We awoke with the Elephant Pass calling us and our new riding world of Tasmania all around us. The excited chatter, banter, jokes and laughter between Hydro and I every morning is a cool way to start the day. We were high on life, each day promised to deliver new things, experiences and people into our happy biking orbit. The routine of packing our usual overnight items into the panniers, rolling up the swags and bike checks was fine tuned. The bikes always warmed up as we donned the final pieces of riding gear and then we were off like prawns in the sun.
I had spotted a river with the namesake of my great mate Doug Swift, so I had to pull up for a photo! As I mentioned in the very beginning of my adventure he has a large and pivotal role in this quest for exploration and adventure, to do things while you can, to make to most of life. You may see a sticker I've put just above my speedo, a personal affirmation if you like... it's "Swift & Safe" Without sounding all heeby jeeby, it makes me think every day of how fortunate I am with my health, wellbeing and ability to do the things I do. Doug rides with me everywhere even though he is at home or the hospital battling cancer. The man is an inspiration too me with his strength of character and unfathomable wisdom.
The Elephant Pass was just a taste of what Tassie had to offer. Click to watch. The footage doesn't give you the real feel of the tightness of corners the sheer drop into forrest wilderness. I suggest that you go ride Tasmania yourself to understand what mean! if you already have then I am sure your nodding your grinning head in agreement... hahaha
After getting up to the top of the pass at St Marys, Hydro and I took about 2 seconds to agree to turn around and roar back down it in reverse. Be careful and stick to your side of the road! You never know whats coming the other way and won't, till the last second! What a way to open the account for the morning, twisting 1st gear turns, with amazing views that terrified you because you didn't want to take your eyes off the road, high speed straights into narrow wooded corners that promised a test of your skill and courage every time... Grinning.
With the adrenaline pumping we rode back down to Bicheno for a bakery breakfast feed and on to who knows what!
Coles Bay was next on the map and as with the Bay Of Fires, it was recommended by all, off we rode...
Just around the corner from Bicheno near Apslawn, looking out over Moulting lagoon and beyond.
Another Lighthouse, Cape Tourville. Again we rode up the access track which is probably not allowed but as with most every other place we travelled, no one or hardly anyone was around. This time it was Hydro that dared to risk it and I followed cautiously.
Amazing views from the walkway viewing platforms.
A video of Coles Bay area, click to watch. You can hear Hydro being his humorous self in the back ground. This place with its fresh breeze gave a feeling of crisp, clean and unspoilt.
More bays on the way down the coast. Tirzah Beach.
Instead of taking the Tasman Highway down to Port Arthur we decided on a bush short cut through the coastal forrest south of Orford. Unfortunately as we got out down the track we found the road closed and barriered off. Luckily there were some local dirt bikers nearby that let us in on a way through a unlocked paddock that the earth work machinery company stored its equipment. We were able to bypass the washed out bridge under construction and continue along some fast (and very slow) forestry access tracks. Dodging startled roos and dust we had a great time riding off the beaten track in places.
Bypass video. Click to watch.
After riding through the beautiful forest area we came back onto the tar near Dunalley and were totally shocked at the devastation caused by the recent bush fires. I have always seen the news reports on TV and watched from the safety and comfort of my lounge. To ride through the aftermath, seeing folks with tents pitched next to what was previously their home but now just a chimney and scorched, twisted corrugated iron had me near tears.
The randomness of the fires actions too was unbelievable. Riding pass half a dozen burnt to the ground homes, then you would have one house totally untouched, standing defiantly amongst another four or five more houses further on down the road. It didn't make sense but certainly shocked you with the destruction. Shops, sheds, paddocks, homes even water tanks were charred victims of what was a hungry predator.
Riding into Dunalley. Click to watch.
Pirates Bay near Eaglehawk Neck. Land of the Long White Cloud?
Although we didn't ride a great distance kilometre wise we certainly packed in a full day checking out all the nooks and crannies of the coast, forests, mountains and farmland areas. With the sun setting it was time for dinner and some comfortable accommodation not to mention a few cleansing ales...
Dinner and digs for the night. Fox and Hound, Port Arthur.