Sunday, 26 April 2015

COASTAL ESCAPE CYCLE TOUR - Day 4 - Gerringong to Nowra, NSW

Before I take you along for the next part of the tour, I have to tell you about our culinary exercise last night. Four of our party fancied having steak for dinner and after some vigorous inquiries, we found ourselves at Cronin's Hotel. We were very pleasantly surprised as the quality of the steak was superb, cooked to our individual liking, the vegetables tasted as though they were freshly cooked and the bottle of red that accompanied the steak was very nice as well. When in a strange town, it always pays to make inquiries with the locals.

A nice  panorama of Gerringong taken from the south head, uploaded by "Not Tarts" in 2011. (Wiki Media Commons)

There's nothing quite like a heart starter first thing in the morning to get the blood flowing and that is exactly how the morning started, a 7% gradient climb up a  hill. Everybody must have had a good night's sleep because I don't remember passing any cyclists walking.

Gerringong cemetery

What drew my attention in the above shot, was the trees on the top of the hill. They reminded me of a line of nuns marching off to morning prayers. It's unusual to find a cemetery high on a hill, playing sentinel over a bay with a high escarpment. Another thing that caught my eye was the juxtaposition of the cemetery with all of it's starkness and severity in marked contrast to the smooth line of the beautiful emerald green hill which lay opposite.

The first leg of the ride, taking us to Berry, didn't cause us any grief even though we were warned that some of the roads were narrow with very little shoulder and had a fairly constant stream of traffic.

It seemed to take no time at all to ride to Berry, a quaint rural town nestled in the hinterland behind Seven Mile Beach. Incidentally, it was here that Charles Kingsford-Smith in 1933, used this strip of beach to take off on the first commercial flight to New Zealand. On reaching Berry, the group split in order to search out a suitable cafe to relax in prior to riding the next leg to Nowra and as there are quite a few cafes and bakeries in town this didn't prove to be a difficult task.

Berry district

The above photograph is typical of the lay of the land in these parts with it's undulating terrain. great for grazing cattle and the operation of dairies. I believe the area was known for it's red cedar but that era has long gone.

Due to it's location, only 145 odd kilometers south of Sydney, it makes the ideal place to set up a hobby farm, quiet, not far inland of the coast and as the town is of a reasonable size with it's hotel, restaurants, antique shops and galleries it amply caters for the city person wanting somewhere to retreat to on weekends and holidays

View of the Shoalhaven River from the Two Figs Winery.
The entrance toTwo Figs Winery.

From Berry to the Two Figs Winery is a quiet, relaxing rural ride with little traffic to contend with and as such, it was quite easy to slip into a rhythm, increase the speed a notch or two and just sit back and enjoy the ride. This cost me a stint in the sin bin from our leader for breaking ranks and doing my own thing......rightly so too because riders doing their own thing can cause chaos when riding in a group of 18.

Nowra bridge- Photo courtesy of Wiki Media Commons -grahamec
Marriott Park, Nowra. Photo courtesy of Wiki Media Commons--grahamec
On the last leg, the road became a lot busier as we made our way through Bomaderry on the outskirts of Nowra,  to our accommodation, the Park Haven Motor Lodge, 

It was good planning on our tour operator's part to make a diversion and head into the hinterland because when riding along a painted seascape day in and day out as we were doing, everything tends to merge and it loses it's impact, where as, by throwing in a day of rural riding everything is brought back into perspective.

Gerringong to Nowra, NSW (Map courtesy of Ride with GPS,


Cheers and safe riding,

  Jimmy Bee   

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