Day 41 – Davenport To Launceston (103 km)

The recliners on the ferry are more comfortable that seats on a jumbo. Good. After updating the blog, I put my music on, ear buds in, took a sleeping-aid, and went to sleep. About an hour later the f***-er behind me woke me with his snoring. From then onwards it was sleeping in morse-code.

At 6:30 we were called to depart. I felt surprisingly fresh, given my bad night – I was probably anticipating the days ahead. Waiting for me just off the ferry was Diesel Dave (who lives in Deloraine) who was prepared to brave the cold and give me a warm welcome. A quick hello, setup the intercom, and we were off. Dave gave me a great tour of the area and beyond.

One thing Dave pointed out was that they keep hold of their heritage buildings:

It didn’t take me long to realise why people love Tassie. I did almost instantly. A few things Dave mentioned: distances are short; people are friendly; and watch the corners on “C” roads. We rode around a fair bit, aiming for some amazing roads and scenery that Dave knew.

A quick coffee stop at the Banjo Bakery in Latrobe, then more riding, followed by lunch at the Burt Munro’s Motorcycle Café in Exeter. We couldn’t work out why here (cos he was a Kiwi) but it was good anyway.

We stopped at Beaconsfield mine – now closed after the tragic rock fall in 2006. Given the time it would take to go through the museum properly, I decided to return after Dave dropped me off. It was great for Dave to give me the intro. We plan to catch up again later in the trip as I head back towards Deloraine for maybe a day or 2 of riding and camping together again.

Back to Beaconsfield for me. The mine itself is suffering with a sink-hole so that part was closed. However, the rest of the museum (established in 1972) had a mix of mining and farming equipment and other various things from the period when the mind first opened in the 1800s. Of course, they had information regarding the collapse and subsequent death (x1) and rescue). It’s hard to imagine how the 2 survivors managed under those conditions for so long, and that they got them out.

My original plan (there it is again) was to camp at George Town back near the ocean once I’d had a look at Launceston, but the weather was closing in and I was keen to pitch the tent in the dry. So, Launceston was my new target. I swung my Cataract Gorge first for a quick bo-peep.

I pitched at the Big4 (not many caravan parks in this neck of the woods). After that, tiredness hit me and I relented and had my first fast-food meal on the trip (not bad really) – I was hungry but too tired to cook.