(January 11, 2021 – written by Dave)
It was super quiet overnight in the fabulous Oast Inn. We didn’t see anyone in the kitchen for dinner or brekkie. In fact, we barely saw anyone the entire time we were there – except the pickers of course. We got off at 7:30 in an effort to beat the heat that was forecast for the early afternoon.
The River Derwent is quite wide at New Norfolk and we had the choice of riding on either side. The south (or west) side was the A10, the north (or east) side was the B10. Based on the advice of several locals, we decided to ride the B10. We were happy with our choice. There was some morning commuter traffic on the B10 but it wasn’t too bad and we were able to get some nice morning views out to the river. Looking across the river, we could see lots of trucks on the A10, which would have been low on fun factor.
When we reached Bridgewater we crossed back over the river and more importantly we officially closed the loop on our lap of Tasmania. We crossed our outward path right at the narrow/sketchy part of the bridge while we had a big line of cars and big truck backed up behind us. So, as much as I wanted to stop, get a photo and record the moment, well, we’ll just have to be happy knowing that we did it – job done.
Not long after we crossed the river we were back on our old friend, the Intercity Cycle Way. We can’t say enough about how fantastic this cycle resource is. If you lived north of the city and worked in the city or south, you’d have a traffic free path all the way. As it was for us, tailwinds and the easy navigation had us in the city centre by 10AM just in time for morning tea at Pigeon Whole Bakery (one of the other treasures we discovered when we were here a month ago).
We’ve been more off than on the internet over the past week – mostly due to limited mobile coverage out west in Tassie. It’s actually been great not having the news feed hitting you in the face all the time but it was also nice to be back in Hobart where we could at least make sure that the world hadn’t ended. It also gave us a chance to give our mothers in the USA a call and make sure that they were still safe – they are. While warm, hanging out in the sunshine in Queen Elisabeth Park in Hobart was a nice way to spend an hour plugging back in.
Eventually we pulled ourselves away from the internet and city to start the trek up to Fern Tree and onwards to our friends Phil and Jan’s house in Allens Rivulet. The ride out of the city could not have been easier – straight up Collins Street to the cycle path that leads to the old Cascades Brewery, onto Strickland and Huon Roads. I’ve passed the old Cascades Brewery a couple times on past trips to Hobart but never going slow enough to get a photo of the brewery – so today took lots of photos of both the brewery and Mount Wellington, which towers over Hobart. It was hot on the climb but much cooler when we reached the top of the saddle at Fern Tree.
Huon Road went on longer than we thought it should and we thought we were lost but after a couple stops we figured out that we just had to keep going. We eventually we popped out at Longley and the Longley Hotel where we met Jan for celebratory pale ale. Jan was kind enough to cycle to the hotel and then guide us back to their house. For a day where we crossed a city with over 200,000 people, we couldn’t have had an easier navigational day.
Phil arrived home soon after us and kindly joined us with a second celebratory beverage. Jan and Phil were invited to a croquet party at a neighbour’s home and offered to take us along if we wanted to. They didn’t have to ask twice as Nancy was a state croquet champion in a past life* so we jumped at the chance and were glad that we did. We met some really nice folks, got to experience more Aussie hospitality and best of all, I managed to win my foursome of croquet (which yes, Nancy was part of).
After returning to Jan and Phil’s place, Phil whipped up a massive BBQ, matched by fresh salad and bread that Jan made. We had a lovely evening trading travel stories that we capped off with video calls to Ali in Wynyard, Tas and Mart and Elsp in Wales, UK. For obvious reasons, we can’t all be together physically, at least getting to see their faces and hear their voices was fun.
It was a full but very fun day for us, even if we stayed up well beyond our normal “cycle touring” bed-time.
And I almost forgot, I didn’t get a photo of Jan and Phil together so instead I’ll include one that Elsp shared with us. Back in 1981, Jan and Phil were cycle touring in France and just happened to be setting their tent up where British travel author was working on his cycle touring book. He asked them if he could take a photo of them and use it in his book. For their troubles, he bought them dinner. The book might he hard to find in print these days but the cover shot does a remarkable job capturing Jan and Phil – they haven’t change one bit and look just like they do in the 1981 image shown below.
And lastly, before I forget this one as well, we had one more interesting connection at the croquet. Lindy had an old print of women on horses that she’d acquired in the USA. Given Nancy’s heavy American accent, we got to talking about things USA and the poster came up. Lindy wasn’t really sure where the photo was taken. Well, it turns out that it was a photo of the 1911 Pendleton Round-Up court. Nancy wasn’t in Pendleton in 1911 but she sure knows the Round-Up – it was quite fun filling the rest of the story for Lindy.
*Ok, I made up the part about Nancy being a state champion of croquet, but it was good for a few laughs and it also meant the our hosts Lindy and Tom avoided getting put into Nancy’s foursome – not that it would have mattered – we were all pretty bad while clearly Lindy and Tom knew what they were doing. It was a fun evening – thanks for including us guys.