The decision was made to head back home to Turners Beach, some 94 km away. We were scheduled to ride to Cradle Mountain then onwards to the Central Plateau. Snow was forecast to fall to 900 meters. In addition gales had been forecast. Safety is paramount and we really had no choice.
I know Tony did not sleep that well. It must have been his turn to worry about the conditions. We were in Waratah and that was 620 metres above sea level. The wind had been forecast to be westerly not ideal when heading north, as it blows on your left side pushing you to the right. Not ideal at all.
We were on the road by 7.25 am, passing the local roadhouse where schoolchildren waited for their bus. The temperature was 4.2 degrees Celsius. We were well rugged up.
In my case, I had 5 layers on. I wore my Koro yak wool long sleeve vest, then my Assos one piece kit, then my Trek jersey, then my Assos wind jacket followed by my Rapha rain jacket. In addition I had my winter leggings and neoprene booties over my leather riding shoes. But there is more….my Koro yak wool beanie under my helmet, and my Assos long sleeved gloves!! I was cosy 😊
We were fortunate that most of the rain had passed, and it was more showers at regular intervals. The temperature did stay under 5 degrees for about 30 km. The big plus, the wind was more southerly and gradually turned to the west by the 45 km point at Highclere.
As we approached Hampshire the number of trucks increased as the plantation wood chip mill is there, with B double trucks filling up and taking their load to the Port of Burnie. The trucks were fast and close, and we did our best to ride in the verge.
The scenery changed from forestry plantation to rural.
We were relieved to reach Burnie, with the trucks peeling off to the Port and us turning right onto the Bass Highway, 32 km to go.
Penguin was bustling somewhat, slowing us down, but we climbed the short hill to the lookout showing Ulverstone and Turners Beach in the background.
Here we are, same place where we started this adventure 1645 km ago. What a trip. We climbed 17,679 metres….putting that into a context for non cyclists, that is 2 x Mt Everest. This has been carrying all our luggage on our bikes adding additional weight, and altered bike handling.
So did we make the right decision cutting the trip short by a few days? The following two photos were in the media today. The first was at Cradle Mountain, where were scheduled to ride to today. The second is the Central Highlands where we would have been Friday. Yes, we made the right call.
So would we do it again? Yes.
To those who read my blogs, comment and like, my thanks and gratitude. Until our next adventure, Ooroo 😊