Bridport to Launceston

Bridport to Launceston

Leaving the coastal town of Bridport, I head slightly inland to catch the Bridport Road eastwards to George Town. The road is relatively flat, with only a slight headwind 🌬️

As previously, road kill remains the theme of the day. A 20 to 30 kg lump of Wombat is going to stink, as does everything else! Fortunately, the weather is well into autumn, so not the hot days that would worsen it’s effects.

I seem to be stopping every twenty minutes for a wee 🚾 (too much tea/coffee before setting off!). Every so often I discover intriguing things as I delve into the scrub. This one been a registration plate.

I decide not to push into George Town today, but find a spot out of town, quiet, etc.. After popping in and out of the bush, my spot 🏕️ is located near the shores of Curries River reservoir.

On feeding my MSR Hubba Hubba tent poles onto the loops of the inner mesh skin, a pole snaps out of what should be a permanent connector. I look on in horror…eeeccck! I’ll not be able to erect the tent with this broken. I cautiously approach hoping in that time it’ll have fixed itself! No luck, it hasn’t! Fortunately, though, the thread had only slightly stripped and it went back together without a hitch. I did breath a huge sigh of relief!

My first stop for the next day is to Low Head lighthouse 💡 at the mouth of the River Tamar. This is Australia’s oldest continuously used pilot station. The lighthouse is now unmanned and automated. I was seriously tempted to just pitch my tent here and stay the rest of the day. No wind, sun out, quiet, views over the ocean, what more could one want. But I’d probably get moved on as it’s private property. No worries, though, as I want to get back into George Town and access their swashbuckling IT centre.

First, though, a spot of lunch on the band-stand as one does!

As I trundle round the corner to the IT centre, a tall gentle man, looking rather like a fisherman, caught my attention. “Hello there” he shouts. He’s clutching what I first thought to be a bible 📙 Here we go I mutter! It turns out to be a diary (phew!) and the nicest man one could wish to meet. We’re then joined by a woman. Their only interest is me, my bike and where I’ve come from, and likely to go. My regret is not taking a photo or remembering their names. Oh well, can’t capture everything. It’ll always be stored  in the recesses of my mind as I write this up and read further down the line, as this is my dairy 📘

The IT centre is certainly very IT. Plenty of free terminals and wifi. Along with a large screen for Facebook or anything else, one would wish to tether a device to. Leather sofa 🛋️ to lounge on, with free coffee and tea facilities. Not going to cycle too much further today me thinks!

When I do manage to drag myself away from the centre, I find a spot only a few kilometres out of town. Catching up on Lance again and his drug 💉 fuelled shenanigans!

I’m casually cycling down Gravelly Beach road following the Tamar River when I pass a sign: I’m Crazy! What About You? I carry on for a few hundred metres wondering whether to take a photo. I turn back and as I draw up a woman walks out. We chat. She’s the perpetrator of these scribbles. Next, I’m inside sipping red wine 🍷 in the kitchen. I was nearly a dry cyclist. Tent soon set up in the back garden, while I’m still able too!

More wine consumed, along with an evening meal devoured at a posh dinning room table, with my choice of evening music. I made a terrible error in forgetting my hosts names! Poor show once again. Sorry!

I don’t leave till late morning. I’m never in a rush to go anywhere with a slightly numb head!

It’s not long till I’m on the search for a supermarket 🥫 at Legana. With panniers laden even more, I next search out a spot for the night. Still slightly fuzzy head, so best set camp up early!

I need to get off the West Tamar highway to find anything suitable, so I take a minor road towards the Tasmania Zoo. The road starts hilly and just gets worse and worse. All I want to do is turn round and head back down again, but I’m always thinking, there could well be a spot just round the next bend. So on up I push. It’s hot, the bikes heavy (extra food and water) and my legs are pooped. It’s steep.

As I’m about to turn back, I notice a broken fence and dense bush beyond. I drop the bike and scurry up. Yep, that’s the job! Now to get in without been seen. As soon as I hear no traffic, panniers off and I run them over the fence. Back for the bike. All thrown into a heap within my new refuge. In without being seen or heard 👍

Tent erected. I then notice leeches on the tent 😵 WTF! I’d not expected them here. Bloody hell, they’re everywhere! I swiped them off. Then found them eloping up my trousers. A sprinkle of talc makes them dry very quickly and they’ll drop off on their own accord. Then set about making an exclusion zone of talc around the tent. It works, as long as their all on the other side of the exclusion zone!

I’ve only a short cycle into Launceston the next day. After a brief look around the town and spending too much time in the library 📚 using wifi, I set about checking backpackers out for my return, as I plan to go farther west.

I make a temporary booking at the Launceston Backpackers. Its quite late in the afternoon by the time I head west out of town. I’m thinking, there must be a better road out as this highway is manic. Its not too bad a hill but the headwind is staggering … “Sod this” I call out!

I pick my very heavy bike up, haul/drag it over the barriers and head back to the Launceston Backpackers. Oh a room and a shower 🚿 Then off to pick up a Chinese. Heaven!

Not a great nights sleep, though, as the other rooms taken up by a group of young Chinese or Japanese kids. Bloody bedlam. That’s backpackers for you! One can’t guarantee a good nights sleep. And I wasn’t even in a dorm! I leave the next morning after complaining. In their favour, it’s a very good backpackers.

As I hit the road, I don’t have much enthusiasm for this cycling malarkey toady. More to do with not getting much sleep. After a full two kilometres, I roll into Treasure Island Cabin & Caravan Park. A brief search of their site I find a quiet perfect spot 🎪 over looking the town and as far away from caravans as possible $20 per night. Seems extravagant for me, but worth it just for the shower. OMG it’s so good 🚿 Powerful and hot!

As evenings are drawing in and getting a bit nippy a long hot shower before bed is pure heaven after my cold-bush-folding-bucket 🪣 washes. Bliss!

I enjoy the luxury of the library once more. Internet. Plus sort out a source for a bicycle box for my return. I read more about Lance and break the floor stand on my pump!

Lesson: Great pump Topeak Morph. Just don’t use the floor stand on soft ground, it’ll snap!

Apart from that, happy days.

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