|Distance: 36.6km||Total Distance: 1386.7km|
The bad weather blew through overnight and this morning was bright and clear with a cool wind. We set off from Swansea at 9am and biked the first 6km on the highway with a great verge. On reaching Belmont we turned off the road onto the glorious Fernleigh Track, a rail trail that took us all the way into Newcastle. This is the flashest rail trail we been on, paved with a centre line, beautiful flora and a nice gradient. We must have been smiling lots as everybody coming the other way seemed happy and smiled or greeted us as we past.
About half way along the 15km Fernleigh Track, we past another cycle tourist distinguishable by all his panniers. We all stopped and started chatting. It turned out Thomas (sp?) has cycled from Cairns and is heading for Melbourne. He was with two local retired school teachers who were on a day ride showing him around. They will be touring NZ later this year and we invited them to visit us. Our blog should be useful for Thomas heading south.
We then carried on the rail trail and diverted to a Dick Smith store so Will could acquire a new Galaxy S4. When we come to Australia, Will traditionally gets a new laptop or other tech gear and Jen gets a new handbag or clothes.
We carried on without phone guidance (old phone now had no SIM and new phone still in box). The Fernleigh Track ended in a suburb of Newcastle and we then followed a cycle route marked on the road into town. We must have missed a turn as we ended up on Bar Beach so we asked a friendly local for directions. After pointing us in the right direction she even chased after us with a revised route that avoided a hill. We cycled down the vibrant Darby St and arrived at the river. We then caught the ferry, after a quick pint, across to Stockton where the caravan park is.
We like Newcastle…more about that tomorrow.
Highlight of the day: Meeting another cyclist on the fantastic Fernleigh Track.