Holy moly, what a day. Today is one of those days that will never fade into oblivion, but forever be etched in our memories.
Three main reasons – firstly it required lots of body engine power with over 2300 metres climbing into south westerlies of up to 60 kmh gusts. Secondly – we bonked ( me more so) and thirdly, extraordinary views.
At the start of our day we received a call from a cycling/swimming friend Paul L who was riding while he talked. He wanted to tell us that he saw us crossing the Bridgewater Bridge the previous day, and wish us luck for the rest of the trip. As a surveyor he has been through many of our areas travelled and it brought back memories.
The first 30 odd km were ok, leaving New Norfolk early with a lighter breakfast, and plans to eat at either National Park or Maydena. For about 25 km we roughly followed the Derwent River.
The first small township we rode through was Bushy Park, with lots of hops growing in fields.
Grapes also featured. Very pleasant with the sun out and no wind at this stage.
Mt Field National Park was quiet and the cafe closed. It was 8.50 am so probably a tad early. The pub we are staying at tomorrow night looks positively deserted! The Tyenna River looked very nice.
Maydena was another 12 km further on and there were signs out for a cafe at a MTB business so we plodded on. Sadly when we got to Maydena the town was quiet and snoozy. We were excited to see the Open sign for the MTB cafe but turns out they leave it there 24/7. I find that annoying and false advertising.
We peered through windows as we could hear dogs, and a lady came out (coffee in hand!) saying they were not open. I made a suggestion that perhaps they should bring their signs in when closed.
We stopped for a breather here.
We rode through areas savaged by more recent bushfires.
From hereon in our day became difficult. We climbed and descended, climbed and descended with our elevation climbing until we were at 651m above sea level. This is also where the omnipresent wind decided it would stay with us for the rest of todays ride.
The elevation graph shows the nasty pinches.
The views were amazing with an array of mountains.
At the 80 km point I was bonked….meaning I was not keeping up enough nutrition for the physical efforts required, fluid was also low. I was dizzy and felt generally shite. We stopped and had one of our emergency bars and studied the maps for rivers. We had crossed and passed so many earlier, but when you need one, none to be found.
Fortunately some 10-15 km further on, Tony thought he heard a waterfall off the road in the dense rainforest and filled up our bidons. We figured being so remote, no chance of agricultural wash off, and we would take the risk, as we were both so very thirsty.
It did the trick and we both picked up heaps, which was good as those hills did not relent and we had head wind and gusts most climbs.
Shortly thereafter was this weird sign.
We had no idea what to expect. This surprised us as it does seem somewhat out of place given the remoteness.
Onwards we plodded with both Lake Gordon and Lake Pedder looming on our Garmin computer, but not in the vistas which were extraordinary by now.
Finally the first part of Lake Pedder, the McPartlan Pass canal. Interesting information including the fact that the scheme is three times the size of the Snowy Mountains Lake Eucumbene.
Lake Pedder, or the edge of it. I never saw the original Lake Pedder before it was flooded, but it was a truly magnificent from all reports. I dug out an old photo. Sally C (work contact from the Federal Government) is staying here with her husband who used to fly tourists in. He is unsure where this old beach is now given the extent of the damming.
We were very relieved to finally make it to our accomodation at Pedder Wilderness Lodge, formerly the Hydro village that the workers lived in during the construction of the dam walls. This is the view off the main dining area.
Our room is one of the cheaper ones, being former workers accomodation, complete with ear plugs. Guess the walls are thin?
Dinner, we had two options….5.30 pm or 7.30 pm…we laughed. We were starving and 5.30 pm suited us fine. First time this trip we had three courses and planning on leaving later tomorrow for their buffet breakfast. Main course I had a steak and Tony parmigiana.
A helicopter landed a while ago, and it was used to transport Parks and Wildlife staff who are staying here tonight too.
Thanks for reading….we’re knackered and enjoying sitting on the lounges overlooking Lake Pedder. As a certain famous Australian used to say ‘do yourself a favour’ and come and check out Lake Pedder.