It rained a bit during the night, but the wind was blowing so much the tent was dry when we woke up. Breakfast was calling so we packed up quickly and headed out into a nice, strong crosswind. We had decided to head for Queenscliffe and catch the ferry over to Sorrento rather than ride the freeway from Geelong to Melbourne after talking to people who said it was much more pleasant to go up the east side of the bay.
Right near Breamlea is a superb bike path that links Blackgate Rd and Thirteenth Beach Rd.
We ended up stopping for breakfast at Ocean Grove where the coffee was great…and big!
Queenscliffe was only about 16kms from here and we made good time along the main road until we reached the ferry to Sorrento. There was a whole bunch of cyclists crossing on the ferry, with their bikes all leaned up against the side in the ‘bike section’. Our heavy tandem would have squashed all those carbon fibre ‘solos’, so we allocated ourselves our own corner.
We didn’t really have a plan once we got off the ferry except to ride towards Melbourne, so we pedalled along happily in the bike lane along the coast, enjoying the occasional tailwind on the flat.
The Stoker had seen a secondary road on the map which would help us avoid a bit of the highway, so we turned off the Nepean Highway and headed that way towards Mt Martha.
Almost instantly (and too late) we realised we had made a mistake. The road was a narrow road with absolutely no shoulder and plenty of traffic. It was obviously a cycling route, which was slightly comforting…
Mt Martha involved a mountain naturally, lots of climbing and windy roads. It wasn’t too bad by Tasmanian standards though. We were so busy watching the traffic we didn’t really notice the effort! We did stop to take a photo of our first glimpse of Melbourne. If you look closely you can see the tall buildings in the photo…
For the past couple of weeks we have been considering how to end our trip. It has taken longer than we thought, which is okay (the benefits and downfalls of having no jobs to go back to!), but we do need to think about real life matters at some stage! The Spirit of Tasmania ferry prices are hideously expensive compared to flight prices too. We figure flying home might end up being the most practical financial and time solution, which will mean missing out on cycling down the east coast of Tasmania, possibly not a good idea at the moment anyway with the threat of bushfires.
So, in honour of what will probably be our last official night on the bike, we are staying in a motel and going out for dinner.
Tomorrow we ride into Melbourne and try and figure out the best way to get our tandem home!