Launceston to Launceston

Launceston to Launceston

On my second attempt to leave Launceston my route is better planned 🧭 I opt for a minor road (the old highway) which follows the newer Bass Highway. Not sure where I’m heading, just west!

One place 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. Gives one a direction ➡️

As I arrive in Bracknell an Aussie rules 🏉 football game is about to kick-off. I get myself a hot dog and take a pew. Five referees and pure bedlam. Looks a mix between 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. I 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 comes forward. Firstly defensive, but soon relaxes as he realises I’m completely 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.

Next day I enter Deloraine. A pleasant town, with an informative tourist shop. One thing I do discover 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. I must say its all pretty good … it’s mostly flat!

My next route ferries me to Meander on the Great Caves Ride. Meander is exceptionally 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 I’m away from nosey 👃🏼 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 next day starts overcast and doesn’t improve.

By the time I reach Mole Creek around lunch time, the rain has sluggishly started to fall heavier 🌧️ With this, I settle into a shelter next to the road for an extended lunch, hoping for the weather to improve. It doesn’t. Therefore after a trawl through town, I pick my night’s camping spot 🎪

The weather doesn’t abate through the night, but fortunately it’s 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 treacherous road for the car driver with little signs about with crosses.

I’m now starting to feel I’m in need of new shoes 👡 I even had to cut the strap off one, as the other one had broken too! Soles are worn.

At the junction for Cradle Mountain ⛰️ I was tempted to take the left option and re-visit Cradle Mountain, but with it showing 59 km’s I was spent and took the easy option … right it is!

I must say, I didn’t know what to expect from Sheffield and its murals. Extremely impressed. I call into the tourist centre to top-up my gadgets, again! My story interests the ladies at the centre. Especially me preparing lunch outside and brewing a coffee. Brought a sparkle into their day and a bit of fun for me! Even the skateboard 🛹 park is colourful too.

Not long out of Sheffield I discover my home for the night. This pine forest enjoys an abundance of red toad stools (Fly Agaric). Through natures signals (red) I’m not going to eat!

First thing is to level the ground out for my tent. Not maintaining a level ground makes for an uncomfortable nights sleep.

The first local I meet in the morning is an Echidna. They solely live in Australia 🇦🇺 and New Guinea 🇵🇬

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.

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 obtain a respectable photograph. I did manage to catch an aircraft transitioning through the nights skies. Need to work on my night shots!

Roads long and flat. Easy riding. Stopping at the Hadspen recreational, cricket 🏏 ground for a spot of lunch. Get that fat on board!

Arriving back at the campsite early afternoon and looking forward to those tropical showers again.

Nothing much happens over the next few days while I wait for my flight to Melbourne. In that time, I enjoy my visits to the supermarket and splash out on good food. Seafood mix … yum yum in my tum!

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 hardworking shoes have done their time and in the bin they go. No point carrying excess 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

My pitch probably has 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 extended flight/s back to the UK.

What a cycle journey this has been 🚴‍♂️

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