We hope it won't be the end of the world, the end of our bike riding adventures or the end of our warm international relationships, but we are certain that Vicmania 2020 has come to an end.
|The team preparing to leave Devonport|
Pauline and Maureen joined us in Port Melbourne and off we sailed to Devonport. Arriving the next morning we trudged to the cafe where the plan was to have breakfast, disgorge the bikes and send the van on its way to Deviot, our first night in the Apple Isle. However, after a hearty brekkie, we emerged to find steady rain falling. What to do? Well, hire a maxi taxi of course to drive us to our first night's destination, a girl guides camp. So that's what we did, playing cards on the verandah until Pauine's brilliant deduction as to what the key safe code might be: Sir Baden Powell's and his wife's birthdate. Sure enough, it worked. We felt like second world war code breakers. It kind of rained all day so we were very glad of a roof over our heads.
The next day we set off for Bridport, on the north coast. It was a lovely ride, Tasmanian flat riding all the way! Tasmanian flat for those who don't know is bloody hilly all the way. Maureen and Pauline excelled on their first day on the bike; we all arrived in our lovely camp right on the beach safe and sound; and Sally and Pauline cooked sausages and veg for dinner. Yum!
Bridport to Weldborough was LONG and comprised Tasmanian flats and HILLS. Pauline did a fabulous shuttle with the van three times, picking up all riders bar Garis who cruised into camp at the Weldborough Hotel grounds in the afternoon.
|Happy cows at Pyengana.|
From Weldborough there was a short uphill followed by much downhill as we made our way to St Helens. A morning tea stop at the Pyengana robotic dairy was a highlight, watching the cows self-manage their milking.
What turned out to be our last day's riding was from St Helen's to Coles Bay. We planned on two nights there so we could explore the Freycinet Peninsula, but the weather was somewhat against us. It was during close weather monitoring discussions that we decided to abandon the next three day's riding and head straight to White Beach. People were becoming increasingly concerned about their flights home which were being cancelled and rebooking was difficult; some of us were suffering with colds; and the rain was due to set in.
|View over Pirate's Bay from the tesselated pavement|
As it turned out, three days in White Beach was a true delight with walking, beach walking and boat tripping along the coastline. Everyone had a chance to breathe again, re-order travel plans and take in the beauty of the Peninsula.