dst. (km) Today 35.9 Trip 168.4
Last morning of the mini trip; breakfast in shifts in the motel room since they only gave us two bowls. Pack the panniers one last time.
A bit more wind than the last few days, and slightly less small birdlife as it all sheltered away. Still plenty of larger birds in the paddocks, together with a magnificent view of a wedge tail eagle soaring above the strip of forest over the railtrail, only just above the tree tops overhead, presumably watching for some of the many rabbits we saw.
Arriving at Meeniyan we found a Sunday farmers market and spent half an hour or so sampling, tasting, and buying some local garlic and sauces. Then it was time for a late morning tea in Moos across the street, which seemed to be the place where everyone in town was having coffee. While we were there the three bike tourists we’d seen yesterday came in to town – together with eight or so of their newly found friends! Apparently they’d joined up with a couple of others met along the way and either ten or eleven of them were riding together towards Leongatha.
Meeniyan had the one old-style rail station sign that we saw for the trip, I love the juxtaposition of one of the “Victorian Railway Notices” being a sign offering “Free wifi.” Time for one last rail-sign photo before the rest of the ride to Koonwarra and then Leongatha.
Back at Leongatha and ride into town to look for a late lunch, found a cafe that was open and had a very tasty chicken pide, although for seating we had a choice between stifflingly hot inside or far too many wasps outside. Then back on the bike for one last stretch, around the corner to the railway station – now bus station – car park to get changed and pack the car. The station toilets still out of action so once again we undressed houdini-fashion in the car. Car packed, family fed, back on the road for the drive home – marvelling at the feeling of moving without pedalling.
Overall, thoroughly enjoyed our four days on the Great Southern Rail Trail; good signage and riding surface. Between Leongatha and Koonwarra there are a few dangerous longitudinal cracks in dirt path, up to 20cm deep and 4m long. A few too many European wasps everywhere we went, but that seems to be a problem over most of south-eastern Australia these days. Surprised not to see any kangaroos or wallabies, koalas or wombats, even though there were plenty of wombat burrows on some sections. Loved the subtle changes through the different types of farmland and bushland. Suprisingly warm for this time of year, a big contrast to our 2018 tour on the O’Keefe rail trail where we had a day where it was 11°C and raining!
So where to next? Which rail trail next time?
- Great Southern Rail Trail & Tarra Trail