20 Sep 2015 Barwon River Trail and Geelong Botanic Gardens

Down Pakington St in Newtown to Winter’s Cafe for great muesli with yoghurt and fruit. At the end of Pakington St is an entrance to the Barwon River trail. It is very steep but the ride around the river is flat with hardly any hills. The weather was foggy as I had breakfast but by the time I had finished there was brilliant sunshine. Perfect for bike riding. If you go as far as possible the round trip is about 20kms. Just before I got back to the start in Pakington St there is a cafe, Barwon Edge Boathouse, where I stopped for lunch. The place was packed with people, kids, bikes. No wonder on such a beautiful day.
Left the cafe and went back to the motel for a short stop to drop off my wind cheater. Really didn’t need it today. Then straight down Ryrie St to the Geelong Botanic Gardens. There are three sections to the gardens: the 21st Century at the entrance, which is Australian plants; then through the iron gateway to the heritage gardens started in the 1800s. Attractions include urns and fountains through the middle walkway, Geelong’s tiny first customs house towards the rear where the stork sculptures rest (brought to Geelong in 1880s). It is also where the National Trust-listed gingko biloba tree has been living since 1859. The begonia house is worth a look when the blooms are out. Near the kiosk is a fern garden and camellia walk plus plenty of lawn for lounging on a picnic blanket. Spent some time on a seat near the fernery watching a blackbird picking through the leaf mulch. It was very pleasant.
Back to the motel for a well-deserved shower and rest then off to dinner at Khan Curry Hut in Ryrie St, just a couple of blocks away. The fish masala was supposedly mild but not to me! It was good anyway.
Home tomorrow. Short but sweet break!

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