After over four months in New Zealand to spend just a week in Australia felt a bit wrong, but with the trees shedding their leaves, the temperature dropping and rain falling we thought it best to not hang around to long.
As we felt there was no point shelling out for an expensive hotel when we had to check in at 4am we ended up getting very little sleep on a bench outside the airports KFC before stumbling off to catch our plane.
Upon arrival I set about building up the bikes while Alex played up our homelessness by sleeping on one of the cardboard bike boxes outside the main airport exits #WelcomeToAustralia.
After buying some surprisingly nice vegan sushi with the coins that had materialised in Alex helmet while she had been asleep (thanks to all who took pity on us) we got on the road.
At this point I realised I had made some what of a cockup by not downloading the maps of Melbourne on to my Garmin*. This lead to using a frankly not very useful map provided by the info centre (NZ iSites win this one) to try and get out the airpot. A feet that was further hindered by a lot of building work and detours, but in the end our sense of direction, asking a few locals and for the first time ever using the compass feature on my Garmin Touring we lucked out and after a bit of fun on a super smooth skate park we ended up on the Merri Creek Cycle Trail all the way into town.
The trail is really nice and suited our slow placed touring.
It took us through a number of parks, across bridges and even passed Brunswick velodrome where I squeezed in a few laps.
All the time the trail is away from the road and next to a river.
As we left the trail we got to see some of the real Melbourne and cruised along the fantastic cycle network both on and off road through some nice parks and graffiti covered buildings alike.
After passing the umpteenth vegan friendly restaurant we stopped for a snack and put our lights on for the last short leg.
We were heading to our friend Fil’s, down in St Kilda, who had kindly offered to put us up for the duration and show us around the city!
*To get FREE maps of anywhere in the world on to your Garmin click here, pick the section of the world you want, download in the relevant formate, drag and drop on to your device and away you go!