• Kelan River Taroko National Park
  • Plyons Princess Pier
  • Little Penguins St Kilda Pier
  • Panaroma Yarra Valley
  • Chandon Yarra Valley
  • Bidding Goodbye Koh Lipe
  • Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall Taipei
  • Pebbles QiXingTan Beach
  • Candle Rocks Yehliu Geopark
  • Nanya Rock Formations Taipei
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27 November 2013

Melbourne CBD to Frankston on 2 Wheels

After putting my blogging on a long halt, the time has come for me to start penning down my recent travel ventures...in fact I'm gonna start right now. For the past two years, Melbourne has treated me well, very well indeed. The vibrant street art, the random conversations with friendly strangers along the streets, the variety of food...every encounter be it a person or a challenge has helped coloured the pages of this chapter in my life. Ah...I am filled with gratitude. Melbourne reminds me so much of my hometown Penang. Unlike the pompous concrete jungles of Sydney and Kuala Lumpur, you need to get to know the humble streets Penang and Melbourne a tinge more to appreciate it.

I am not gonna start off with the big tickets items in Melbourne e.g. Eureka SkyDeck, Flinders Station, State Library etc (maybe leave that for later), instead I'm gonna write about biking from CBD to Frankston (~69km). If you're an outdoor person, you wouldn't wanna miss riding along the extensive bike lanes in this bike-friendly city! Everyone in Melbourne seem to take full advantage of the sun, and I am gonna do it my way covered in sunscreen. 

Reluctantly, I have to admit this bike trip wasn't planned by me. Kudos to my friend. My embarrassing sense of direction might cause me finding myself stranded in some deserted suburb, in no Man's land. In short, we started off at docklands, cycled to princess pier, from there, we hopped onto the Bay Trail, then endured a small portion of the peninsula link trail and finally find ourselves in Frankston. Along the way we stopped by a few places including, St Kilda Pier, Elwood Park, Brighton Beach, Half Moon Bay and Rickett's Point. If you enjoy riding along the coastline of South Melbourne with stretches of beautiful sandy beaches and attraction sites, the Bay Trail  is tailor made for you! There are lots of refreshments and toilet stops along the way and train stations at various points. So don't panic!!!
Situated a stone throw away from Docklands (I may be exaggerating) is our first stop, Princess Pier. Once a major arrival point for migrants especially during post-war period is now a site for fishing and a terminal for the ferry - Spirit of Tasmania, which operates between Melbourne and Tasmania. 

The plyons are the remnants of the original pier which has suffered 14 fires in the 3 years to 2004

After summoning the wannabe photographer within me with numerous shots of half-burnt-restored plyons, we continued our journey to St Kilda Pier. I have been told that Little Penguins seek refuge between the rocks lining the breakwater of the pier....

I must admit, initially I was quite skeptic about seeing penguins but LOOK!! 

This reminds me of the time when I had tremendous luck with penguins in Philip Island, where more penguins showed up than expected on that day during a non-peak winter season. Maybe I really do have a connection with penguins (my family would understand :p)

St Kilda Pavilion listed on the Victorian Heritage Register (right) 

Crystal clear waters with the perfect shade of blue...you can never fault that

Next stop Point Ormand, Elwood Park......

 A local landmark of Elwood foreshore, Point Ormond was once a social gathering site for the indigenous population

View from Point Ormond, overseeing Melbourne CBD and Elwood Beach

We continued on the trail that led us towards one of the most iconic beach in Melbourne - Brighton Beach. This beach features 82 colourful bathing boxes perched neatly along the white sandy shore. If you're a camera buff, you might wanna spend sometime capturing the perfect shot. .

Just a splash of colour goes a long way

The funny thing about plans - One can create the most detailed and elaborated plan and as soon as you think you have everything figured out (or not), you can't escape the few hiccups and curve ball along the way. Instead of getting onto the Peninsula Link Trail we found ourselves heading along an empty graveled path, it was not until 4.5 km into the deserted area that we started to acknowledge we were heading into the wrong direction, awesome, now all we have to do is make the 4.5 km trip back. 

After what felt like a lifetime of cycling (nah, it's just 9-ish hours), Frankston, we finally made it! What was supposed to be a 30 minutes pit stop turned into two hours of scouting for the Frankston bridge, food plus dinner. I should have made more effort in absorbing the surroundings but something in me just felt like crawling into bed. 

Frankston's pedestrian bridge arching over Kananook Creek..... I should have shot this bridge from a better angle. 

I am no biking expert but here are a few safety tips to remember when on any biking trip:

- Always ensure that your bike is in good condition. The journey may be rough and the last thing you want is for a faulty bike to impede your trip. Yes, my bike chain snapped along the way. 

- Bring along a first aid kit including bandages and antiseptics. We are not superheroes, we are humans and accidents may happen. 

- Have a spanner & screwdriver handy. Something may unfortunately snap and you may need to turn into a repair man. 

- Stay well fed and hydrated. It's not fun falling sick the next day. 

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