LAKE ST CLAIR TO NEW NORFOLK.
- on Monday, 08 January 2018.
I packed early and headed to the visitor centre scouting for a power point, which I found! I plugged 3 batteries, the laptop, phone and tablet in. I then sat around for an hour and a half, tapping away on the computer, fully expecting the phone to ring regarding my “suggestion” from the night before, however, it didn’t! [See the post from Queenstown to Lake St Clair] I didn’t need a full charge in all the batteries as I only planned to go through to Tarraleah, which is about 55 K’s.
When I left I was fangin’ for a decent feed so I did the 5 K’s through to the main road and a café called the Hungry Wombat. When I pulled up there were two touring bikes parked up and the owners were quite obvious to me!!!! I ordered a full breakky and then had a chat to the riders, a couple from the USA. They had a pair of Surly Trolls with Rohloff’s, nice bikes, and had been on the road for 4 months (I think) The women was telling me I was only the 8th tourer they’d seen in that time.
It bought to mind that the previous day I’d seen a tourer heading to Queenstown, upon which I’d thrown up a wave enthusiastically whilst yelling out “You wanna stop for a chat?” “No Thank You” came his rather curt reply. Pretty odd I found and quietly thought “Hope ya get 2 flat tyres ya fukka!!” That thought cheered me up and I enjoyed the rest of my downhill run…… I asked the couple if they’d come across the guy, their reply, “Wasn’t very chatty, was he?” They too thought it was odd as touring cyclists always like to stop and have a yak, however, they didn’t curse him with 2 flat tyres! Note to self, “Don’t be so harsh……Nah bugga ‘im, I hope his spare tube has been eaten by rodents as well!”
They [the couple] were also heading towards Hobart and left a bit before me as I got chatting to a European couple interested in the touring aspect using a pedal assist. I caught up to them and we cruised along together for a while until I needed a drink because of the big breakky. The woman was the pace setter and she was fairly pumping along! I caught them up again coming up a long climb and told them there’ll be hot chocky at the top, sadly there wasn’t!
We stopped in a small roadside stop and were talking about blogs ETC, they were saying they didn’t know where people found the time, they reckoned they didn’t they take nice pictures either. They were saying they struggle to remember the places they’d been. I suggested doing what I do and use the GoPro as a recording tool as it works well for me and also shows the country I pass through. They seemed to warm to the idea and I’d be interested to know if they take it up, I guess I’ll only know if I run into them again as they don’t have a blog!!!! J We parted company when we left as they were turning off the main road and I carried on to Tarraleah.
I had the longest downhill run of the trip into the Nive River Valley, it was absolutely sweet. I pulled up at the bottom as I was feeling a bit tuckered out and had a short nanna nap. I had thought I’d have an equally long climb but to my surprise it was only 3K’s into town.
Tarraleah is, it turns out, a privately owned town. It was released by the Hydro Authority back in 1997 (I think) and bought then. Consequently, it’s very neat and tidy, unlike a lot of the small towns which are often scruffy and poor looking. I think Tarraleah is used primarily for accommodation and seminars. I heard it got sold again in 2016 for around 10 Million.
I checked into the van park and asked if they had a camp kitchen as I would like to charge my ‘phone’…. The young women informed me they didn’t but she was sure if I went to the restaurant and bought a drink, they’d be able to work something out…. J Sad really, she had no idea who she was dealing with. Within 15 minutes of picking my camp site, I had 3 batteries, the tablet, phone, computer, gimbal and GoPro batteries all on charge in the Gents toilet block. When the 3 bike batteries were done, I popped the 4th on……. And it didn’t even cost me a drink, other than water, which I used their tap for anyway whilst I filled 4 litres’ in my MSR bladders!!!!! It was a very peaceful place and I slept well.
I was on the road at 0700 the next morning and immediately copped a 3 Km climb. After that it was through undulating country that is primarily used for forest harvesting. ( Pine and Tassie Bluegum) However, there were some very nice sections of natural forest with stacks of bird life.
I popped out of the forest, literally, it was a very clear delineated line, into the pastoral country near Ouse. I pulled up in Ouse and did a ram raid on the local IGA, which was well stocked and priced considering the small size of the place.
Whilst I was there an older couple pulled up in a mobile home made by EarthCruiser called the Southlander, they’re custom made and about 300 thousand bucks. I got to thinking it’s a bit of a pity that tech wasn’t around 30 years ago when it could be properly utilized. Now one really needs to go to Africa, in the wet, or maybe the Amazon basin to fully utilize it. Still, if EarthCruiser popped up beside me and gifted me one, I’d gladly accept!!!!! J
After a break and a long chat to a young guy touring on his motorbike, I headed to a Wikicamps location at Bethune Park which is beside a lake. The wind was absolutely howling in from the West so I hardly had to turn a peddle, it was also quite hot but as I crossed the causeway it was delightful. The camp site was crap but I didn’t have anything left in the tank to carry on. I peddled back across the causeway and sat at a little picnic shelter which, besides its strength, the wind was very pleasant because the water cooled it as it crossed the lake.
Even though the wind was a steady 30 KPH and the crazy Taswegians were turning up with boats of all shapes and sizes and hitting the lake, crazy bastards!!!! You wouldn’t want to go to war against them, you’d never be able to predict what they were going to do next!
Around 6pm I headed back to the camp and set up for the night. The initial spot I picked had hundreds of little green beetles that got into everything. Needless to say, I shifted sites. I had to put all 9 pegs in to keep the tent tied down due to the wind.
I was up early and on the road by 0700, the morning was delightful. I didn’t sleep really well last night, one of the tents with a mum and her kids had the radio playing all night. God knows why? The bloody thing kept waking me up.
I had decided to use the highway to get through to the Bushy Park turn off then use a minor road that follows the Derwent River to New Norfolk.The highway turned out to be great, in the one and a bit hours I was on it, I only saw 8 cars and 1 truck, plus it had a really good shoulder. In stark contrast, when I hit the road beside the Derwent, there were heaps of cars and no shoulder. The river scenery was nice though.
I was in New Norfolk by 1030. The first thing I did was find a health food shop, it was disguised as a bakery! and ordered a hot choc and munchies. I then made my way down to the caravan park and set up.