(January 2 2021 – written by Dave)
We have reached the Edge of the World, or at least that’s what the sign said. It wasn’t nearly as scary as we thought it would be. In fact, they had BBQs and it was downright civilized. We didn’t notice any mystical activity, just normal folks looking at the sea. There was no obvious sign of a hard edge or of things falling off the edge. If anything, it looked like the ocean just sort of continued out to the horizon, like it always does. If it weren’t for the sign, we wouldn’t have even known that we are at the edge – odd.
We’ve stood at the end of a land mass looking out at the ocean before but this had to be one of the biggest pieces of ocean that we’ve ever looked at. If you were a really good swimmer, and you hopped in the water here and started swimming and swam straight along the latitude line we are on, about 41 degrees south, it would be about 10,400 miles before you reached landfall. You’d swim right past Africa as the bottom of the continent there is only 34 degrees south. You’d have to keep swimming all the way to the bottom of Argentina. You can’t see Africa or Argentina from the Edge of the World – it’s too far and there is that curvature of the earth issue.
Still, it was fun to reach here….
The day started with strong winds in Stanley. We thought it would be a cross wind getting back to the A2 off the Circular Head but we had mostly tailwinds from the beginning to the end of the day – woohoo. We had a lickety split tailwind blast from Stanley to Smithton, where we stopped at the shops for supplies for the days ahead. We didn’t get enough of a look at Smithton to draw any conclusions – quick stop at the shops and an egg and bacon roll at the local takeaway for morning tea.
After Smithton, the A2 got a lot narrower with most of the traffic was coming back out of Arthur River. There were still a few of the big milk tankers but all of them were coming in from farms along the way. We had very little traffic pass us.
This is milk country and there are a lot of dairy farms. It is isolated region with big spreads and a lot of cows. It appears that milk farmers also enjoy Christmas and have a good sense of humour. Even though it is past Christmas, we saw a good number of farm Santas and a few angels out in the fields.
We stopped for lunch at the Redpa Store and Cafe where we enjoyed a break on their nicely wind-sheltered garden deck. We were warned not to pet their “old” dog but we still managed to get a few photos. He looked fit even if a little grumpy. I think he would have been happy if we gave him a nip of our sandwich but we didn’t want to tempt fate and feed him, or his younger mate. It was nice to get out of the wind for a wild at least.
At Repda we turned 90 degrees left and thought that maybe we’d have cross winds again but a little before the turn, the wind shifted a little as well. Our crosswind run into Arthur Rive was mild. It was before 1PM when we pulled into our planned destination – Arthur River Cabin and Tourist Park. We have a really long, potentially wet, day tomorrow so we grabbed a cabin for an early, dry start at least.
After dropping our bags in our cute little donga/cabin, we headed 3.5ks up the road to reach the Edge of the World. Arthur River is not much of a town – there are two very small stores – it would not be unkind to call them one shelf unit stores. It always windy here and there are a good number of fishing shacks – some gentrified, some not. The shacks are not as rough as say, Royal National Park in NSW, but the town has that same feel. They have mains power here and that tends to give everything an upgrade.
Now that we’ve pulled back from the Edge of the World, we are ready to have some dinner and get ready for tomorrow. We are looking at a big ride tomorrow with over 100k and a good 75k of dirt. There is some rain forecast but hopefully just enough falls to keep the dust down. The locals we spoke with here this arvo told us that we shouldn’t have too bad of traffic as a lot of folks headed home today and most head back out towards Smithton as well. Here’s hoping for just the right amount of rain and not too many cars…. The Tarkine Wilderness beckons tomorrow.