:

Sunday April 2, 2023: More Trees.

Sunday April 2, 2023: More Trees. Take 2.

(excuse the language):

Sunday April 2, 2023: Don’t take my word for it……

Sunday April 2, 2023: Something about trees….

I then rode through a fascinating looking area known as the Donovans, where I decamped for a while to soak up the last of the days sun. There may well have been a squashed sausage roll that I put out of its misery, also.

Sunday April 2, 2023: The Donovans.

Sunday April 2, 2023: Not a bad spot….

From the Donovan’s the route cut through a section of agricultural land before the Victorian Border. It was then a four hour slog to the city of Portand (Pop. 9,712)  that involved:

  • shadow chasing,
  • more trees,
  • shouting out to kangaroos,
  • watching out for kangaroos in the dark.

The overwhelming highlight was being met by my generous (an understatement) host for the evening, Shannon Ross who came out in the chilly night to escort me to his and his wife’s legendary ‘Portland Refuge’………where Matt had been only a few hours earlier.

He’ll keep 😂.

Sunday April 2, 2023: Section before the Victorian Border.

Sunday April 2, 2023: 2 states to go…..

Sunday April 2, 2023: Shadow Chasing.

Sunday April 2, 2023: More shadow Chasing.

Sunday April 2, 2023: And yet more shadow Chasing.

Sunday April 2, 2023: And yet more shadow Chasing. Take 2.

Sunday April 2, 2023: No more shadow chasing.

Sunday April 2, 2023: Kangaroo off to the left….

Sunday April 2, 2023: Stay in the dark please kangaroos…..

Sunday April 2, 2023: Stay in the dark please kangaroos…..Take 2.

Sunday April 2, 2023: Amazing hospitality at the Portland Refuge.

Sunday April 2, 2023: My digs at the Portland Refuge.

The Day According to Strava:

 

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