Cycling Adelaide to Melbourne: Day 6 – Kingston SE to Beachport

Finally – the sun is out! After a fun-filled and very wet night, we woke up as early as Rich and I could muster. We packed up everything as quickly as we could and we were ready and waiting outside the Cottage Coffee Shop just as the two women running the shop were putting together the final touches for opening. They were quite intrigued by us, with one of the women telling us of how she had recently hosted a Dutch family that was cycling around Australia – a couple and their two toddlers. One of the parents had pulled a trailer full of their gear, while the other pulled a trailer with the kids. She said that the kids seemed to love the adventure, but how someone travels on a bicycle with toddlers is beyond me. I can only imagine all the poopy diapers that they had to drag around with them… Now that’s impressive, and nothing I’m as of yet ready to attempt. We had a really great breakfast though while we were chatting with the owners. The coffee was awesome and the egg and bacon rolls were to die for. Wish we had done this the day before too!

Eventually, though, it was time for me to stop stuffing my face, and time for us to get back on the bikes and out of town. The sky looked pretty strange as we were leaving though; although the sun had come out and we could see blue skies, the sky looked like it had been split in half. The southern half of the sky appeared cold and grey, while the northern side was so inviting with that beautiful blue color. Depending on which way it chose to go, this section of our journey could turn out either really well or really poorly.

Thankfully, blue skies were in order, shoving the grey out of the way, and we had a beautiful trip down to Beachport. Very easy, smooth roads and only 139 meters of elevation gain over the course of 88 kilometers (what we measured with our GPS watches).

About twenty kilometers into our trip, we encountered a Belgian man cycling towards us. He seemed to be a bit over sixty and was cycling solo from Sydney to Adelaide via Melbourne. He had been traveling for over two months, and would have to fly home to Belgium from Adelaide once he arrived there so as to not overstay his visa. Like the cyclists we met on our way to Salt Creek he seemed amazed at my Americanness. I guess Americans just don’t travel and/or cycle? Our new friend seemed really lonely, which I can imagine being the case when you’ve been on the road for so long by yourself, and stopped us for a good half hour to chat, giving us all sorts of tips on which caravan parks to stay at in which towns, which towns we really should stop over at, and which should be skipped. He was really quite interesting. Meeting him made me wonder if Rich and I might be found cycling through Europe in our sixties…

Although there is a town between Kingston SE and Beachport, we decided to skip going there. The town, Robe, was meant to be a very nice seaside town, with plenty of places to eat. The problem though was that it is quite far off of the main road that we were travelling on. Going into town would have added another six kilometers to our journey. Normally, I would consider that to be a pretty neglible number, but neither Rich nor I wanted to go that far off course with the trailer. To make matters worse, Rich had been developing problems in his right knee, likely because of the tightness in his quads. The knee would pull and yank, and with increasing frequency we’d have to slow down or stop on the side of the road all together. We had noticed that his pain peaked a couple of kilometers after we stopped for lunch as well, so to add on extra kilometers for the sake of real food would probably do more damage than good.

The Beachport Pier
The Beachport Pier

Instead we pressed on until we were about thirty kilometers from Beachport, and then pulled over on the side of the road for another Pop Tart luncheon.  Continuing from there, I was feeling strong as we started the approach to our destination – then after fifteen kilometers Rich was down on the ground. The pain in his knee had gotten to be too much and we had to pull over. I got my air mattress out of the trailer and Rich spent the next twenty minutes lying on it, trying to stretch out his legs, reducing the tension on his knee while I tried to convince him that we should try to get a ride into town from here. I didn’t think any good would come from him trying to force it now.

Rich is immensely stubborn though and wouldn’t hear of getting a ride anywhere. As soon as he was ready, we were back on our bikes and having it out against the road. The winds had generally been quite kind to us today, but as Beachport is off of the main road we had to change directions and for the last 5 kilometers we struggled against the wind. By two kilometers out the wind was absolutely howling against us, and we could only just inch forward until we reached a caravan park.

As a town, Beachport is best known for its scenic drive along the coastline, and though we did not embark on it, you could see why people came here for a holiday. Where the water at Kingston SE had been a bluish-grey color, the water in Beachport was crystal clear and a perfect shade of turquoise. I wish we could have used the rest day here! Hungry, we found a cafe near the beach, and enjoyed some snacks before walking out along the town pier, which was incredibly long and at times felt unending. Standing at the end of that pier was a really beautiful cap off to the day.


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