Generally speaking I’m not a great fan of out and back routes. I prefer to keep moving forward. After such a tough day yesterday we knew exactly how hard it would be riding out. No illusions at all. It was going to be tough with no alternative options possible.
I did not sleep that well, as I listened to the wind and the rain…thinking bugger, bugger, bugger. I do suffer from anxiety so it was concerning me.
We slept in today until 6 am, woken by the helicopter taking off with the Parks and Wildlife firefighters on board. (Multiple staff staying with at least a dozen we counted) with many 4WDs and the chopper.
Breakfast at the Pedder Wilderness Lodge does not commence until 8 am, so we had no choice but to chill and wait. As we waited in the lounge, we watched the chopper land, and spoke with the pilot as he came inside. They came back early as the weather was too wild and windy….great news for two cyclists 🙈
We had a very large breakfast and staff made us sandwiches for our lunch (and very kindly did not charge us for those….think they felt sorry for us).
The weather at breakfast varied as we looked out the window with glimpses of the sun giving us hope.
As we were about to leave, a younger English couple approached us to ask questions about our bikes. They had a large tour van and were doing an organised kayak trip on Lake Pedder. Suddenly we had a Plan B as they said they were heading out early afternoon and would help us out if the weather turned super shite. Very reassuring and nice to know we had a backup plan (as receptions advice was we should hitchhike!)
The wind was omnipresent. No hiding that elephant, but I’d have to say today it was more help than hindrance as it was still a south westerly. However, it was raining and we would spend much of the next few hours taking raincoats on and off.
The ride out was tough with a couple of really nasty, extended climbs where the inclines were consistently 10-15%. That’s tough with the touring gear on board.
Here is todays climbing graph. The hardest climb was that needle just before 40 km. That was harder than the one at around 52 km.
The weather though does provide different outlooks and here are some of the earlier photos that I like.
Then we had some sun and blue sky.
After a couple of mongrel climbs we were finally at the high point again, and it was blowing a gale, so we descended a short distance and sat on the side of the road to have a sandwich.
As can be seen in the photo above, I am sitting on the edge of a bushfire area that was devastated nearly 2 years ago in the Tasmanian World Heritage area. The regrowth has started but will still take many years recovery.
Tasmania has a significant area of land designated as world heritage, and the area we were just leaving covers 15,800 km2, representing almost 20% of Tasmania. It includes seven national parks and various other reserves.
Having left the wilderness, we were tracking towards Maydena, the town with no food! Again the cafe sign was open, but they still appeared closed. So we motored on another 12 km towards National Park.
Now happily ensconced at the local pub, we have showered, washed our clothes that should dry in record time in the wind. The pub is old and quite traditional old style Aussie pub.
Thanks for reading, Ooroo