What a ride! We flew from Orford to Swansea (it felt like it anyway after yesterday’s hills!) and enjoyed this ‘flat’ part of the ride (by Tasmanian standards). Again, there was plenty of traffic, but it was all pretty good. The road was narrow with minimal shoulder in most places, but we kept our space on the road and cars went around us or waited patiently behind.
Just after the Spiky Bridge, Bec rode off the bitumen and onto the narrow dirt/gravel shoulder as there was a big line of traffic passing. This was a mistake because as soon as Bec moved off the bitumen the cars stopped giving her any space at all, which made it worse!
We had lunch in a great gallery/cafe in Swansea, about 57km from Orford. The coffee was good and the owner and staff were really friendly. It was only 1pm when we finished there, and sleepy as we felt after lunch, we decided to push on to Coles Bay, another 60kms away. It was to be a flat ride with only one hill after all.
About halfway we stopped at ‘The Pondering Frog’, a cafe in the middle of nowhere selling Devonshire teas and berry icecream. We stopped of course, feeling rather weary and wondering if we had made the right decision to continue to Coles Bay.
As soon as we walked in the owner was full of information and a details for us about where to camp and what to see. He told us about campsites reserved solely for cyclists in the Freycinet National Park at Coles Bay, and mentioned a rail trail up towards Scottsdale that would save us a massive climb (of course we were only interested in the rail trail part of that information, not the fact that it would help us avoid the mountain climb!).
Strangely enough, the road into Coles Bay looks flat on a map, but after 90kms it is not even close! By the time we reached the township we were shattered. Mr Pondering Frog had told us to head to the end of the main road to find the National Park visitor centre. There, we could ask about the spots for cyclists. When I reached the first corner in Coles Bay and realised the National Parks office was over yet another hill, I decided to stop and wait for Bec.
Coles Bay and Freycinet National Park are extremely popular holiday destinations. There are camp spots that get given out via a ballot system, and the only way you can get into the Big4 caravan park in town is by booking months ahead. The Big4 caravan park was closer than the National Park office however, and we thought it was worth a shot asking about any vacancies. Surely they would have space for two weary cycle tourists and a little tent?
The answer was no. They did have a cabin available due to a cancellation however, would we like to take that? I think we might have said yes regardless of the cost at that point (maybe they knew that), but Bec’s sister and her husband and kids had also arrived in Coles Bay and we’re looking for somewhere to stay. It didn’t take long and four adults and three kids were setting up house together in a tiny cabin!
Bec’s sister had brought food and wine and cooked dinner!
Due to the company and a post dinner stroll, we didn’t think about washing our clothes until after 9pm. Consequently it was late when we finally crashed, unable to stay awake any longer.
On a technical note, I had my iPhone plugged into the Dynamo hub on my Vivente Anatolia for much of the day. It charged perfectly, of course! I love the Vivente!