Over the next few days come with me as I take you on a cycle tour with U3A Peddling For Pleasure of the East Gippsland Rail Trail and beyond.
There was a buzz of excitement when fourteen members of the U3A (University of the Third Age-Redlands, Qld) Peddling For Pleasure group arrived at Tullamarine Airport, Melbourne, having just arrived from Brisbane and eager to start a 5 day adventure riding the East Gippsland Rail Trail and the Gippsland Lakes Discovery Trail.
Our reason for choosing this particular rail trail was solely due to an interesting article in the Aug/Sept 2011 issue of the Ride On cycling magazine's 'East Gippsland Escapade' written by Karen Graham. She made the trip sound so interesting that when I proposed the trip to a meeting of our group it was overwhelmingly accepted. The rail line from Bairnsdale to Orbost was built in 1916 and ceased in 1987 and stretched for 94km. The purpose of the line was primarily to transport supplies to the rural areas and return, with rural and forrestry products, to Melbourne via Bairnsdale. To make our trip worthwhile, the Gippsland Lakes Discovery trail was added.
We boarded a charter bus and set off for our first destination, Orbost, in Eastern Victoria. On arrival at the Country Roads Motel, we quickly sorted ourselves out, received our bikes (Trek Mountain Bikes and Giant Hybrids, supplied by Snowy River Cycling) and headed to the bottom pub. We were welcomed with cold beer, refreshing wine and an excellent Chinese meal which was so enjoyable as to entice us back the following night.
This story is being told over 6 separate posts.
The next post will describe Day 2 .....Orbost and the surrounding district.
Tour was organised by Snowy River Cycling www.snowyrivercycling.com.au