Brilliant day to be riding a bike

Up early, ate, packed and headed south at 6.40 am. The day was looking great and we were keen to get cracking as we had about 125 km to ride, all on the Tasman Highway. No options for quieter roads.

It was quite cool and at 2.94 km Tony realised why he was feeling cold. He had left his gilet hanging over a chair in the kitchen at our accomodation. Worse still, we had locked the unit and put the key into a box, and reception did not open until 9 am.

A few phone calls later, the jacket was retrieved and we headed back out like Groundhog Day. What is an extra 6 km on such a beautiful day?

Just a glorious morning.

We arrived in Scamander, and the local supermarket has a series of metal characters.

Scamander is a small town, with lovely vistas and a great coffee shop.

Off we rolled, making good progress and riding at a very chilled pace. That is the beauty of cycle touring. If you get the daily distance and destinations right, and you are lucky enough to have the weather gods on your side, it is very pleasant as you have all day to ‘get there’.

An agricultural region, this old farmstead was quite impressive even at a distance.

Approaching the Chain of Lagoons.

The Chain of Lagoons was very pretty, with an expansive camping area, surprisingly quite busy.

I like the chains on the chairs, taking a seat I enjoyed looking out at the beach and ocean.

Today was all about beaches following the East coast south and it is hard not throw a few more beach photos in. The beaches were all fairly secluded with few people visible.

Arriving into the town of Bicheno marked 75 km of our ride, and whilst a bit early for lunch, we had some anyway.

Why does the word visitors have its own metal sign? Did they stuff the spelling first time? Is it interchangeable? What other words might we out there? The big questions in life.

Bicheno has some wonderful geological formations.

The Gulch
The Blow Hole
The Blow Hole, take 2
The bikes chilling on the rocks

At the junction of the Tasman Highway and the road to Freycinet National Park is this kitsch cafe. They sell good icecream though! If you ever desired a frog souvenir, they will have it.

First glimpse of The Hazards. We had originally planned on cycling there, but there was a distinct lack of reasonably priced accomodation. At the time, the minimum there was well over $200 for the night, plus it is an in/out ride that did not overly appeal.

The biggest climb of the day was Cherry Hill, and it provided lovely views of Freycinet.

What goes up, must go down. This is the descent looking towards Cranbrook.

So here we are now in Swansea, a very quiet town on the shores of Great Oyster Bay looking towards Freycinet. This is the view from our room.

The beach here is not as great as earlier beaches. I realised today that this area was the scene of one of my great faux pas in life.

When I was at Uni, I did some sailing, crewing for a Uni friend Peter H on his beautiful wooden enterprise class dinghy.

This particular weekend we had the Tasmanian Championships. I was sharing a room with his mother, my former Home Economics teacher at high school. She gave me some ear plugs to wear as she said she snored badly. She did not exaggerate.

The following morning we had our first race and we had our best start ever. We were flying, and before we knew it, it was all over. Another dinghy crashed into the side and apparently it was my fault as I should have seen it coming. Whoops!

Major damage was inflicted. Some 25 years later I worked with his wife at the LGH. She went home and told her husband and he said ‘ she wrecked my boat’. Ouch.

For dinner we walked up the road to the old Bush Mill passing by this wonderful shoe in the local primary school yard.

Today we rode the Tasman Highway the whole day, and we had three close encounters. Firstly a black van with Victorian registration that came within inches, then a B Double who underestimated his length before cutting us off requiring evasive action not only by me, but the cars coming the other way, and finally an arrogant black Porsche driver who also buzzed us closely.

So it was with a smile on my face as I watched these kids playing football in the middle on the Main Street, that is also the Highway. Swansea is a sleepy town after hours.

A fantastic day on the bike, with the wind behind us for most of the time. 128 km, nearly 1000 metres climbing. Tomorrow is a shorter day so we will chill a tad…besides, we cannot get access to our bikes until 7 am. I needed to negotiate a more secure arrangement for the bikes than the rear of the building, outside!!

Thanks for reading, Ooroo.

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