Awesome day on the bike. Great scenery, great roads, great weather and great company.
After charging all our electronics and eating the rest of the cheese for breakfast, we rolled out of camp a little after 10am. Weather was still windy but no where near as much as yesterday but no sign of rain and not as cold.
It wasn’t long before we came to the Loc Ard Gorge which was the site of a shipwreck in which only 2 people survived. Next to it was the Thunder Cave and Mutton Bird Island, appropriately named.
Next stop was just a few km further along for the 12 Apostles. Previously named the sow and piglets with Mutton Bird Island being the sow, the name was deemed not dignified enough. The infrastructure to view the Apostle was certainly well done with a kiosk, huge parking lot, land scaped walkways, a highway underpass and even bike parking! It was the busiest landmark we have seen so far. We utilised the kiosk for a coffee and local made chocolates before continuing.
Lunch stop was at Princetown where we had toasted sandwiches in the pub before deciding on our next move. We could take the highway which was longer and hillier or a dirt track, the old ocean road, which was flat but unknown condition. We consulted the staff and some passing by Parks Vic staff and decided the gravel road was worth a punt.
Turned out to a a great decision with the road surface great and the scenery along the river both enchanting and a nice change of pace from the coastal heath.
After 12km of the dirt, we rejoined the main Great Ocean Road and the real work commenced. Ahead was 19km of climbing to get to Lavers Hill, the highest point on the trip. The road was well engineered with a small shoulder and pull off points and the gradient lead to a real enjoyable climb. After the first few km, it alternated between ascents and decent which gave some nice variety.
A few pit stops for chocolate coated Anzac biscuits and we rolled into Lavers Hill at about 6pm. Camping was at the local pub and we settled in for a forecast chilly night.