Travel Day! Packed bikes into boxes in a mates backyard in Melbourne no chance to weigh them, go to weigh them at the airport -both 5kgs over!Eeeekk! Panic as we open up boxes and figure out how to carry bike shoes,helmets, saddle bags as carryon. Line up, they don’t even weigh the boxes. Doh. Go through security, bags beep, open them up- Al’s good leatherman tool. Sorry cant take that. I unpack bag to get out leatherman and find a butane gas bottle and a flint. Doh. A few lessons learnt here today! Onto plane, plane sits on tarmac for an hour. Start to question whether this is worth it, maybe hanging out in Marlo would have been a better option!! Get off the plane in Launceston and gotta make our way to Devonport – I didnt realise this is where the spirit docked, should have just caught the dam boat. It’s pissing down with rain and we miss our bus by 10 minutes. All good we walk around Launceston, book accomodation in info centre for Devonport and then seek refuge from the rain at the Boags Brewery. Not so bad!! Onto bus to Devonport, carry bike boxes in rain to our accomodation, arrive to be told they didn’t receive our booking. Eventually it all gets sorted and we built up our bikes ready for the riding part tomorrow!!
Our pump failed to work on our deflated tyres so we walk our bikes 2km to the nearest bike shop and buy a new pump. And finally we are off!!! Had a fantastic day riding, the weather was awesome and after about 6 hours riding through a mixture of road and offroad we found a cool campsite in Gog Ranges next to a river. Went for a swim, cooked up a meal and great night sleep.
Woke up and had a laugh at the possum poop that was on Al’s saddle bag, I stopped laughing when I realised that possum had chewed a hole through my camelbak bladder. Doh. Had some difficulties finding the trail marker and headed the wrong way for a bit, finally found it and crossed a river and up a steep embankment. We didnt’ have a gpx file for this section so relied on the garmin map and TT guidebook. Missed the markers a few times throughout the day and unfortunately each time we had ridden up a big hill only to have to ride back down and search for the right way.
The trails were through plantation pines so abit hard to navigate through. We then chose to stick to the trail which took us into a caravan park, in hindsight we would have ridden on a road that took us to the same end point but much quicker as we didn;t need to go to the caravan park. There were loads of hills today, some awesome roads and great scenery. We looked up the map on the garmin and found a different road to go on, it was a wicked descent and the trail should go this way!!We got abit dehydrated today, and we also detoured off the TT to go to Deloraine for lunch. water and resupply. Made it to Liffey river, straight to the pub for a Boags to rehydrate, then to the local store for a dinner of chocolate milk and potato cakes! Found a camping spot by the river with a few other campers.
Woke to a much cooler day and decided to ignore the warning in the guidebook “cyclists recommended not to go over Mt Bethune but to take the road around” That was a dumb decision. The next 3 hours consisted of hike a bike, sweating, swearing and questioning what the point was. Got to the top and the temps had dropped consistently, we were at 1100m and as we dropped down the mountain we were greeted with 80k gusts of winds, rain and hail pelting straight into our faces. Rolled into milan found a fishermans cabin to book a night in, hot shower and hooked into a delicious pub meal!
Woke in the morning to gale winds and rain, sitting in cabin looking out not wanting to step foot outside but knowing we had to get on the bikes and ride (mainly because we would go crazy sitting in a tiny cabin all day, and secondly we were too tight to fork out the money to book another night!!) Had it been good weather the ride would have been beautiful and easy but instead it was grey, dreary and hard work as we pushed into a headwind the whole day. Made it into Ouse and found a pub to stay in.
Al was up for most of the night sick, it seemed he had picked up a bug from drinking out of a stream. We stayed on the road to New Norfolk and once we got there it was obvious Al wasnt going to be able to ride any further. We convinced the bus driver to let us on the city bus with our bikes, that bus trip was an experience to say the least! 10k out of Hobart we had to exit the bus immediately as Al was not well at all, and we made a slow roll into Hobart but unfortunately mona festival was on and there was no accommodation. I ran up and down what felt like every street in Hobart in my helmet and bike shoes looking a bit strange while Al sat in a gutter being sick. Finally found a hotel to stay in. Most of the photos are of glorious sunshine we had on the first two days, I couldnt get the camera out the last couple of days!
Plied Al with Gastro-stop and Gastro-lite and we managed a few hours at MONA and got to check out the Mawson Expedition replica hut which was pretty cool!! Changed our flights and came home early where Al spent the next 3 days sleeping. All in all a great trip, would have been much better had we had good weather and no tummy bugs but we saw some great sights and had abit of fun!! Stay tuned I’ll get around to putting the gopro movie footage together hopefully soon!!