Tasmania

After Shoshanna vowing to never again embark on another bike tour, there we were catching a boat to Tassie to embark on another bike tour.  We had rethought our approach following London to Jerusalem, updated our gear and convinced ourselves that this time it would be different.

Cycling across a paddock in Tasmania.  We picked up a key at the beginning of the ride that enabled us to open umpteen farm gates along the trail.

Cycling across a paddock in Tasmania. We picked up a key at the beginning of the ride that enabled us to open umpteen farm gates along the trail. Fun!

The plan was to cycle what is called the Tassie Trail – which is a horse/walking/cycling trail from one end of Tassie to the other.

The signs that sometimes pointed us in the right direction

The signs that sometimes pointed us in the right direction

We set off full of optimism believing this small island would be nothing in comparison to the  Middle East and Europe.  Our optimism lasted through the first day and into the next morning until we discovered first hand that roads in Tassie appear to ignore the gradient a  vehicle is capable of coping with.  Additionally the dirt tracks and loggers trails that we found ourselves on comprised of loose gravel that made traction near impossible at times.  After day three (Shoshanna’s Birthday) we found ourselves wondering how we ever managed London to Jerusalem and thoughts of a rental car started to enter our consciousness.

Camping on the local cricket/football field

Camping on the local cricket/football field

Fortunately the stunning beauty of the country side, the warm hospitality of the people, and the scintillating culinary delights helped us overcome our initial forebodings.

When the gradient was reasonable the trail was stunning!

When the gradient was reasonable the trail was stunning!

There was Dave who gave us a lift up an escarpment in his truck – we were careening around one hairpin bend when he exclaimed, “this is crack a can corner,” and then proceeded to “crack” a can of Jim Beam and coke.  It turns out literally drinking and driving is a common pastime in Tasmania, the beer cans at regular intervals sure give aways.

Then there were the raspberry farms where we gorged ourselves on berries.  The succulent salmon steaks, tender cuts of beef and the ice cold beer.  The quaint towns and the quiet roads made for wonderfully relaxed cycling.

Crossing this river Mic looked down and saw a platypus swimming around, a privilege to see this shy semiaquatic mammal in the wild.

Crossing this river Mic looked down and saw a platypus swimming around, a privilege to see this shy semiaquatic mammal in the wild

The closest we got to a Tassie Devil

The closest we got to a Tassie Devil

Lovely rolling hills

Lovely rolling hills

As we were rolling in to Hobart after two weeks on the road, we felt like our cycling legs were finally coming back and we were just starting to find some sort of rhythm.

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