Author Archives: kellbess

Sunday 30 October to Thursday 3 November

Leaving the ride, catching up with friends and family then heading home.

We left the hotel on Sunday at mid day and traveled what turned out to be just 2 k to my cousin Christine’s. We are staying here till Thursday. We went for a nice walk and that night Sally who I used to work with came around for dinner it was great to catch up with her again.

I am still having lots of problems with asthma and am thinking about going to see a doctor. That night as I was going to bed I felt itchy and noticed I had a rash over my torso front and back. I decided to go along to the local hospital called the Alfred. I was triaged as category 3 and was in the ED in about 20 minutes. They treat everyone as if they have COVID until proven otherwise and have masks that clamp onto your nose so they can’t fall down. I had blood tests and a chest X-ray and lots of asthma medication. Within about 30 min of being in ED I was moved into the short stay unit. This is a hospital with sufficient space so they can get good patient flow very jealous. The outcome of my visit is no issues with chest X-ray, the rash is related to the virus and I am given more asthma medication to take home. It is always reassuring as a previous smoker to know your lungs are ok.

On Tuesday as we are here we went to the Melbourne cup. This was the coldest day at the cup in a quarter of a century and the wettest since 1929. I decided not to wear my dress and freeze and instead was very unglamorous in trousers, a jersey and a jacket plus my riding beanie. There were a number of young woman in beautiful dresses who didn’t seem to be feeling the cold. We had no winners in the cup but did get a first in the next race dynamite Jack. It was good fun with great atmosphere despite the weather.
It was great spending a few days with my cousin and also spending sometime relaxing and reading and not doing much before heading home. Thursday morning we got picked up at 4:45 by the shuttle to take us to the airport. Another trip in the bag. At this stage the next one planned in 2024 see last photo below.

Above first photoSally and me.Second the weather report for the cup.

Above having fun at the races.

Below Morocco planned for 2024 😀👍

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Saturday 29 October: Geelong to St Kilda Melbourne

The option is 80 k ride to Melbourne with floods and detours or catch the train and 8 k riding ( I chose the train Brett decided to ride). NB As of this week the ferry no longer docks in Melbourne it dicks in Geelong.

I stayed awake most the night as the ship tossed and turned and continued to make the loud banging noises. Brett of course with his years as a seafarer slept soundly. I managed not to be sick but I felt pretty nauseous and was pleased when the boat entered the smoother waters at about 2:30 am as predicted. I feel asleep after this until the loud intercom at 5:45 waking everyone up.

Once we got off the ship we had to ride 3 k to a roadhouse where TDA had organised for us to have breakfast. I am not sure if they had told the road house we were coming as it was chaos and the 3 staff were overwhelmed as there were other customers as well. Eventually after about an hour everyone had had breakfast.

One of the other riders Barb is catching the train with me. We had a bit of difficulty finding the train station but got there in the end and caught the train into Melbourne. We only got lost a couple of times on the 8 k ride and got to the hotel about 10:30. The 2022 ride is over !

The rooms are not ready but they have a great guest lounge so I logged onto the WIFI and caught up with emails and some blogging. There were regular updates on the riders and the detours and floods. There were some bike paths that were waist high in water so riders pushed their bikes over hills etc to get through. Sitting here drinking coffee very happy my choice. Later on Catherine who started riding but gave up due to the flooding and caught the train has a bottle of red and gives me a glass. In the middle of all the updates on the whatsApp from the riders of floods and detours Barbs posts photo of the two of us drinking wine and posts “travel by train”.

Later on the usual laundry getting the bikes cleaned and boxed up, shoes scrubbed etc. Tomorrow we are heading off to stay with my cousin Christine for four days. On Tuesday as we are in Melbourne we are going to the Melbourne cup.

The first photo is us leaving the ship. The second photo is the TDA riders and us from the left Joe, Doug, Brett, me ,Micah and Katie. Third is another view of the ship we were on.

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Friday 28 October: Sheffield to Devonport

34.1 k with 435 meters to climb and 684 down (turned out 38.7 k and 545 meters climbing)

Today is also raining and I am still not impressed at the extra riding not only because of the weather but also because of the tough riding we have already done on this section.
First of all we rode back to the RSL where the Sheffield Christian Woman’s association made breakfast and what a feast it was. They bought out huge plates of food and then came round with more platters of food. While we were there we took a couple of photos of riders on the tour who had done the 2016 NZ section of Trans Oceania and the 2015 South American. In the second photo on left is Sven, Brett, me, Tony, Michele ,Chris and Linda 2015 South America. The second photo is 2016 trip.

As we left the RSL it started to rain so we went back past the motel and put the overboots on our shoes. This is so much easier to do sitting on a chair than the side of the road. Coming out of town we went past a field with lots of chickens and a golden retriever. The dog came rushing up to the fence barking but when we stopped to say hello he was wagging his tail very excited to be talking to us. Then he was like no, wait! I’m a guard dog so he started barking again, then but it’s also lovely to meet you wagging his tail again. After a few cycles of this it was time to leave hills are awaiting. We climbed up a few hills before we got to the arboretum. We met another rider coming out and he said they had walked around and had not seen any platypus. As it was raining we decided not to stay. After we left we had more hills I was not enjoying todays ride at all. Still have problems with asthma and once again I had to get off on on a couple of hills. I was standing on the side of one when Liz and John went past again. They must wonder if I actually do any riding 😂. The downhill was all big downhill one into a suburb before Devonport.

We are getting the overnight ferry from Devonport later today back to Melbourne. We have to be at the terminal at 4:45 .TDA has organised for us to get changed in a toilet block by the beach and then we are responsible for our bikes until we get to the ferry. It is wet and cold and the toilet door is wet. The main shopping centre is a taxi ride away and not easy for people to get a taxi with a bike. TDA had said they would not mind the bikes. How hard would it have been for them to get a couple of cabins in the motor camp we are right by? This way people could have had a shower and stored their bikes for the day. Michele and Tony have their car and are taking us up the coast for lunch but don’t have room in the car for our bikes as well as us. Luckily the motor camp is more than happy to store our bikes for $5 each.

We went up the road to a town called Penguin which is a very pretty coastal town.There were of course statues of Penguins everywhere. We had a very nice lunch with fish tacos and craft beer then we had a walk around the town. Then it was time to go back to Devonport and say goodbye to Michele and Tony 😞. It has been so great riding with them again and we are already planning our next trip.

Off to the ferry Tasmanian Spirit 1. The boarding all went smoothly, we are in an internal cabin so no porthole to look out of.We have two sets of bunks but thankfully there are only two of us in the cabin. It soon looks like a laundry as we hang our riding clothes around to dry.

The first couple of hours sailing are quite smooth and we went for a look around the ship. We went to the top deck and got a cold drink and had a chat for awhile. Then we walked around the ship a bit more and decided to go for dinner .The dinner was a really nice Buffett with with great selections including oysters ,salmon and lots of salads. This is when I discover that I have managed to lose my credit card again! After dinner we went to see the staff at the information desk to see if it had been handed in. No luck there so we retraced our steps up to level 10 and there is my credit card in the arm of the chair where it had fallen. I carefully put it into a snap lock bag and into my bag rather than in my pocket.

I am not the best of travellers on the sea and was in two minds whether to eat or not but decided at least that way I would have something to throw up.
We stayed up a bit after dinner and then headed down to the cabin where I tried to sleep. The trip had got rougher and the ship every now and then made a loud banging noise that was quite disconcerting. Brett said that by 2:30 am we will be back in calm waters so I got the rubbish bin and put it by my bed and lay down and hoped for the best.

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Thursday 26 October: Tullah to Sheffield

107.9 k with 2152 meters climbing and 2063 meters down.
After a fairly restless night and a discussion with Brett we decided to get a lift to 23 k and cut out the first 600 meters of climbing. The TDA staff are feeling a bit stretched as a number of riders have decided they want a lift to lunch at 54.4 k as they want to hike around cradle mountain. Others have decided not to ride at all or like us get a lift to 23 k. In they end they have to make a couple of trips to fit everyone in. I am really pleased to have made this choice when I find I have no appetite for breakfast. I feel like I am still full and digesting last nights dinner. I usually am really luckily and don’t have issues with what I eat but am left reflecting perhaps pasta would have been a better choice.
We get dropped off at the 23 k mark and have a couple of K before climbing. There are two hills that the gradient is too steep for me and I get off and walk. I was very pleased to get to the sign below (3rd photo) that we had completed the highest climb of the day.

Just after the highest peak at the bottom of the next hill were cattle stop bars going across the road. I slowed right down and then lost any momentum for the climb up. It was cold but thankfully at this stage not wet and soon we saw the sign for the turn to Cradle Mountain where we were stopping for lunch.
Cradle Mountain is in the central highland region of Tasmania and is popular for a range of hikes (tramps). The mountain was formed by igneous dolerite sill that intruded through the Permian -Jurassic sedimentary layers cooling to form a hard layer. Subsequent erosion from the Pleistocene glaciation left caps of dolerite at Cradle mountain and surrounding peaks. The three photos below of Cradle Mountain are from Wikipedia.

At lunch I still didn’t feel like eating so filled up my water bottles and waited for Brett to have a sandwhich and then we were off again. By this time it had started raining which it continued doing most of the day. 5 minutes after leaving lunch was one of the highlights of the trip. Along the road were a number of small bushes and I suddenly realised one of them was moving. It was a wombat! It was so lovely to see one in the wild. The wombat seemed quite relaxed about us watching it until another rider stopped and spoke and it scurried off.

Below two photos of the wombat. Also a photo of a tree you can see the mark in the trunk where the early settles cut a slot so they could put a plank to stand on while they cut the tree down.

It was a long wet afternoon at one stage with a steep long down hill I started to get cold but this was soon rectified when we started climbing up again. We were near the top of one climb when Liz and John swept past while I was having a pause on the side of the road. We got to the top of this climb and then crossed the road straight into another climb. I for some reason thought at the top of the next climb it was flat for the rest of the day. I am not sure where I got this information from but it was about another 20 k with approx. 500 meters left to climb! The first photo below got the only smile out of me for the remainder of the ride. If it wasn’t so wet and I wasn’t tired I would have ride the two K to “ Nowhere else” just for a look. The other photos are views from the road. Luckily there was no ice.

By the time we got to Sheffield it was about 4 pm and our rooms were ready. Whilst we had not done the whole 2152 meters climbing we had down 1524. The first thing to sort once we got into the room was to start drying riding gear for tomorrow. Motels and hotels would be horrified to learn the role that hairdryers play in drying out riding shoes and clothes.
Sheffield like the other small towns is looking for a point of difference and this is the the mural town. On just about every wall is a mural. Below two different murals and the local music store. The owner looked like he could sub in for Dr Who.

Above a couple of the buildings plus a photo of a house from Queenstown. This is the one with all the ornaments in the front.
TDA have changed the route for tomorrow. Originally it was 27 k with 120 meters of climbing. We now have a new route 34 k and 435 meters of climbing. All so we can go to an arboretum and possibly see a Platypus. Not sure I am so keen given the weather forecast.

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Wednesday 25 October: Queenstown to Tullah

57.3 k with 1033 meters climbing and 1025 metres down.
A much shorter riding day today without nearly as much climbing 😀. We had an amazing breakfast buffet with mushrooms, tomatoes, poached as well as scrambled eggs, hash browns , bacon and sausages.
We again have climbing straight away so we decided to go for a ride around town to stretch our legs and warm up a bit first. Thankfully we are not going out of town the way we came in. Below the first photo is of the town as we left cold and misty and second a statue of a pioneer family. The third is todays ride.

The first 15 k was mostly climbing but then we had a few k of hills with ups and downs. These hills you can get a bit of speed on the down and get all or most of the way up for free. I love these hills. It was cold and misty when we left town but it then turned warm and sunny. So nice to see the sun again.
We got to lunch by Lake Plimsoll at 34.7 k about 10 am this was way too early to be hungry for lunch. We stopped to get water and instantly we started being eaten by sandflies so we left very promptly. I am pleased we didn’t stop for long as we were then into climbing for about 5 k. I am still having some issues with asthma so I am having to stop for small rests on the roadside and then start on a reasonably steep hill. It would be an understatement to say I am not great at hill starts . I had a head injury nearly 30 years ago and it still affects my balance. I manage hill starts by going across to the opposite side of the road then going diagonally across and then making a quick turn to the direction I want to go.This generally works but occasionally requires more than one attempt. Occasionally the hill is too steep and I just walk to the next flatter bit of road (a good chance to stretch the legs).

Below a photo of me climbing another hill, second photo a look back from the road to lake Plimsoll, third photo from the balcony where we are staying.

We came to a road sign saying 10% gradient which I initially read as going up! which resulted in a groan. Then I was like wait! no it says trucks use brakes 😀we are going down 👍. We went down quite a while then onto the flat into Tullah.
We got to where we were staying about 1:30 and and none of the rooms were ready. I went to get a cold drink and couldn’t find my credit card. I looked through my coats and through my bike bag it was no where to be seen. I then spent about 20 minutes managing to get a WIFI signal strong enough to log on and block my card. About 30 minutes later I was standing by the fire talking to Michelle and felt a square lump on the back of my leg. At some point my credit card had fallen out of my riding top pocket and luckily jammed itself against the back of my leg. Also luckily held firmly in place by Lycra. So then the next 30 minutes? yep getting a strong enough WIFI signal to unblock my card. One way of filling in the time while waiting for a room.
The Tullah lodge is quite large and has a big restaurant and bar with a huge range of cakes, slices, ice cream, coffee, meals ,beer and wine. A lot of tourists especially the gray nomads in their campers call in here for meals and or for a night out of the van. There are a number of dams and lakes but the main attraction is Cradle mountain which is a couple of hours drive away.

The restaurant was quite full for dinner as well as a bunch of mad cyclists and tourists there are also a number of road workers staying here. I guess they work during the week and drive home for the weekends. We were sitting at one long table about 30 of us and Tony, Brett ,Michele and I are at the top of the table closet to the kitchen. One of the wait staff, who does not look like she enjoys her job, at first every time when bringing dishes to the table asks us who they are for. When we don’t know she looks annoyed with us but thankfully after a few more time attempts gives up on us and moves down the table.
I ordered chicken parmigiana which was huge as were all the meals.
I have trouble going to sleep thinking about tomorrows ride and the weather forecast. 107.9 k with 2152 meters to climb up and 2063 down, weather wet, windy and cold.

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Tuesday 24 October: Tarraleah to Queenstown.

134.9 k with 1924 metres of climbing and 2351 down.

It is cold and misty with a slight drizzle so not the most appealing looking day for riding. I am still having trouble with asthma so 1 am using the inhaler on a regular basis. If it gets worse I have a short course of 20 mg steroids with me I can take. I am a bit concerned given my lack of ability to climb yesterday about whether I can make the ride today. I decided after thinking about it to take a lift for the first 13 k rather go straight into climbing up 600 metres. It always takes me about 30 minutes to warm up and I find climbing before that even more than the normal challenge. Add that to asthma plus a lingering cough I decide it’s a good plan. Brett decides he is going to ride. The first photo below is a photo of the scenery, second info for today and the third a plaque that we are in the centre of Tasmania.

The is a motorbike race in Tasmania with motor bike riders on the road as well. The first photo above is a stack of the bikes outside the wombat cafe. I went in to have a hot chocolate and was pretty sure Brett would catch up with me before I left. Second photo view of the road and third photo the power station. Brett still had not arrived so I set off for lunch. Very pleased I have good wet weather clothes as it is raining steadily.

Three photos above taken by Michele Kline two of the road and the middle Tony climbing yet another hill.

We had a big down hill into lunch so did not stop for long as did not want to cool down and get cold.
First photo above from the cottage this morning and the next two taken by Michele. A view of the road and the lunch stop. After lunch more down hill and then back into climbing. Lots of climbing at one point I was having a moment at the side of the road and a motorist stopped to ask if I needed assistance. I must have looked as tired as I felt.
I was surprised that Brett had not yet caught up with me and was starting to wonder if something had happened to him or his bike . There was some great scenery in the afternoon but I am still struggling more than normal with climbing.
First photo below taken by Brett from the lunch truck of me 8 k before the end of the ride. Turns out Brett was also not having a great day and had taken the truck from lunch. With 5 k to go I climbed a small rise and around the corner was this road stretching up and up to the top of a hill. I was oh no! I am so going to be walking into this one! Thankfully it was a turn with a 900 metre climb to the Iron Blow Hole look out viewing platform to see an abandoned mine. The road to Queenstown from there was actually a 5k downhill. Phew!and yay.
Down to the Gold Rush Motel where we are staying to get showered and changed and ready for dinner. Hopefully my wet weather clothes will dry before morning. I am so pleased I bought the merino beanie as has kept my head warm all day.

The two photos above are of the West Coast Wilderness Railway. The Queenstown Explorer will take you on a full day steam train trip to Strahan and back. You get a chance to stop and explore the cool temperate Tasmania rain forest. This railway track is the only remaining operating abt track and pinion section in the Southern Hemisphere.

Above an interesting garden with lots of gnomes and other ornaments. Plus two other photos from the town.
Queenstown history is Cornelius Lynch found gold here in Mount Lyell in 1881. After this numerous gold diggers arrived. This was despite the trip from Strahan up the King river being extremely difficult due to almost impenetrable bush. Queenstown developed as the centre of the Mount Lyell mining district with numerous smelting works, brick works, saw mills and other support services. Today the town is reinventing itself as a tourist destination. Like Derby it is also getting into the mountain bike adventure trails and touring.

Tonight for dinner we had a great buffet with lots of selections and a couple of deserts.

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Monday 24 October: Hobart to Tarraleah.

132.4 k with 2,397 metres up and 1843 down.
I didn’t sleep that well thinking about todays ride and wondering if it would rain and if I would manage the ride. The first 12 k were on the flat and we were on a really good bike path out of town. On the way out of town we stopped to take a couple of photos of boats, boatshed’s and the harbour bridge. Michele and Tony rode with us to show us the way and stayed with us until we turned to go up the first hill climb. It was great not having to check notes to get out of town and just ride.

At about 12.5 k we started to climb. At the top of the first climb it was r quite steep and by the time we turned right at the top of the hill I felt like my lungs were going to burst. I was breathing like a steam train and I was hot and sweaty. I decided stupidly before a significant drop not to put my jacket on. Of course it started raining, I was still throwing of a lot of heat and the next thing of course I was freezing. I was so cold I couldn’t do up the zip on my jacket and it took about 15 minutes to get all of my wet weather gear on. Lesson learned. We seemed to spend most of the time climbing and I was struggling with feeling breathless and having to stop to use my inhaler which is pretty much unheard of. The only other time this has happened was on the South American trip where my asthma was triggered by high altitude.

We came to a town called new Norfolk but because the rain had stopped we decided to keep going to the next town called Bushy Park. By the time we got to Bushy Park I was needing to uses the restrooms however theirs was out of commission. The next town was about 20 k away and at current average speed about 90 min. Trying to find a space that is private but is unlikely to have snakes lurking is challenging but after about 5 k found a spot.
I was really struggling with the ride and seemed to have half of my usual ability to get up a hill. Not that I am ever great.
Below a picture of New Norfolk and second a water driven mill in Bushy Park.

At about 78 k I started to realise I was unlikely to ride the full day and told Brett to head off without me. At this stage it was about 2 pm and we had not yet made it to the lunch stop. I finally got to lunch at 86.6 k at about 3 pm. The temperature was not very warm and there were still believe it or not a few riders behind me. I decided rather than stopping here at lunch and sitting around for another couple of hours I would keep going. In the next two hours I managed 26 k mostly riding downhill and walking up. It was as if I had lost the ability to ride up even the slightest incline. None of my normal strategies worked. Usually I will say to my self count to 300 slowly and if you still want to get off you can. By the time you get to 300 you are usually over the worst of it or can at least see the end of the climb. Today I was luckily to get to 100 before getting off, I was done. When the lunch truck came past at I climbed aboard as I didn’t have another 20 k and two plus hours left in the tank.

We are staying at a place called Tarraleah Camp which is the site of an old hydro town. This town provided housing and services to the hundreds of workers and their families from 1930s to 1980s. Now this place is used for wedding, events and accomodation. We were staying in what was workers and family accomodation. However as well as the fire in the lounge unlike when the workers were there we had a heat pump in every room.

Dinner was a buffet with pumpkin soup and selection of meat and vegetables followed by apple crumble. It was one of the riders Barb’s birthday so there was also birthday cake.

Photos below of the Tarraleah hydro electric station.

Above more info on the hydro electric station and a photo of the cottages we stayed in.

Tomorrow is another big day with 134.9 k and 1924 metres climbing . We got luckily with the weather today and only had a few showers but tomorrow looks like it is going to rain all day.

For those of you who are missing them ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,;;!,😀

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Sunday 23 October: Second rest day in Hobart.

We slept in to about 0800 then got up and had tea and toast. Michele and Tony are taking us to the Museum Old and New (MONA) and then off to Pooley Vineyard for lunch. Pooley has just got the Australian Vineyard of the year award.
MONA is the largest privately funded museum in the Southern Hemisphere. The owner David Walsh comes from Hobart and wanted to give back to his hometown. David describes the museum as “ a subversive adult Disneyland”. David made his money with gambling and playing the stock markets.
MONA is built into the cliff and is certainly a strange but interesting place.

The first photo is a room you walk into and there is oil right up to the edge of the walkway. The second one is a tunnel that lead into another tunnel that had concert music playing. The third an expensive piece of art using a Porsche.

Above the first photo the only exhibition that Brett and Tony needed to sit and study. The second is an amazing tanker made out of iron and the third an example of the cliff face the museum is built on.

When we got to Pooley they asked if we had a reservation. Apparently they get booked out a month in advance. Luckily our winning smiles must have saved the day 😂😂 and the maître said he would sort something out. We headed off to do a wine tasting which was fantastic. When the young guy serving us realised we like wine he gave a few to try from the reserve range (smart move as between us we bought 4 bottles). We ended up with one of the best table at the restaurant all the tables are outside. There are a few under cover but only two that have two walls as well we got one of these. We shared 3 different pizza and a cheese platter plus of course a nice Pooley reserve Pinot.

Above pictures of some houses by the hotel.
I am still having problems with my bee sting so more antihistamine tablets and steroid cream. Plus my cold has now progressed to me being wheezy so I am using my inhaler reliever.

For dinner we walked back down to the water front. We went to one place called The Den for an entree as it had a lovely fire pit outside. We had jalapeño poppers, then we went off to The Whaler to try the world famous Tasmanian lobster tail roll. Unfortunately there was a lot of roll a bit of salad but only two tiny pieces of lobster.

Tomorrow we start a 6 day riding section of which 4 are going to be challenging days. Lots of climbing and wet. We are going into what is called “the Western Wilds “and we will have very little if any cellphone reception.

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Saturday 22 October: Rest day in Hobart.

After only one day riding we now have two rest days. I woke up this morning and the site of my bee sting is red, sore and swollen with a nasty red patch around it. I took another anti histamine and hope this settles it down.
We wandered down from the hotel to the Salamanca markets that are just down on the water front for breakfast.

We had a good look around and something to eat. As we still have the rental car we then headed off to Port Arthur.

Port Arthur is named after George Arthur who was the Lieutenant Governor of to what was then called Van Die man’s Land. Now called Tasmania. Port Arthur was first settled as a timber station and then became a penal colony 1833 to 1853.

Convicts as young as nine were sent from England to jail here. The girls went into service but boys as young as 9 went into the jail with adults. The site of the first juvenile prison was here. Rather than put young boys will hardened criminals they separated them.

The boys were taught how to read and write and a number of them had the opportunity to learn a trade. The adults worked 12 hours a day 364 days a year with the only day off being Christmas Day.

This was also where instead of corporal punishment and shackles they changed to psychological punishment. Men who were being punished were put into seperate cells and were in there 23 hours a day. They were allowed out for 1 hour for exercise by themselves. If you broke any of the 144 rules you were put in the hole. The rules were minor infractions such as talking at all, whistling, not having the stuff in your cell in the right order or not being cleanly shaven. The hole was completely dark and sound proof and you had no exercise. An average stay of 45 days.

To make the place look more England for the staff and families a big park in the middle has been planted with English trees. There are some huge Oak trees.

The first photo is one of the solitary cell block cells. The only heating is a fire outside the cells at the end of each cell block. It would have been very cold in winter. The second is a photo of the old main jail and the the third is of the English trees.

Above the first photo is the cottage where they kept the political prisoners. Including some of the Irish political prisoners such as John Martin and William Smith O’Brien who joined a splinter group called “Young Ireland “ actively pursuing Irish Nationalists ideals in the 1840s. The second photo is two Cormorant (Shags) and the third is one of the guard houses.

Then back to the hotel for a late lunch. We had half a curried scallop pie each as we didn’t want to spoil our appetite for dinner. We are going to Michele and Tony’s for dinner and staying the night at their house. My bee sting is still playing up so I took another antihistamine pill and applied steroids around the swollen area as well.

Photo above the pie and a bottle of red wine we are taking to their house. Photo two eating dinner. We started off by their outside fire eating chicken wings with a great marinade. We then went inside for the main. Tony cooked steak for him and Brett on the outside fire. Michele cooked a lovely dish of scallops and blue eye for her and me. We had a shared platter of beetroot, asparagus, tomato, potatoes and carrots on a beetroot mash. The meal was delicious. This was followed by homemade cheese cake. Yum yum. The third photo is part of their extensive magnificent garden. They have spent years developing these.

Above more photos of their fantastic gardens. The eagle statue keeps other birds away. When it is windy he can change position and face the other way which no doubt helps keeps the birds thinking he is real. As an added bonus we were able to bring our laundry and dry it by the fire over night.

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Friday 21 October: Swansea to Hobart

142 k 1565 metres climbing and 1539 down

Yay our bikes are back! They arrived about midnight and they are ready to ride. Lots of happy and excited riders this morning especially the five who joined in Melbourne who have not yet had a chance to ride at all. It is a lovely warm day again with a tail wind, it doesn’t get any better for riding than this. However we have the small problem of the rental car that we have until Hobart. We have a chat with Peter and agree he will ride to lunch and then he will pick up and drive the car to Hobart. We will drive it to lunch and ride from there. Lunch is at 73 k which is 1/3 of the way of a climb. Below the photos are of two sculptures at the lunch stop one is an Eagle the other is the Tasmanian Tiger. The Tiger was also known as Thylacine or the Tasmanian Wolf. The last of these animals was captured in 1930 and they are now extinct (although their DNA has been saved). One interesting fact about them is both males and females had a pouch to carry offspring.

We started the ride from the bush reserve straight away onto a hill climb which is of course my very favourite thing. At the top of the first climb is a sign “Bust me gall hill “then a k further on the descent “break my neck hill”. Thankfully neither applied. It was very nice countryside to be riding through.

The next town we come to is Richmond this has Australia’s oldest bridge built in 1823. As we turn to the bridge I feel something land on my face next thing I know I have been stung. I tend not to react well to bites and stings so I immediately pull out an antihistamine and swallow it.
Next more riding through lovely countryside and we go past the the Pooley Vineyard that has just been awarded the Australian Vineyard of the year.
Then 1/3 of the way up the next climb our good friends Michele and Tony catch up with us and lead us in Hobart. They live here so know where to go.

We get into the city off the bridge and following a bike path. Next thing we end up in the middle of the Hobart AMP Show. The show has overtaken the land by the river including the bike path. First we had to walk through the axe cutting competition enclosure and then past the four bulls. We managed to get out and back on the track past the wharf then up yet another hill to where we are staying .

I started to think we were never going to get there but thankfully we arrived at where we are staying at tye St Ives Apartments in Historic Battery Point. Michele and Tony are leaving their bikes in our room as they are going to stay at home while we are in Hobart. We shared a couple of beers and cheese and crackers before they headed off. After they had gone we cleaned up and then headed off down the road to an Italian restaurant they had recommended called Da Angelo. I had a pizza but could only eat two slices as we had had the cheese in our room not that long ago . Then we went to a bar Brett wanted to go to called the Shipwright’s Arms.


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