Wednesday 9 November 2016

Fawlty Towers and not the Murray River Trail.

I arrived into Adelaide hoping to get information about the Murray river trail but tourist information and the local bike shop knew nothing. Had an amble through Adelaide which had a vibrant main shopping street but all the side roads were like ghost towns with most of the shops closed down.
I decided to stay another night to find out about trains and buses to go elsewhere if the trail didn't work out. The main station didn't deal with trains outside the local area and sent me to one out of town. By the time I found it close to 1pm it had closed for the day and no information.
I was rather dreading a lengthy very steep climb to get out of Adelaide and discovered there was a bus that went to the top of the hill but bikes were taken at driver's discretion. I went to the bus stop for the last bus to ask the driver direct if he would allow a bike on (I was asking for the next day) but he said it depended on the mood of the driver but to smile nicely.
Feeling a bit fed up I had seen there was a stage performance of Fawlty Towers and decided to go to that. I was pleased when the lady selling the tickets said my timing was good as the price was reduced as last minute except that it was still 78 dollars! It was a stage play not a big musical and the original price had been 115 dollars. Still it was an excellent performance and the main characters looked very like the original cast.
I turned up at the bus stop the next morning and smiled and asked nicely and after he phoned headquarters I was let on. Much relieved as the uphill was about 12 miles on busy roads and raining steadily. Got out at Mount Barker and had a nice 30 mile ride to Murray Bridge which was one third uphill and two thirds downhill, a correct combination in my view.
On the way met Johnny a touring cyclist going the other way and we had a good natter about all things cycle touring. He was cycling from Hobart across Tasmania, then from Melbourne to Darwin, therefore right across the country. I envied the sense of achievement he will have for an end to end trip whilst knowing I wouldn't want that endless middle of nowhere cycling not to mention amount of water and food to carry.  He had come along the Great Ocean Road which he highly recommended but wasn't on my itinerary.

I arrived in Murray Bridge too late for tourist information and went straight to the hotel, it was very cheap and showed it.  At 5pm there were already people who had clearly been in the bar for some time and a whole lot of others sat at the slot machines. Same at 8am
Anyway turned up at tourist information first thing hoping for detailed information about the Murray river trail. The two ladies there were completely baffled and had never heard of it (even though we were right next to the Murray river) a third lady was summonsed from the council offices who was equally baffled. Phone calls were made back and forth and it turned out not to exist in that part of the Murray river or at least not for several years to come. There weren't really any good alternatives so I asked how I could get to the Great Ocean Road (as recommended by Johnny). It would have taken a while to ride here across not very interesting terrain so they suggested getting the night bus to Melbourne and booked it for me.
I spent a pleasant enough day cycling round the area and went to the local social club for dinner. After killing time all evening I ended up leaving late and realising I hadn't connected the dynamo for the light and needed to move the wheel position so instead cycled on the pavements to the bus stop. So another trail not done.

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