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Old 02-05-2012, 04:07 AM   #60
bull600 OP
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Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Adelaide South Australia
Oddometer: 343
Day 12

We broke camp pretty early and with some rainclouds forming hit the road towards Ansons Bay



Soon after passing the turnoff to Policeman’s Point we entered the Mt William National Park. The road wound its way down and eventually crossed over Ansons River. In the stillness of the morning the river was glassy calm and quite impressive



It wasn’t long after that we came down the hill and entered the small hamlet of Ansons Bay



It was still pretty early as we rode around to check out the place. It seemed to be made up of quite a few fishermen’s shacks that had beach frontage but the road ran behind them all and despite wandering around for awhile we couldn’t see an obvious way to check out the entire bay. After doing a bit of a loop we headed off on the road out to Eddystone Point. Here there was a boat ramp that would take quite a bit of care if returning in anything but good weather



Just up the hill from the ramp is the 35mt high lighthouse that was built back in 1889



That helps protect shipping along the rough eastern coastline



I guess its significance wasn’t lost on Paul, as more worship occurred



After we’d seen enough we back tracked the 12km to the North Ansons Bay Road and headed off towards Gladstone. Rain squalls could be seen sweeping in from the sea to the east so we stopped to put on our waterproofs, only to find that after a brief sprinkle it was left behind.

Not far before the Musselroe Bay turn off an echidna decided to wobble its way across the road. Stopping for a photo as it did



Gladstone was quiet little town and despite not looking too great it had a friendly and well stocked general store where we stopped for a bite to eat. Initially we had planned to take a 4x4 track that joined up with Lanka Road on our way through to Pioneer but decided instead for a bit of gentle cruising on the blacktop down to Weldborough. Along the way we stopped off at



Not quite the original sinkhole from Mt Gambier but rather, an abandoned water filled mine



The town of Pioneer was aptly named, with some interesting old houses, like the old ex pub



As well others where you could just sit out the front and watch the world pass by



Our decision to take the tar was vindicated with a great run down Frome Forest Road



Into Weldborough



The next leg of our route had us back on the dirt to visit the site of the now empty Mt Paris Dam. A track leads off the Mt Paris Dam Road and terminates at a small creek adjacent to the buttress dam wall



It’s a very pleasant spot




From the dam we backtracked a little and then turned into Carnac Road. Not far down this road we encountered an awkward bit of the track



That led to a rocky ford through the Cascade River



We were relieved to get through without a tumble



but just around the corner came across a freshly fallen tree across the track.



Bugger On closer inspection we found that it was too big to move and there was no easy way around it. We were keen to continue on so we hatched a plan to clear a path near the base of the tree and tilt the bikes over and, if need be, drag them through. First we got rid of all the branches we could and checked the height of the bikes compared to the branch



Mine was the problem due the screen height but after removing the mirrors and with some careful manoeuvring we managed to get it under without breaking anything




Paul’s was a little easier, even if we did end up lying it down on his leg for a short period

It had taken almost an hour to get them both through and we were sweating like pigs so returned to river for a cool down.



After removing a leech that had taken a fancy to my foot we returned to the bikes, reassembled all the bits we’d removed, then continued on to the Derby Jeep Track.

This track runs along the edge of the Cascade Dam and was one of my favourites of the whole trip




We stopped at one nice spot opposite the dam wall



That would have made a great campsite



But it was still early, so we pressed on towards Derby



Derby turned out to be a nice spot



With the lure of James Boag too much to resist we headed in to quench our thirst with a couple of coldies



This worked up a bit of a hunger but with no real takeaway available we settled instead for some rather nice scones – as you do



After being suitably nourished we hopped on the bikes and headed to Braxholm before taking a great little track south called Ruby Flat Road



As we approached Ringarooma more interesting architecture was encountered



And then it was on to Mount Victoria track that provided great views across the ranges as we wound our way towards Pyengana



It was getting to that sleepy time of day when we crossed the South George River and a flat grassy spot caught our eye just over the bridge



While I contemplated life, Paul spend half an hour pulling prickles out of his jacket



Although it was an option for a campsite we thought we’d press on to Pyengana for dinner and if nothing better presented itself we could come back to that spot

A little further on we crossed the South George River again at Intake Bridge and found an even better campsite. Now we had decided on a spot we continued on towards Pyengana until we came to the famous ‘Pub in the Paddock’



The walls of this iconic pub are filled with photos of many biking exploits



As well as providing great down to earth service, they also put on the best meal of the entire trip



A visit here of course would not be complete without an encounter with the beer guzzling Princess




It was getting dark when we returned back to our campsite by the river



So it wasn’t long before the tents were up and we hit the sack





to be continued...

bull600 screwed with this post 05-13-2014 at 04:21 AM
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