Riding and flying on the Great Ocean Road

Australia - Posted On

Sebastien and I, Olivier, ride now together. 

We must find some ways to live together on a few months trip. Old friends are not necessarily the bests for that. Our both personalities and personal stories does not make things easy at all, and we end up by taking period of days when we ride on our own and see each other at the next town or checkpoint, giving each other freedom from the other ‘tyrannical’ presence.

The Great Ocean Road offers magnificent sites for flying as well as great rides between sea and hills nearby. Cliffs meet the sea, and some strange Apostles look at the numerous people that come a long way to have a glimpse of them. A real tsunami of tourists overwhelms us with their cameras, rental vans and crowdie noisy being. It becomes funny when girls rush to get a picture with us! What do you think, that we are famous? We are just stinky travellers on bicycles… but we are probably also an attraction for them, and hopefully a drop of inspiration for getting on their real dream, and not the fake one offered too easily by some travel agencies…

On our way we have the pleasure to share some days of riding with Howard, a true Irish guy that really drinks … like an Irish! 

Bells Beach, famous for the surf movie Point Break, Johanna beach, Peterborough and Aireys Inlet are some of the sites we stopped for flying. And great soaring flying, I must say! The wings show incredible easiness in strong and light wind, they are like little motorcycles of the air. We dance on the waves of the wind, weightlessly shaking hands with people, curious, hanging out there, even taking some kids and their mum in the air near the ground, on a tandem flight with the Ozone Ultralite 21m2, this incredible little toy! 

Christmas Eve is passed in Aireys Inlet where Toni & Bridie host us and even let us a whole bungalow, 200m from the take off! We fly all day and even try unsuccessfully to fly my bicycle again. Too little wind at the end of the day makes it impossible though.

Kingston is the start of a 200kms sand beach ride at low tide. We try the kite bike system showing not so good results on tail wind, as expected, but much better as soon as it becomes sideway. 

At last we reach Adelaide, our last big city before 2900kms of great desert road before Perth. Our hosts from Warmshowers.org give us time, space and a roof upon their natural friendship to get ready. Seb and I must go through difficult time trying to make the things possible and enjoyable together. In contrast of this, I realise how great and maybe lucky was our relationship with Nadege, for how much well interconnected we are.

Absolute beautiful flights are experienced with local pilots taking us there on the Fleurieu Peninsula, at Tunkililla. This little paragliding community works marvellously together there, making things for us very easy and enjoyable, thanks again guys! I have had one of my best cross country flight ever through 15kms of coastal farmland and bush, with 40 dolphins playing under our feet with local pilot Kym Fielke flying along.

A wave of real Australian heat hits us, 46°C is really hot, I can tell you now, especially when riding a bicycle. The air we breathe seems burning our lips and eyes when a breeze come under the sunglasses. 1L of water drunk per hour, says Seb. That’s a nice little warning for what could have to be endured in the Nullarbor desert. We seriously think of mounting some wheels under a swimming pool...