Launceston 20th April 2013
On my second attempt to leave Launceston my route is better planned. I take a minor road (the old highway) which follows the newer Bass Highway.
Another cracking letter box. An old industrial boiler.
My first stop is Hadspen.
Not sure where I’m heading, just west!
One place though I’m interested in visiting is a town called Bracknell. When my parents moved back from Ghana we settled in Bracknell, Berkshire, England. So always nice to visit a name-sake. Also gives one a direction.
As I arrive in Bracknell a Aussie rules football game is about to kick-off.
I get myself a hot dog and take a pew. Seems to have five referees and bedlam everywhere. Looks a mix between proper football and rugby!
I’m out of Bracknell before I remember I should’ve filled up with water.
I call into a house on the Cluan road. Knock on the door. The women of the house carols three little people away from the door not knowing what kind of feral person is loitering outside. The man of the house opens the door. Firstly defensive, but soon relaxes as he realises I’m quite harmless!
With my full quota of water I soon find a spot hidden in rows of pine trees, not too far up the road. As before, listen for traffic, then scurry everything in quickly.
Deloraine is a pleasant town, with an informative tourist shop.
One thing I do find is a cycle map for The Great Western Tiers Cycling Trails. Looks like I’ve already cycled part of it accidentally from Hadspen, Carrick, Bracknell to Westbury. Must say its all pretty good, it’s flat!
My next route takes me to Meander on the ‘Great Caves Ride’.
Meander is very quiet. With a community hall supplying clean toilets and an abundance of running water I pitch my tent under the corrugated roof of the Meander cricket clubs’ pavilion.
A few twitching looks from locals, but just act as if you’re suppose to be their then no-one bats an eye-lid. Wave, shout hello, they all back off!
The day starts overcast and doesn’t really improve.
By the time I reach Mole Creek around lunch time the rain has slowly started to fall heavier. With this, I settle into a shelter next to the road for a long lunch hoping for the weather to improve.
So after a trawl through town, I pick my night’s camping spot.
The weather doesn’t abate most of the night.
But fortunately its a fresh spring day in the morning.
Once out of Mole Creek I cycle through the Meander valley, and then start the arduous climb over the Cog range.
Obviously a dangerous road for the car driver! A good way to remind other drivers.
The below photo doesn’t do the gradient of the Cog range justice.
Now starting to feel I’m in need of new shoes shortly. Even had to cut the strap off as the other one had broken too! Soles are also worn too.
The quality of the road surface is second-to-none. #impressed.
A tranquil river running under the Paradise road.
$300,000 for Tasmania. Bit of a bargain!
Mount Rowland off to my left, and the famous Cradle Mountain range will be over the other side. This I’d visited on my round-the-world travels back in 2001.
I was tempted to take the left option and re-visit Cradle Mountain, but with it showing 59 km’s I was weak and took the easy option, right it is!
Must say I didn’t know what to expect from Sheffield and it’s murals. Very impressed.
I call into the tourist centre to top-up my gadgets, again! My story interests the ladies of the centre. Especially me making lunch outside and brewing a coffee. Brought a sparkle into their day and a bit of fun for me!
One endangered species (Tasmanian Devil) and one that is extinct (Tasmanian Tiger Thylacine).
Even the skateboard park is colourful.
The old Sheffield railway station.
Further murals can be viewed within my Flickr account.
Not long out of Sheffield I find my home for the night.
This pine forest has an abundance of red toad stools (Fly Agaric). Through natures signals I’m not going to eat!
First thing is to level the ground out for my tent. Not having a level ground makes for an uncomfortable nights sleep.
The first local I meet in the morning is an Echidna. They only live in Australia and New Guinea.
I’m greeted by a smile as I approach Kimberley.
And perhaps one of may favourite symbols on my travels. A tin-man on a bicycle.
My quick journey west has now brought me back to Deloraine. This time I spend a bit more time and take in the local area.
St Mark Church, Deloraine.
Leaving Deloraine I head out to my first wild camp spot on the Cluan road again.
Not quite the same spot as before but on the same road. Last night of wild camping and its a good’en!
With a full moon I spend some time trying to get a good photograph. Did manage also to catch an aircraft transitioning through the nights skies.
Need to work on my night shots! Bit more ambient light required.
Leaving my location.
Roads long and flat. Easy riding.
Stopping at the Hadspen recreational, cricket ground for a spot of lunch. Get that fat on board!
Looking rather weathered. That’s wild camping for you.
Starting to look a tad feral!
Arriving back at the campsite and looking forward to those hot showers again.
Nothing much happens over the next few days while I wait for my flight to Melbourne.
Nippy mornings enjoyed with a morning cuppa.
Priority is picking up a bike box. Luckily a shop is only down the road and not too far to drag up to the campsite. Fortunately the weather holds-off making life pleasant for this packing malarkey.
Finally my hard working shoes have done their time and in the bin they go. No point carrying extra weight on the flight and have ordered a new pair for my return to the UK.
If your on the search for a good touring shoe, you can’t go far wrong with these. These have lasted over three years with continual use. Gearne Vega
Enjoying the highlights of City Park.
My pitch does have probably one of the best views out over Launceston. Lie back, listen to podcasts and watch over busy bees thriving over their town.
I leave Tasmania feeling re-energised, which is good considering the long flights back to the UK.
What a cycle journey that has been!
Launceston 29th April 2013 – 267 km’s
A review of my cycle journey can be found on the next post..
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.
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You can click on each photo for an enhanced Flickr view or the above Flickr slideshow for further photos for this post.