(December 13, 2020 – written by Dave)
We’re rolling – our round Tasmanian adventure has begun. We had a perfect start with bright blue skies this morning in Hobart. Getting out of town could not have been easier. Being Sunday probably helped, but traffic would not have been an issue anyway as within two blocks of the YHA we were on the 15.6km Intercity Cycleway heading up the Derwent River. What a great resource the cycleway is – today it was full of cyclists of all shapes and sizes. We joined the mob and got out of the city without having to deal with any traffic.
We had occasional views of the Derwent River, mixed with small industry and normal folk backyards. Nancy spotted a family making pancakes in their kitchen for their Sunday brekkie. While magnificent mountain visits are great, seeing normal life folks, doing normal life things is always comforting as well. No, we did not stop for pancakes – though Nancy did drop off the pace for a minute.
At the end of the cycleway we joined up with a secondary road called Main Road. Of course there was more traffic but it was still pretty light. The only busy section was on the Bridgewater Bridge crossing the Derwent River. The bridge is pretty narrow but traffic was mostly polite.
It wasn’t far from the bridge to our main goal of the day, the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary. We had to stop for directions at a few corners and we were almost there when we passed the Brighton’s Best Bakehouse. No proper cycle tourist rides past a “best bakery” without stopping for a pie. You have to verify these “best bakery” claims – if nothing else, for future travellers passing this way. I’m happy to report that the pies are good and as this appears to be the only Bakehouse in Brighton, I think they are OK on the claim.
That settled, we moved onto Bonorong.
Bonorong hasn’t changed from our previous visits but the animals are probably all new and were more or less happy to see us. It was hot but we managed to get a few of the resting roos to feed from our hands. Nancy found one to feed without the recipient even having to get up. I managed to get a Joey to eat from my hand. He and his mom took turns holding my hand down at head level so that I wouldn’t walk away. They weren’t aggressive but they weren’t willing to let me go until I emptied my oats bag for them.
We got to see a juvenile wombat but he/she was sleeping and not moving. The Tassie Devils were quite active and more than happy to pose for photos. They seemed almost as interested in us as we were in them. Black and white cockatoos were chattering away – and the bluetongue lizards all laying “flat out”. The echidnas were up and walking about as well.
The park seemed pretty full, of animals that is. Of course, this is nice for us, but given that they take care of injured or abandoned animals, it means that there is no shortage of animals needing help. The park entry fee is kind of expensive but being there makes a difference for the animals so we didn’t mind making the contributions. Plus, the animals were really great – definitely a place to stop again on our next lap.
We had 17k to ride after the sanctuary and it went pretty fast. We had a little uphill section with some side/headwinds. We then made a right turn and crested the hill. Woohoo – down and tailwinds took us onwards to Richmond. We stopped at the one caravan park on the way into town and looked nice so we took a spot. We didn’t set-up right way however as even though we had a shortish day, we felt like it would be disrespectful not to ride into town and have an ice cream at the Coal Valley Creamery. They make the ice cream right onsite and was definitely worth a stop.
We’ve now settled into the caravan park and are thinking about dinner. It was a pretty easy first day but it’s not all about the K’s. We had a great day and are thrilled be on the road – our Tassie Adventure has begun.
Tomorrow we ware off to Maria Island – more on that later. We have an exciting start first thing in the morning as we get to ride over the Richmond Bridge – the oldest bridge in Australia. We’ve been there before but not on bikes. It really not that much of a bridge, but it’s still a first for us on bikes. Check back tomorrow for updates.