Finale Stu&Gill’s Tour de Alps 2011

Dear Friends,

Thank you for sharing this adventure with us.

The final blog entry, a little late………..

Day eleven: Metung to Omeo Route Map

We were rested, fed and watered thanks Norm and Jean. Now it was back to the road again and the final two days of the adventure, all up hill. Well almost, the last 50km is down.

We left Metung on the break of day and it was just gorgeous riding up the river road towards Bruthen. Whilst only 27km into our 121km day we felt obliged to stop for coffee at the Bruthen Bakery to support the local economy. We discovered the most delectable pecan tarts. I’d even go as far as to say that they were the best pecan tarts I have ever eaten and had to use all my willpower not to eat three. They worked a treat as we skipped through the next 70 odd kms. The road from Bruthen towards Swifts Creek and Omeo is a serious log truck route and the drivers treated us with a mixed level of respect. Some seeing how close they could get, others giving a wide berth. In fairness to all, it is a winding road, narrow in places. Riding along the Tambo river was beautiful, with stunning countryside and an interlude with Cadel Evans about 10km south of Ensay.

Gill and Cadel

Gill and Cadel

Lunch at Swifts Creek before the final climb up to Omeo. We had heard stories of the storm that was going to pass through Melbourne and we were keen to get to Omeo before it hit. Turned out we got there in plenty of time with the storm coming through over night. We stayed at the Golden Age Hotel (yes that big art deco looking place on the corner) and enjoyed a great meal for our final night on the road.

Golden Age Hotel, Omeo

Golden Age Hotel, Omeo

Day twelve: Omeo to Bright

We woke to the sound of pouring rain, so we delayed our departure till just after 10am when the rain radar had showed it to be clearing. It hadn’t cleared very long however as shortly into the climb out of town the heavens opened again and we dodged snails and worms for the next few kms. At the same time we ascended 300m in only around 6km, a good little warm up!

Omeo raining

Omeo raining

It turned out to be a very hard day in the office. Whilst not as steep as the climbing between Khancoban and Thredbo it was a long 50km grind of ups (and a bit of down) towards Mt Hotham where we topped out at 1825m. The riding was not helped by no proper lunch, sore hands for Stu and several magpie swoopings for Gillie. (For some reason they don’t go near Stu – we think it is his flag.) Overall we just wanted to get to that descent.

Mt Hotham looking back to Omeo

Mt Hotham looking back to Omeo

We finally reached Hotham Heights and started our descent about 4pm. This is one beautiful descent. The sun was shining and all the pain we had been through was worth. Reenergised, Stu powered it through the final stretch from Harrietville to Bright and we arrived safely back to the red Subie by about 6pm. Delighted to have achieved what we had set out to do, but a little sad that it was all over.

Mt Hotham looking towards Bright

Mt Hotham looking towards Bright

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