Archive for the ‘Tasmania’ Category

Week 2: Tasmania

February 14, 2010
Location: Queenstown, TAS

Today we docked in Devonport, Tasmania at about dark:00 am, and I was sleepy as all hell. I dragged myself and the bike off the boat and into a 24-hour cafe where I drank coffee and stared at the rain until daylight (migrating to a McDonald’s after a couple hours). At 10 am, I went to an outdoor store and bought the hugest, ugliest rain pants known to man. But boy was I happy to have them.

Fresh off the boat, welcome to Tasmania!

I rode along the coast to Smithton, then took a sand trail down to Zeehan then Strahan, and Queenstown, which is where I’m staying now.

Bridge after Smithton

The sand on this trail is actually silica, which has great traction when wet, which it almost always is.

We took a ferry across Pieman River. There’s the ferry operator! The XT600 and I were the only passengers on the ferry.

Finally, Strahan.

February 15, 2010
Location: Hobart, TAS

And so ends day 10. I’m really abusing my body on this trip. I think I’ll have to visit a day spa when it’s all over. The tap running at the campsite in Queenstown was putting out disgusting brown water, so I filled my camelback in the morning at an untreated ground tap. After drinking out of that all day, I had some stomach issues.

Today involved a mix of trail and tar from Queenstown to Hobart, via Laughing Jack Lagoon. The whole way out of Queenstown was indescribably gorgeous. It looked like I was in Jurassic Park. There is no way that words or photos could do it justice, so I’m not even gonna try.

I passed by several singletrack turnoffs that possibly led to somewhere awesome, but couldn’t bring myself to risk getting stuck on them. I thought long and hard about the roads not taken, and wished that someday I could come back with a riding mate to do better exploring. It made me sad, because I knew how way leads on to way, and I doubted if I should ever come back.

This is Laughing Jack Lagoon. The best part about Tasmania is that there’s NO ONE HERE.

February 16, 2010
Location: Hobart, TAS

Quite exhausted today. So today was a rest day. Hobart is, I think, the biggest city in Tasmania (and it’s tiny). I rode into the city in shorts and sandals – not good, but I’ve been wearing the same pants for 11 days now and I needed to get out of them for awhile. I walked around Hobart a bit, and then went to the Bonorong wildlife park. So, I did my touristy duty. I can’t wait to get outta here tomorrow. Being around people just reminded me of how much of a hermit I am.

Spot the XT600! My friend Joel asked me why I have to have my bike parked into every single one of my photos. It’s quite simple, really. I’m not a very good photographer. If you want to see coffee-table-quality photos of Tasmania, search google for them. I’m not trying to compete while wielding a $100 Canon Powershot; I just want my pictures to be personal. Furthermore, the XT600 is my best and only companion these days.

It’s Kanga and Roo!

February 17, 2010
Location: Bicheno, TAS

Today’s route was almost entirely dirt track from Hobart to Brighton to Stonehenge to Nugent to Ross to Bicheno.

I dumped the bike today while trying to avoid running over an echidna. Echidnas are interesting animals that curl up into a ball when startled, and then erratically change their minds and uncurl when my brakes are locked up. I would have been more amused if I didn’t have a 200-kg load to pick up. Actually, I can’t believe I did that. I must not have been completely awake yet. I seem to be in a perpetual state of exhaustion these days; I’m not sleeping well because it’s pretty darn cold at night in Tasmania. Kinda wish I’d kept that sleeping mat, heh.

Breathtaking views of Tasmanian landscape partially obscured by my bike are getting a bit tiresome. I’ll see if I can infuse some wildlife into this set.

Lake Leake

Bicheno before the storm. Everything looked a little surreal.

The girl working at the petrol station told me that penguins usually walk around the beach at dusk, so I waited in the freezing cold rain until 10pm to see the penguins come home. I thought that it would be like March of the Penguins brought to life, but it was not.

I left my shampoo in the campground shower last night, and someone stole it before I could retrieve it this morning. Oh well, I guess I won’t be washing my hair anymore. I’ll probably be bald soon, anyway. My hair has been falling out in handfuls since the start of the trip. I’m not sure if it’s a result of poor nutrition, or being wrapped up in a sweaty helmet all day, or both.

February 18, 2010
Location: Port Sorell, TAS

Another fantastic riding day, but what else is new? About 450 km of trails, from Bicheno to St Marys to St Helens to Ansons Bay to Gladstone to Scottsdale, then Bridport, George Town, Exeter, and here, somehow.

The cold blue Antarctic… brrr

Unfortunately, I do not have many pictures from today, because my camera battery died in the morning. My camera has no visible battery-life indicator until 5 seconds before it goes dead. Major design flaw, Canon!

I’m exhausted, but tomorrow will likely be low-mileage as I will be heading to Devonport to take the night ferry back to Melbourne.

February 19, 2010
Location: Ferry back to Melbourne

Rode a short loop around Port Sorell today. Wanted to ride on the beach, but park ranger would not let me. Next time I won’t bother asking.

I was going to ride to Cradle Mountain today, but was not sure that I would have enough time. I went to the harbour early, but the ferry ended up delayed for several hours. I hung out at the vehicle loading area with a bunch of other motorcyclists returning from Tasmania and talked smack about the roads we traveled.

Making new friends while waiting for the ferry

A couple of Aussies on BMWs were making fun of my “Yankee accent”. I thought that was interesting, because I had never been made fun of for having an accent before.

Next: Week 3 in South Australia


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