After a poor nights sleep in what effectively turned out to be a truck stop in a place called Westbury we rolled out about 9.30am headed to Mole Creek.
We had purchased a good bottle of pear cider (brewed with yeast in the bottle in the same way as champagne) the day before but since our camp in Westbury was so depressing we couldn’t even bare to drink it that evening. Our main concern was about having to get up in the middle of the night to pee and be mauled by the giant dog that seemed to be harassing everybody who passed with no owner in site.
As we packed up the tent in the thick fog we decided rather than ride with the heavy botle of cider we might as well have it for breakfast. After doing so the fog and cold didn’t seem so miserable.
As we left town we thought we’d take one more look around as I’d read it was actually quite a historical old place with a number of heritage listed buildings from the early 1800’s. Once we ‘crossed the tracks’ as it were we found a really nice part of town with some old English style cottages with grand gardens and ancient oak and chestnut trees. Apparently this was one of the first towns to be built outside of the convict settlements. As it was housing a number of the important government people it was quite a well laid out and full of expensive homes. After a quick look and wishing we had stayed at one of these b&b’s the night before, we left town.
This was a medium sized town banked on the side of a massive river. A nice river park and great main street with lots of people around. We managed to get a seat at their Food Store which was really a rustic deli that also sold local produce. We had some good eggs and bacon as a late breakfast and then head off again.
After another hour of more of the same we found ourselves in a town called Chudleigh. Outside of a couple of run down houses, a massive fancy barn conversion and something that looked like Werribee mansion down a long driveway the only other item of note in the town was a massive bee farming museum/store. It looked like they had spent quite a bit of money on it for such a small town and it was all very new looking. We stopped and looked in to find every type of honey or bee product you could imagine edible or otherwise.
They had about 40 different flavored honeys including some great chocolate and fruit ones. Knowing we didn’t want to take on any more weight we settled for an ice-cream. It’s amazing how tasty plain honey is in good quality ice-cream. No additional sugar or flavours required. We tried two different honey types and it was interesting to try and note the differences between the two.
After this we pushed on for the remaining 5km to Mole Creek and started noticing some numbered cycling sign posts marking some kind of ride trail. (Which we didn’t know about at the time but relates to podcasts which can be found here). Mole Creek is most famous for it’s cave systems which are a big tourist attraction. In our case we were heading there more for a good nights rest. On the way we saw one house who’s wood pile stretched about 2 kilometers and was acting as his paddock fence. No wonder there are not many trees around. I guess if that’s the only way to keep warm and cook it makes sense to stock up.
As we approached Mole Creek we entered deeper into a valley system that included the back side of Mt Roland. This was the opposite side of the same mountain when we had stayed in Gowrie Park on the first night.
We passed the town of Mole Creek which was nice enough however we were thankful the caravan park was a bit further out of town this time. We crossed a small stream at the foot of the mountain and then pulled into the park which was a large soft grassy patch right on the bank of the creek. We plonked our tent right on the corner of the stream and as I set up Rowena dissapeard to find some firewood. As we wern’t staying in a national park you were permitted to have open fires. After some freezing nights Rowena was keen to see some night flames.
I was skeptical it would happen given the damp nature of everything and the lack of fire wood around but she managed to pull it off. Not too smokey or big and it gave us some warmth for dinner.
Entrée was crackers and some local lavender flavored cheese and cultured butter with crackers. The cultured butter was very interesting having the crumbly texture of an old cheddar and the flavor of a creamy Brie. It’s more of a european style butter that actually uses a culture to set the butter rather than mixing.
For mains we had instant cous cous by boiling water on our metho stove and adding a can of chilli tuna to top it off.
After that we tried a freeze dried camping dessert called ‘ strawberry ice cream’. More like rocky road mushy jelly custard. Sounds strange but tasted good.
All in all a great self sufficient dinner. No camp kitchen or restaurant required. The camp site was so nice , the weather was warm, we had a timber picnic table next to us and we didn’t want to lug all that food up the hills the next day so we couldn’t see any reason not to eat it all.
The fire died, we showered and jumped into our nest by 7.30 to catch up on some well needed rest and to plan tomorrows journey by the light of our wind up torch. All with the pleasant sound of a bubbling stream only a couple of feet way.
You can see our route via the following link (click Metric in the top right hand corner to see all the distances in the universally accepted format). For some reason the GPS signal cut out at some point but the total distance still looks right ;