THERE seems to be a constant stream of local and international cyclists riding through this area, to get to the ‘most southerly point on the Australian mainland’ at Wilsons Prom.
There have been Japanese cyclists who’ve ridden from Darwin, Swedes who’ve come down the east coast, Germans across the Nullarbor and local uni students just riding from Melbourne’s south eastern suburbs to get to the Prom for a few days camping.
But one cyclist, who passed through this area at the weekend, has knocked all the rest of them into a cocked hat.
UK resident Jason Kind, who wasn’t a cyclist until five years ago, stayed overnight in the Waratah Bay Caravan Park last Saturday night, on his way around the world.
He’s already completed a staggering 48,000kms since leaving England in March 2014, which translates into an incredible average of 94km a day.
“I started back riding about five years ago and a couple of years later rode from Hastings (in England) to Spain with a mate. That hooked me,” said Jason, who took the opportunity of the visit to Melbourne to catch up with his sister Jo and her family for the first time in 17 years.
“I planned a longer trip and rode from England to Istanbul but I couldn’t keep going because of visas, so I turned around and rode back home again.
“In March last year, I started on my third big trip and I’m still going. I went through the Balkans (south east Europe) to Istanbul again, through Iran and Central Asia, all the ‘Stans’ Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and the others and through into China.”
It was here that his 18 year old nephew, Jesse Halley, now settled in Melbourne, joined him for the 1400km leg to Shanghai.
Jason continued on through south-east Asia; Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore, through Indonesia and finally to Darwin.
Somewhere in between riding from Darwin to Melbourne to see his sister, he also ticked off the North and South Islands of New Zealand.
And he’s not done yet.
“My passport was full so I couldn’t get into Nepal, India and Bangladesh, so I’d like to go there and then, maybe North and South America.
Even Forest Gump only ran for three years, two months, fourteen days and sixteen hours. Jason was none the wiser about why he was doing it either.
“But you know what I have learned, after all that travelling, that no matter what colour, creed or cultural background of the people I have met, with only one exception, they have been super, double amazing people,” said Jason.
“Not one of them was a nutter, well, there was one geezer with a gun, so I guess that’s one nutter. But on the whole everyone has been great, offering a place for me to pitch my tent and helping me out. They’ve been super.”
So after a few days with his family from Melbourne, a nice counter meal at the Fish Creek Hotel and a comfortable night’s sleep at the Waratah Beach Caravan Park, it was on up the coast to Sale and further up the east coast on his way back to East Timor, Indonesia (the parts he missed) and then the subcontinent before departing for the Americas; carrying everything he needs, neatly stowed away on his bike.