Saturday, 24 May 2014

Gladstone to Watervale - 91.7 km

Finally the scenery improves. I'm now entering the wine region of Australia, where some of the best wine in the world is produced. I've travelled past many vineyards, both big and small, all day. It's something about that Mediterranean feeling it gives me. I suppose you can say it soothes my soul. I don't even mind the fact I'm doing some of the biggest hills since Western Australia.

There's also towns every 20-30km, which breaks up your journey a bit more. Also allows you to easily stock up on food and water on a more regular basis. Fun fact: the reason why these small towns are so close, is because that was the length the bulls (who pulled the carts or similar) could travel before they needed to rest. At least that is what I was told by the lady in the tourist office. Quite cool I must admit.

Stopped in Clare for a long three hour lunch break at the Wild Saffron cafe. Amazing food AND free WiFi, a combination in Australia which is very hard to come by.

Heading further south towards my final destination, Watervale, I see even more vineyards. So nice.

I found a lovely couple to stay with through Warm Showers (cylist equivalent of Couch Surfing). I was greeted by two cupcakes left in the kitchen for me and a lovely greyhound. Louise works as a nurse and Kerstin works for a winery nearby. Unfortunately Louise had to work, but will hopefully meet her in the morning. Kerstin spoiled me with an absolutely amazing Thai chicken dish and some local Clare Valley red wine. Oh the flavours, yum!! She also told me a bit about the regional wines and that if I see an Australian red wine from 2011, I am to steer clear of it. Apparently that was an awrful year for Australian wine. There you have it people. Next time you buy a red wine, make sure it's not Oz 2011.

Showed her my route and she said I'm coming into some areas with beautiful scenery along the Murray river. I cannot wait. Really starting to enjoy Australia now.

Anyhoodle, it's getting late and I need to sleep before getting up for riding in the morning.