Nice and cool this morning I rode my Super Tenere off the Spirit of Tasmania without breakfast about 7am. The first thing I noticed was that the GPS was dead. Great! I stopped at a café ner the wharf and grabbed a couple of bacon and egg muffins and got my bearings. My first destination was Smithtown in the northwest. I had no trouble finding my way out of Devonport and I marveled at the beautiful scenery and great roads I encountered travelling along the north coast of the island.
Then an inconvenience. There had been a fatal collision near and the road to Smithtown had been closed. The detour was described as being a gravel road but everyone was turning around happily. Soon after that I found myself riding in traffic on a fire trail that include Spion Kop Road thinking everyone had gone mad and got lost, particularly the cattle truck (semi) and the milk tanker that were using it. There was even a river crossing with about 30cm of reasonable fast flowing water running over a concrete crossing. Madness but fun on the Super Tenere. Eventually we popped out onto some tarred roads and the journey west continued.
I had to stop at a hardware store at Smithtown to buy a washer and re-attach the hand protector on the left side of the handlebar. I’d botched the reattachment when I put on the Grip Puppies just before I left for the trip. Then with fuel on board it was time to head south to Irishtown for a Farchallenge pic, the first for today.
With that done I had to head back to Burnie, fortunately the road was being cleared just as I arrived at the other side of the road block and after a short wait I was on my way. At Burnie I went south, the next destination was Queenstown. I didn’t need to go that way, the next location was the top of Mt Wellington in Hobart but I was keen to experience as much of Tassie as I could while I was down there and Queenstown was on my own bucket list. Part of that ride was particularly sensational, the Hellyers Gorge. Wow, windy, steep and bucketloads of fun with enough rubbish on the road to force you to keep your wits about you.
I thought about looping out to Strachan but decided based on what I’d seen so far that munching kilometres in Tasmania is much more difficult than on the mainland. I stopped for fuel and a few photos in Queenstown, the terrain is sensational, a great big mine and barren hills surround the town. It’d been described to me as lunar and that’s not far wrong.
From Queenstown I started heading south east towards Hobart through the famous Gordon Franklin National Park. I couldn’t believe I rode over the Franklin River but didn’t have too long to ponder it, I don’t think there were any straight pieces of road through there. Sensational riding!
I then rode through a scenic rural landscape and a few small towns until I reached Hobart. The route to Mt Wellington took me straight through the centre of town and thankfully it was well enough sign posted to fid without incident since the GPS hadn’t come to life. The ride up Mt Wellington was also smile generating and I hung around for a while to take some pics and take in the views.
Back down the mountain and out of Hobart it was time to make some distance up the east coast and look for somewhere to spend the night. I passed through Sorrell and eventually happened upon a little town called Orford about 8pm. I walked into a Club that had some accommodation and luck was with me. They had a room and the kitchen was closing but they were happy to feed me.
I ordered a chicken breast fillet with seafood and Dijon sauce with vegies and it hit the spot perfectly. I grabbed a six pack of UDL Gin and Tonics and went back to my room for some TV and a decent night’s sleep dreaming of the fun I was going to have tomorrow on these great roads.
About 800ks done in a little under 11 hours with a couple of long stops and a ride up Mt Wellington, so an IBA ride is more than possible here but route planning would be critical. I’ll dream about that another day.