Mountains to the Bay


Today was the first real deviation from the planned cycling touring holiday itinerary. I completed the Great Southern Rail Trail like I planned although a little earlier. The original plan was to then ride the Grand Ridge Rail Trail (starting at Mirboo North), but as I was already back at my parents house I decided to do a bike ride from their house to somewhere instead.

While riding the Warby Rail Trail I met a fellow who said that the Blind Creek Trail went all the way from the Dandenong Ranges to Carrum, and on the strength of the information he gave me I decided to attempt to ride from my parents house to Carrum (or wherever else I might have arrived at) on Port Phillip Bay. The trail passes through various natural features.

Mt Dandenong

Mt Dandenong from near Knox City

Jells Lake / Park

Jells Lake / Park

Wetlands near Dandenong

Wetlands near Dandenong

Wetlands near Dandenong

Wetlands near Dandenong

The trails between Belgrave and Knox City were your fairly standard suburban bike or shared trails with housing estates surrounding it and various other public amenities, parklands, wetlands and sporting fields. Once on the Eastlink trail south of Knox City the scenery changed quite noticably with the trail right next to the Eastlink Tollway in some places, or not far from it. The scenery was also a lot more open from where I joined the Eastlink trail, the more so the closer to Carrum the trail got. The trails were beautiful to ride on, mostly of asphalt or concrete, with a 5km or so section approaching Carrum where the trail was small stones. The architecture and man-made features along the trails was interesting too, and so I have included some photos below.

Cycling art near Knox City

Cycling art near Knox City

Eastlink signature orange seperator

Eastlink signature orange seperator

Eastlink visual features

Eastlink visual features

Eastlink visual features

Eastlink visual features

Eastlink visual features

Eastlink visual features

Eastlink visual features

Eastlink visual features

Eastlink visual features

Eastlink visual features – A whopping big bird shaped sculpture!

What is it?

What is it?

There was an unknown element of ‘danger’ on all the rides I did so far this week and I only realised it today. I noticed that my front tyre was a little flatter than I liked, and so I got out the small tyre pump I brought along and noticed that it was broken. So all this time I was riding with a broken tyre pump! I’m sure thankful that I didn’t get a puncture on one of my rides, especially a long way from the car as I could have put a new tube in the rim ok, but would have had no way of pumping it up. So today I pumped up the tyre using Dad’s car tyre pump, and prayed for no punctures. I even figured that having 2 spare tyre tubes was fairly pointless too, so left one behind and added a windcheater into the pack instead.

Bridge between Dandenong and Carrum

Bridge between Dandenong and Carrum

Dandenong Creek near Patterson Lakes

Dandenong Creek near Patterson Lakes

Pelican in Dandenong Creek

Pelican in Dandenong Creek near Patterson Lakes

Patterson Lakes Marina

Patterson Lakes Marina

The ride was not only puncture free, but apart from a short stretch where I seemed to lose the trail, was totally problem free. So I got from Belgrave to the Bay, Port Phillip Bay that is, without incident. I got on the train at Carrum, and within an hour or two I was back at my parents house, just in time for a slightly late lunch.

Where the Creek meets the Bay

Where the Creek meets the Bay at Carrum

For GPS data for this ride, go here: http://www.strava.com/activities/118339181 .

Birdlife life at the Oasis


The town near where we live is labelled as the “Oasis of the Riverina”. And since we have lived here (almost a year) we have seen a large variety of bird life frequenting the watercourse just beyond our backyard fence. Here are some photos of recent visitors…

White Necked Heron

White Necked Heron

Whistling Kite

Whistling Kite

Great Cormorant

Great Cormorant

One of the recent highlights has been the number of Pelicans that have dropped in over the last few weeks.

Pelicans

Pelicans

Pelicans in flight

Pelicans in flight

Pelicans in flight

Pelicans in flight

Late last year and early this year we saw the following.

Australia White Ibis

Australia White Ibis

Great Egret

Great Egret

White Browed Woodswallow

White Browed Woodswallow

Little Corella

Little Corella

Yellowbilled Spoonbill

Yellowbilled Spoonbill

Darter

Darter

Pied Cormorant

Pied Cormorant

And the birds shown here are only the ones where the photos were good enough quality. There have also been the extremely common Galah, the populous Magpie, as well as other birds which were not ‘exotic’ enough / too common for me to bother taking photos of.