Hobart 3rd April 2013
John escorted me to the perimeter of Hobart city. It was a real pleasure to follow someone without having to stop and browse a map.
We still managed to get lost though! Missing the turn-off for the Downing Point bridge. The smaller of the two bridges spanning the river Derwent.
I headed towards Richmond and the east coast of Tassie.
Richmond been a very pleasant town with many historic buildings. One could be mistaken for been in the English country-side.
Once out of Richmond I follow the tributary for the Coal River along a well-graded dirt road. By this time (mid-afternoon) I’m on the look-out for my first nights wild camping spot.
Options seem limited to start with, along with access to water too. This isn’t like New Zealand where a stream would offer suitable water to boil or just drink straight from source.
A spot is found, but I still need water for the night. I’d noticed a farm a kilometre back, so off-load panniers and head back.
I first tried what looked like a holiday bungalow on the farm. After searching around I couldn’t find anyone. So with a hose lain on the lawn I helped myself. Then making a hasty retreat with my quota of water. Enough for drinking, cooking, washing (me) and for the road the next day.
Dessie had kindly given me an Easter egg, so here I started my rendition of bunny hunting!
The spot was perfect, with the weather been kind so far. So as the sun settles on another day on the road, a happy me climbs into my sleeping bag for an hour-or-so of BBC podcasts. Nice.
The first major chore of the day is the climb up Bust-Me-Gall Hill. Very appropriate. Legs not quite warmed up, so seemed worse than it really was.
I’m not religious, but churches etc. make for good photography.
Back in Hobart I heard what sounded like a stone hitting a crank arm. Thought nothing of it. Now I knew what it was. It was a spoke going ping! I’ll know that sound next time.
My first reaction on realising something was amiss, was OMG! What am I going to do? Panic set in thinking I can’t fix this, even though I’m carrying spares? That’s only because I’ve never had to replace a spoke before.
Once in Orford I find a bench in the sun and set about scratching my head!
It can’t be that hard surely? All I have to do is remove the broken one and lace a new one in. Well, it was that easy. Just a bit of perseverance and in it goes. I had the foresight to be carrying a spoke spanner to tension it up. I check the wheel is still in alignment (no-wobble) and we’re back in business!
I met this guy from New Zealand in Triabunna. He’d started cycle touring out of Hobart with his wife, on a full-suspension bike with trailer. What ensued was a cracked bike frame.
Note to all: pulling all that weight on a pivotal frame will end in tears!
Take my hat-off to him though, he was still laughing. So I laughed with him too. Top guy.
Some nights, tuna and pasta can’t be faced, so diversify I do! Salami and crab sticks, with a bit of cheese. Yum-yum!
At times one has to stealth camp by jumping fences and disappearing deep in the bush.
Strange things found at times. Map just sitting by the side of the road. Hardly used!
As in New Zealand with teddy bears and bra’s on fences, here it’s shoes!
It’s always best to make preparations for the toilet in the evening. Saves one scurrying around for a good spot when the need arises!
Bathroom laid out: folding bucket, toiletries bag hanging off saddle, towel over handle bars, ground sheet to dry off on, naked man (not in photo!) and no-one around.
Here’s Ben, a travelling chef from Melbourne. His plan is to cycle for ten years. Picking up chef’ing employment where ever he goes.
Never seen a handlebar so chock-a-block. Two iPhones (one mapping, one music). Going by the weight he’s hauling, quite literally carrying the kitchen sink!
A good bike frame and a Rohloff Speedhub. One can dream!
Arriving in Bicheno I head for the stores to re-stock.
Fancied a backpackers for the night, just for a change. Didn’t like the look of it from the outside, so did not bother.
Left the town with fresh food supplies, topped up cellphone battery and plenty of water for the night.
The trick is getting water and then finding a spot to camp that isn’t to far away ASAP. Otherwise ones hauling another 5 – 6 kg of weight. At the back-end-of-a-day, it really becomes a big ask.
Luckily my eye caught a glimpse into this dark, if not dead wood coppice. In I dart before anyone see’s me. Out of sight, out of mind is my philosophy!
Not quite sure about adopting a highway. Must be popular!
A beach off the Tasman highway. It’s like this all the way up the east coast.
Road kill. It does not abate, every kilometre there’s something. One generally smells it before seeing it, even on windy days? One will notice more than vehicles as you will sight the corpse also in the verge and hedges. I’ve started to retch even before smelling a carcass with the thought of how bad it will be. And trust me, its bAd. The wildlife that is killed is astonishing.
Best council name I’ve ever heard.
View from the Tasman highway.
Got to love the Aussies as they don’t hold back on their signage. Get to the point!
I’m always on the look out for high fat/calorie eatables. When I find what looks like a full-fat yogurt, I think happy days. I eat it, then see 97% fat-free. What the bloody use is that!
Now, after a long weekend for the Aussies; they’ve all been out camping. Not the tidiest of people. Stopped at this locale for a wee, garbage everywhere.
I arrive in St Helens. Once again hoping for a backpackers. The only one this time I thought was extortionate and no camp ground. There’s no-way I’m sharing a dorm!
After spending time in the library and using the WiFi I head out of dodge. I’m now starting to meander back inland. Happy to be out of the headwinds.
Lights running low and I’m struggling to find a camp spot. I disappear up a dirt lane. A sign says, No entrance – Building Site. Looks like though I could use this track to access the dense bush.
After some foliage clearing and moving a log, I found myself reaching for sky-hooks as a Jack Jumper ant took to my achilles’ heel. I first thought it to be a scorpion as the pain was instant. With a hasty swipe I broke the body off and left the pedipalps still harvesting from its head. It took sometime to remove the headless critter!
Lesson: don’t move logs!
This was a pleasant surprise, The shop in the Bush. Appeared out of know-where.
I’d been on the search for reading material, it found me here.
Fantastic place and book tucked up in my handlebar bag.
Looks like my Hebie kickstand is on it’s way out. Probably hauling all that water and expecting it to manage. Bit too much to ask. Will drag it out for as long as possible.
The foliage soon starts to change, as does the terrain…hilly again! But out of the headwind, so HapPy DaYs!
I’m advised by the lady in the shop that the Weldborough Hotel has a pleasant camp ground.
I arrive at the Inn and search out the landlord. I’m told camping is a staggering $5 per night! I took his arm off! That’s it, a shower, a pub meal and a few ales. Nice.
With the site been so quiet I stay for two nights. Not rocket science!
Just chill, take a short walk locally and read. Nice.
Weldborough 9th April 2013 – 334 km’s
Wild/stealth camping spots can be viewed when zooming in on each location. Also click on the icon for a photo and another click on the photo will open it up in Flickr.
You can click on each photo for an enhanced Flickr view or the above Flickr slideshow for further photos for this post.