Great Ocean Ride….OMG!

Today we are doing the Great Ocean Drive, well ride as we will be cycling this. All I know at the start is that its 40km ish, and takes us in a loop around Esperance and all the beaches and coves and past their famous lake before returning to the city.

We head to Dempster’s sports to hire bikes as recommended by the visitor centre, $50 deposit each for 3 bikes and then depending when we bing it back they will charge us a full or half day. So lets see how we get on. The girls in the store are great, really helpful in getting us started and the bikes look pretty sturdy, more city bikes built for comfort, like the Harley Davidson of bicycles really, or maybe you could compare them to an old Chopper, those of you old enough to remember them!!

We head to the Esplanade for the first part of the cycle, along the coast line towards the Harbour and then up a big hill…. I haven’t cycled since January in Margaret River on my sip and cycle tour, not exactly what I would describe as a hard ride, and the nice thing about that was there was wine at every stop. Anyway, needless to say its only been 15 minutes and well that hill was a killer.

First stop Rotary lookout, and well just to top it off that’s up another hill!!! I made it 1/2 way and then realised that walking was just as effective as first gear… so I walked. The view was lovely, and soon it was off and a nice roll back down the hill. Next stop was our local beach (well the airbnb’s) West Beach! Its apparently great for surfing this one, not many people out today. I hear that there have been great white’s spotted in the area (to be honest that’s common in Esperance which is a bit of a shark hot spot apparently!). Anyway, I trundle along using the beach cycle path which is great, you get fabulous views, you just can’t help stopping and taking it in the coastline is stunning. Don’t think I could tire of the crystal waters and white sand beaches at all.

The ride itself is really tough, there are so many hills and there seem to be very few downhills but lots of uphills…. I am sure down hill will come soon, the sun is starting to breakthrough as its been quite cloudy and windy which was great, and now its hotting up a bit as we move into midday and get about halfway round. I would say the last 10km after a nice long downhill run is a bit more meandering as you get towards Pink Lake, which sadly is pink no more!! It seems all the algae that created the pinkness have pretty much died off which is a real shame, the lake is now pretty salty and white.

The minor mishap for the day was water…. last night I put the water in to freeze, great because its hot and should melt and be refreshing! hmmm… not quite, it was a bit too frozen and so I was trying to eek out tiny drops like rain as much as possible. Another thing to note, there are no shops or places to buy anything like water on the Great Ocean Drive. Much like Petrol it only exist in Esperance town centre!! So be prepared is the best advice, as soon as I spot the IGA its in there in a shot to get water, coconut water and rehydrate for the last stretch back to drop off the bikes.

The bikes get returned, $25 each so not bad. The whole ride with endless selfie stops and photo shoots of course took 4hours in total, so we were only charged 1/2 day rate for the bikes which was nice. Tomorrow is going to hurt I imagine, so a bit of stretching definitely needed.

In the evening its out for dinner at Taylor’s Beach Bar and Cafe, its looks pretty busy which is good, lots of locals. The service is ok, they seem busy and not coping too well with it but it doesn’t ruin anything really. I choose the Snapper Ceviche which was delicious, and 1/2 Roast Chicken very nice and very filling, knocked back with a local Chardy, well deserved after the effort of the last two days… I am pretty proud of myself and loving the outdoors and activity. The chicken meal was a bit too much though and so it gets bagged at the end of the night and taken home for another day! Don’t want to waste it now do we.

Tomorrow is the last day in Esperance, and hoping to get to Woody Island…. we shall see!


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