|Today’s Distance: 61.5km||Total Distance: 441.9km|
We were unsure whether to call this day 11 or day 17. In the end we decided that our trip back to NZ is part of our adventure, so this is Day 17 even though we haven’t biked for nearly a week.
The trip to NZ went well and it was great to see the family gathered for a joyous occasion. The travel was easy but cumulatively hard as it was 15 hours each way which included a bus, train, airport shuttle then flight. Flights across the Tasman seem to be at unsociable hours (apparently because landing fees are less early in the morning and late at night). We arrived in Christchurch at midnight on Friday and left again at 6am on Monday. This meant we got very little sleep in NZ and were very tired when we got back to Bairnsdale. We decided we needed Tuesday off and spent the day relaxing, planning, shopping and visiting the art gallery.
Today we set off again on the bikes, a day with 100% rail trail. We had the luxury of biking from Bairnsdale to Nowa Nowa on the East Gippsland Rail Trail. This is the longest rail trail in Victoria and it is superb. The first 10km were sealed then the rest was a nice riding surface. The trail passed through tea tree groves, manicured horse estates, wineries, groomed lifestyle blocks, beautiful farm land then many km of state forest. We went through tunnels, along impressive raised embankments and saw an amazing trestle bridge.
The Caravan Park in Nowa Nowa is nice and we have the well-equipped facilities to ourselves. Incidentally, Nowa Nowa means Mingling Waters. We pondered while biking how the words Nowa Nowa translated into Mingling Waters and decided some artistic license had been taken in the translation, though we are yet to find out.
Tomorrow will be a shortish day on the rail trail to Orbost. Orbost is the last shop and town for some time as we will be heading inland, up, up, up into the highlands. It might be the last blog post for a while too as internet connectivity drops out.
Highlight of the day: Being back on the bikes on a wonderful rail trail.