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Archive for October 31st, 2008

Day 74 – 31st October

Posted by TravellingStrom on October 31, 2008

I slept in, but other than that I woke up a bit crook, to be expected. It was raining, yuck. I should have gone up the chair lift yesterday afternoon, but it had been blowing a gale, so I had decided not to. There would be no view from up there today, so after packing up I decided to go on an exploration ride towards Woolnorth. There is supposed to be a dismal piece of history up that way, it goes like this. When the Europeans settled in Tasmania, or Van Diemans Land as it used to be called, they set about killing every Aboriginal they could and nearly succeeded. Up that way there is supposed to be a cliff from which a lot of natives were thrown off, I am not real sure but I was interested in having a look and maybe pay some respects.

Anyway, I headed off after another upload on the internet, all rugged up and somewhere to go. It only took about 40 minutes or so to get to the Wind Farm turnoff and this is where the dirt started. It was good dirt though and I was used to it by now, so no problems.

I did not get far though because the sign at the gate was quite hard to miss 😦 As you can see it was quite gloomy and misty.

While I was deciding whether to fork out a $50 fine if caught a car pulled up and it was some workers who advised me to go away, politely, and said I could go on an organised tour from Smithton. Bummer! Oh well, I headed back and on the way added another anti roadkill sign to my collection.

I decided not to do the tour as it was going to take 3 hours and it was already gone midday. So I headed back to Stanley and have a look around and take some photos, it is quite impressive actually, but I did not go up it.

And I found a new sign as well πŸ™‚ I did not see any of these, but I had seen the eagles earlier.

I then decided to head towards Burnie and then maybe head south to Rosebery, depending on time. At this stage I was not sure how long I was going to be in Tassie, I was waiting on a phone call from Greg about attending the Melbourne Cup. So, off I go but I did not get far before I saw a turnoff to the Dip Falls and the Big Tree. I am a sucker for this stuff so off I go, it is 26km of very twisty windy roads up and down through pastures and fields and forests, very nice, but lots of loose gravel on the corners, very disconcerting. After a while the road turned to dirt as well, cool πŸ™‚

Just before the car park at the Big Tree I hit this huge pot hole, nearly threw me that did, I did not see it because of the dappled effect through the trees of the sun.

And it is a big tree, 16 meters around and about 400 years old. Not as large as the Tingle trees, but still big, it is a Stringy Eucalyptus. It will end up like his mate though and fall down.

It was a nice walk though here, very quiet.

I took this photo of the old tojo ute, another Queensland couple, that old thing has done the same as my bike, been around Australia.

Then just up the road was the Dip River falls, quite a few steps down to the bottom but a nice view. πŸ™‚

Mind you, the steps down also mean steps up, I was knackered by the time I got back up, legs on fire!

I removed my thermal liner as it was warming up at last and also used the summer gloves.
I had to negotiate a passage on the way back with a couple of cows who had escaped their paddock, they were a bit skittish and the road was narrow.

Rather than go back the same way I turned off towards Montumana, it was all dirt so I had some more fun, although it was a bit rougher than the others. I stopped after a while to remove my thermal underwear as I was working up a sweat, normally unheard of down this way I am sure πŸ™‚

I eventually got back on the Bass highway and headed towards Burnie again. I turned south and fuelled up at a small village called Yolla and continued on up higher and higher. The views were getting better, but it was also clouding over as I worked inland.

I finally found a sign that reminds me of home πŸ™‚

As it was getting late I checked my the map for campgrounds and it turns out there was no caravan park at Rosebery, the closest was Cradle Mountain, so I figured why not, it may be the only chance of seeing it this trip. It was quite cold now and had been down to 5C and it was starting to rain as well, I nearly turned around, but kept on and found a place I don’t want to stay, ever!

I got into Cradle Mountain Caravan Park around 4.30pm and had a choice. It would cost $25 for an unpowered tent site, or I could have a wooden tent for $15. That was an easy choice to make.

The facilities here are quite good, but I found out I could not see the mountain due to the cloud cover. I also would have to pay a fee, I will check that out tomorrow. I had a phone call from Greg, he is interested in the Cup, so I will go back to the mainland as planned tomorrow night. After a shower I sat up in the camp kitchen and wrote up the blog and chatted with some fellow campers. I did not stay too long as 70 scouts turned up to cook dinner, way too noise for me.

I went back to the cold old wooden tent and watched another episode of True Blood, this one was badly out of sync, the sound file was one minute ahead of the vision, very hard work to make sense of, but I got the drift.

On my way back from cleaning teeth I spotted some local wildlife, I wish I had some fur like them, my temp gauge read -1C and it was only 9.30pm, brrrr! A possum even wandered through the ablutions block while I was there, very tame up here by the looks. The first one near the bike is a possum, the other is a small rock wallaby of some type, or a Potteroo.

Day – 347km
Trip – 24, 654km
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