Tuesday, 21 April 2015

COASTAL ESCAPE CYCLE TOUR - Day 2 - Wollongong to Kiama, NSW

On leaving our hotel en-route to Flagstaff Hill, this was the first view that captured my attention. As you can see, it was slightly overcast and the light was just right to capture this seascape. Nice contrast of colours, surf rolling in with the two lighthouses in the background and a hill of beautiful, vibrant green grass.

Who would have thought that a city like Wollongong visitwollongong.com.au/ could be so picturesque. It would have been nice to have had more time to spend exploring the outer areas surrounding this great city but alas this has to take place at another time as Kiama beckons.

Before we actually left Wollongong, our tour operator had recommended that we visit the largest Buddist Temple in the Southern Hemisphere Nan Tien www.nantien.org.au/en which translates to Paradise of the South.

Disappointingly, on the way  to the temple, I once again struck problems with my gears and I was not a happy chappy, however, I am not going to dwell on this matter as Emma, our tour operator organised for the bike to be replaced at the temple and from that time on, I experienced no problems at all and I was very happy with the performance of the new bike.

I have spent a reasonable amount of time in various parts of Asia over the years and I would have to say this is one of the most impressive  temples of it's kind that I have seen. Absolutely magnificent gardens and it is well worth climbing the many steps to view the interior of the temple.

Shellharbour, NSW
As with the previous day, we passed through a myriad of coastal villages and beaches all displaying a uniqueness in their own right but we had to make a decision on a lunch stop and this was Shellharbour, a pretty, tidy town with an old fashioned feel about it. This was an ideal lunch stop as there were many premises that catered to the hungry tourist. Some of our group bought take away and consumed their lunch on the foreshore whilst others availed themselves of one of the many cafes.

Minnamurra, NSW
This whole coastline is just full of photo opportunities but every now and then, one outstanding opportunity pops up and you automatically stop and snap it. it is rare to be able to ride following the contours of a coastline  so closely for so long but that is exactly what this Illawarra region offers you. One minute you are riding along a very ordinary cycle path and the next you are looking at a panoramic view straight off one of the better calendars you see for sale in bookshops, etc.

Kiama, NSW
We hadn't ridden more than a few kilometers when the above panorama came into view and I made this the last snap of the day as I knew we were nearing the outskirts of Kiama and we had a few hills to take our attention prior to arriving at our destination.

The hills didn't faze us too much, our accommodation at the Sebel Harbourside Hotel was easy enough to locate and now it was just a matter of having showers, finding the bar and settling in for a night of conviviality and relaxation.

A lovely surprise was waiting for me when I booked in, a $50 voucher from Australian Cycling Holidays to compensate for the inconvenience experienced with the bike. Thanks Emma, it was appreciated and as it affected the whole group, it was used in buying some wine for all to enjoy.

Map of the ride from Wollongong to Kiama, NSW

LIST OF CYCLING MAPS WITH JIMMY BEE:  http://jimmyb9.blogspot.com.au/

Cheers and safe riding,

  Jimmy Bee   

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