We only did about 60 kms today, but it took us five hours. You heard right, five hours!
After coffee at the Richmond bakery and a bit of a look around the town, we set off on Prossers Rd to get out of Richmond, saving us a bit of highway travel. The road was gravel but comfortable to ride on, even with Bec’s 28mm tyres.
When we did hit the highway, it was only for a very short while because we got to turn left onto Aldridge Rd, an old tarred road that is almost unused now. It was beautiful and we rode around corners and mostly downhill until the bottom of our first real Tasmanian climb called Black Charlie’s Opening (elevation 296m). There was plenty of traffic and not much a shoulder but the vehicles were great and we just had to concentrate on not wobbling all over the place as we rode at around 7-8km/hr.
The next hill was the aptly named ‘Bust Me Gall Hill’ (elevation 336m).
Needless to say the descents after these hills were absolutely glorious, long sweeping corners and beautiful scenery. We had a headwind the whole way which kept our speed down to about 45km/h. If we wanted to go any faster we would have had to pedal!
When we reached Buckland we had a rest stop at the public rest area. There is not much in Buckland apart from a roadhouse, old pub and public toilets. We were glad we had some food to eat with us because the roadhouse tucker was not that inviting.
Being Tasmania, there were plenty of other climbs, not quite as noteworthy but all quite tiring!
The final few kilometres into Orford were a little bit uncomfortable. The traffic was polite enough but the road was very narrow and cars were constant, probably because January school holidays are prime time for tourists on the east coast.
We rolled up to the new caravan park feeling exhausted and with a slight sense of panic about the next two weeks. We were a bit dismayed to find a barren paddock bearing the sign for the new park.
Orford has been without a caravan park/camping ground since 2008 when the last one that was situated right on the beach closed due to the beach eroding away. The new one opened recently and is further from the beach. The only problem with a new park however, is that the new trees have not had a chance to grow, and the new grass is still mostly dirt. The owners were lovely and the amenities were great. In another ten years this place should be fantastic!
Bec was desperate to swim, cold water or not, and threw herself into the water at beautiful Raspin’s Beach, just across the road. I followed reluctantly and was surprised to find the water was warmer than an ice bath…ever so slightly.
There is an IGA supermarket in Orford, which is where we stocked up for dinner, then we used the kitchen at the caravan park to cook and eat dinner. While we were there we had a good chat and a laugh with Gerhard and Bieber, holidaying from Germany. They are passing through Townsville in May, so we made a plan to catch up.
Tomorrow we hope to make it to Coles Bay, which is about 115km from Orford. It’s supposed to be flat, but we know enough not to be sucked in by that!