(January 15-16, 2021 – written by Dave)
Yesterday we didn’t scale the highest peak on Bruny Island. In fact we didn’t get up to much at all. We walked to the Adventure Bay store (town), did some computer work and walked home. On the walk home we met one of our host’s neighbours, who was an obvious “plant guy”. He was picking up sticks from the roadside for winter kindling but was more than happy to stop and talk to us and show us a bunch of the native trees growing where we walked. The highlight was tasting a pepper berry tree leaf – it tasted a little like licorice at first then came on with a very strong pepper flavor, so strong that we had to spit it out. A completely random and fun encounter created because we were walking, rather than being in a car.
We also relaxed a bit at our AirBnB cabin. While there, we perused their book shelves. Like so often found in doctor or dentist offices, the cabin had one of those ubiquitous piles of old magazines. Most magazines were old copies of the AU/NZ title, New Scientist. The second magazine down in the pile was the 11 January 2020 edition.As a mark of how dramatic 2020 was for the entire world below are three articles I found in the magazine.
- Simple changes to your everyday habits that could transform your health
- Unknown illness hits China
- Flying scared – airlines as a major climate villain
For starters, masks and coughing into your elbow were not mentioned in the first article. In the second article, only 59 people had the mysterious disease noted and they didn’t know if it was caused by a virus or bacteria. And finally, there was no mention of a collapse of global air travel in the third article. Yes, the magazine was barely a year old. But boy how, bring on 2021 eh!
We really enjoyed being on Bruny Island. We were in Adventure Bay which is technically a remote part of a remote island, in a remote state, in a remote country. Go there for fresh air and the outdoors, but be prepared to give up CNN, BBC and Facebook. You won’t be sorry.
It rained overnight, so hard that it woke us both a couple times. This morning the rain squalls came and went while we cooked and ate brekkie. It was nice not having a tent to dry but we weren’t hugely motivated to head out. Eventually it cleared a little and we decided to make a run for it. We got caught in a couple more squalls in the 40k ride to get back to Roberts Point and the ferry off the island. We wore booties and raincoats but not rain pants. About 90% of the time we were happy to not be wearing the rain pants. The other 10% of the time, while in a squall, we wished we had them on – it was one of those mornings.
It was windy and stormy but the ferry was smooth. And best of all, as we crossed the channel the sun came out in patches on the far side. We exited the ferry with sun threatening. We rode all of 2k before we reached the small berg of Kettering and nice café called Steam House. We had morning tea and helped them earn their name by steaming up the joint with our wet clothes. We lingered long enough to watch a few “overs” on the nearby cricket pitch and the sun to come out completely. We ditched rain gear for the rest of the day as we departed tea.
The next section of road, the Channel Highway as a bit of a shocker. We rode it the other day with Phil but today traffic was heavier. It took us a while to figure out that we got waves of traffic when the ferry unloaded – regardless, the lack of shoulder was frustrating. We bailed on the highway at the small berg called Snug – from Snug to Margate there is nice off-road bicycle track. Back out on the highway at Margate, traffic was steady but at least there was a shoulder now.
As we got closer to Hobart the Channel Highway turned into four lanes with heavy traffic so we trusted Komoot and ducked off onto Sandy Bay Road. It was a great decision and there was a nice shoulder and very little traffic. It was uphill for 5k but the tailwind and some rain was threatening so we motored at a good pace. Both of us read Komoot at the last stop and combined to ride straight to the Hobart YHA without having to check the map again. We beat the rain and have now officially finishing our round Tassie tour.
We cleaned and boxed the bikes, got showered and headed over to the waterfront, to the Hobart Beer Brewery and a celebratory ale. We are sad to have the trip end but happy that we made it safely with no incidents, no flats and very little traffic to worry about. All up we rode about 1,800k.
We can now officially tick touring Tassie off our bucket lists, which is satisfying. We also know that we’ve found a few places that we want to return to and explore further. Maria Island is clearly worth more time. Freycenet has much more to offer. The Cradle Mountain Overland Track is for sure a trip that merits an effort. And finally, the west is full of wilderness that is begging for more time. And we thought 6 weeks in Tassie would be enough time!
Anyway, thanks for following and be safe out there. Not sure when or where our next trip will take us but we’ll keep you posted.