AUSTRALIA Page 15 - TASMANIA - March 2007.

Australia, the adopted homeland of both Mal and Lee. The only continent under one government and the country we both love. The picture above is the “skyline” of our city, you can click on the picture to get a larger image. Perth is one of the most isolated regional capital cities in the world. There are so many things to say about our country that I simply do not know where to begin...


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Thursday March 8th 2007 Lilydale to Bush camp about 15k's from Scottsdale.
Approx. 24.87k's Average Speed 7.15kph Cycling time 2Hr(s) 58Min. Max speed. 60kph Max temp we recorded 25°C (Shade)
Terrain:
Hilly. Road Conditions: Poor, O/night Accom.: $.
We started our day with a “toss up” as to weather we will cycle.. The rain last night – though heavy – did not persist. Kathleen was sore (Bottom) and altogether not feeling too good. She had a tough first day, on her bike... We were reluctant to leave her in the tent, however she insisted we go.. - Kathy in her tent as we cycle past



The hills were even worse than yesterday.. Just exceeding 7kph average and the cycling time is no reflection of how long we were in the saddle... Most of our day was “spinning” at 2kph up hill. This is heavy exercise and should improve out aerobic capabilities if we can continue..
Met another couple who started the tour on new recumbent trike's... They had them in a hire van :-) I will leave you to figure out the reasons :-) Hills may come into the equation...



Clearly we need to revise our mileage aspirations down to perhaps 300K's each 10 days rather than 500 as is our original goal... We will see how it pans out. Also we may need more recovery time, in the form of rest days... Be nice if we could find a camp like Lilydale for our rest day... Oh well. Pics coming later...
Friday March 9th 2007 Bush camp about 15k's from Scottsdale to Scottsdale.
Approx. 15.10k's Average Speed 8.39kph Cycling time 1Hr(s) 47Min. Max speed. 49kph Max temp we recorded 24°C (Shade)
Terrain:
Hilly. Road Conditions: Poor, O/night Accom.: $.
Good bush camp and cool night.. Just a note on bush camps here in Tassie. We have found them hard to find, fencing goes right to the road and most gates have a huge “PRIVATE” sign on them, mostly by logging corporations. If the trend continues we will try asking farmers if we can use a spot on their farm – who knows one may say yes. Our intentions were to travel only the 15k's to Scottsdale rather than a rest day... Very hilly but no big climbs like the past two days. Nothing of interest occurred on the ride to Scottsdale, however the scenery was magnificent, what there was of it that is... Logging is the dominant industry here.. Clear Felled landscapes are the norm. Any thinking caring person would be sickened by this destruction... Why we humans can not find a better way – or is it because a few humans want extreme wealth? Our grand children's children will inherit a planet raped by greed; they will have to fix it. The carnage continues with Wallabies, Possums and Tasmanian Devils being the majority victims. The smell of death is all around as we ride past.


The road from Devonport to Scottsdale is overwhelmed with litter, from discarded cars to all manner of cans, fast food containers tyres, lots of tyres, and general rubbish. It is by far the most polluted state we have travelled. In fairness we still have much more to see... I will report on this subject towards the end of our journey... I have been considering an epilogue – for all states.
Saturday March 10th 2007 Scottsdale to Branxholm.
Approx. 24.72k's Average Speed 7.88kph Cycling time 3Hr(s) 08Min. Max speed. 66kph Max temp we recorded 32°C (Shade)
Terrain:
Hilly. Road Conditions: ALL Poor in Tassie, O/night Accom.: $.
Hot day for Tassie... 32C cool morning and now a cool evening. Saw lots of cyclists on the road today.. Some looked on with amusement.



We had intended going on to Derby, however we needed to wash some clothing and shower.. We decided the extra 8k's we would gain by going to Derby, would be best done tomorrow... $11.00 campsite with all mod cons is good value.
Sunday March 11th 2007 Branxholm to Weldborough.
Approx. 30.69k's Average Speed 8.09kph Cycling time 3Hr(s) 47Min. Max speed. 58kph Max temp we recorded 23°C (Shade)
Terrain:
Very Hilly. Road Conditions: ALL Poor in Tassie, O/night Accom.: $.
Very hilly with one long gentle downhill, which of course pumps up the stats... Our climbing has gone from 2kph to 3kph... There are obviously fractions involved in the equation, however we are improving. One hill was responsible for almost three hours pedalling... Met our German friends, the ones from Lilydale, again. They gave us two litres of water and some apples... We had a long chat – really enjoy their company as we have so much in common. Saw lots of wildlife today, most of it dead. We saw about three Echidna,



they are very difficult to photograph, despite it being very cool I am covered in sweat in this photograph, from spinning up the hill. We stayed behind the Weldborough Hotel, which shows as free camping in the “Camps” book.



We have been told that, since the book was published, the hotel has been sold to a Queensland woman. She wants $15.00 PN for unpowered site – no water, no kitchen or BBQ.... We are unable to cycle on and being so late we did not have time to find a bush camp. I hope those that read this are able to just drive through and not support them at all.
Monday March 12th 2007 Weldborough to St Helens.
Approx. 45.40k's Average Speed 10.83kph Cycling time 4Hr(s) 11Min. Max speed. 52kph Max temp we recorded 26°C (Shade)
Terrain:
Very very Hilly. Road Conditions: ALL Poor in Tassie, Very narrow winding roads O/night Accom.: $.
Very very hilly with very narrow winding roads. Huge climb out of Weldborough, followed by a frightening decent. 11K's of downhill parts of it very steep... We are both so impressed with the “Avid” disk brakes... Mine glowed red at times, but never faded... We adjusted them after we stopped as we certainly used a bit of “brake pad” on that decent. After the “hill” we stopped at Pyengana and talked with Johnno (and Sam) (yes that's how he spelled it); the new owner of the Willows roadhouse, come everything. Great guy, from Sydney, been there three years and in the process of rebuilding an “image” destroyed by the previous poor management...



Great food, we had a “Big Brekky” for $8.00 after ours was eaten by either a Tassie Devil or a Tassie Cat... both looked the same in the dark... The animal got into our panniers and ate our food.. By the time we woke and realised what was going on it had “sampled” too much food and we just threw it out. We arrived in St Helens late and had little choice but to stay at the “Big4” C/van park, a grossly overpriced dump that treats campers as rodents. The manager/owner needs a personality transplant.

We are in need of a “Rest Day” as the going has been strenuous for our bodies... like these hills....



It is always better to prevent than fix injuries. We will NOT be giving this c/van park anything.. We will move on 18 or so k's to a free camp area... Met some American Cyclists who were astounded at our third world telephone infrastructure... I will not “get started” on the corporate vermin “Telstra”... We had intended staying in St Helens for two days but because we have been treated so badly by BIG4 C/van parks... none of the local traders will benefit from our stay here... This goes for at least four other camping couples and one single... Pointless complaining to tourism Tasmania as money ALWAYS wins. Conversely - As always we have met one “brain-dead” BIG4 “member” (You purchase (duh!!!) your 10% discount for $25.00 pa we were told this in Albany) who thinks the sun shines out of all their a#@%^s.... Duh!!!... Wonder if they are justifying their “membership”??... Anyhow we added that for “balance”.
Tuesday March 13th 2007 St Helens to 4ks north of Beaumaris – free camping area.
Approx. 12.42k's Average Speed 10.43kph Cycling time 1Hr(s) 11Min. Max speed. 42kph Max temp we recorded 21°C (Shade)
Terrain:
Very very Hilly. Road Conditions: ALL Poor in Tassie, Very narrow winding roads O/night Accom.: $.
Still very hilly with very narrow winding roads. Losses continue today with the Zonder horn and bicycle computer. It leaves us with the backup computer only... Abuse continued in St Helens, however, they are not so clever here... The moron in the ute that verbally abused me stopped within distance of me... I had a few “kind” words to him when he got out of his ute and he kept apologising profusely... I guess I am just a charming personality.



Met some good people from USA touring Tassie on a bike... He has cycled and surfed a fair bit but his wife has not.. “Tongue in Cheek”, he said “don't tell my wife about the hills”... We kept telling her it was flat, however I think she “smelled a rat” :-) Good luck Jeff and Pele Fleming, with your cycling



Jeff is a real down to earth sort of guy, with an exceptional grasp of world affairs, “outside party lines”. Did not get much chance to talk with Pele.
We are now set up in our free area, hoping for a good nights sleep...
Wednesday March 14th 2007 Beaumaris – free camping area to Lagoons free camping area.
Approx. 38.72k's Average Speed 13.28kph Cycling time 2Hr(s) 54Min. Max speed. 62kph Max temp we recorded 23°C (Shade)
Terrain:
Very very Hilly. Road Conditions: ALL Poor in Tassie, Very narrow winding roads O/night Accom.: $.
Still a lot of hills but some good flat stretches as well. Lots of ”Tasmanian Number plate Drivers” abusing us on the road.... Met a dog going out of it's mind “itching” - managed to put some Tiger Balm on it and it went for a sleep, obviously relieved... It appears we are not alone in feeling not welcome... Others both Australian and “other” have said – without provocation – that they feel “not wanted”. One Melbourne guy said “look for the scar on the shoulder, that's where they had the other head removed”. I told him it was not true, they have two scars :-)... For us, the number of people not happy with Tassie outnumber those that are?

Commitment here.. I will not initiate comment on Tassie, but will report good and bad UNSOLICITED comment in my journal... Will tally up the comments at the end – time permitting. I will NOT report “solicited” comment.



Nice free camp ground, but not as nice as “Diana's Beach” where we stayed the night before.
Toilets are “Long Drop”, however these were pretty “full”.... Phew!!!!



They are called “Hybrids”



Catchya Tomorrow....

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