Day 48 – Bothwell To Strahan (245 km)

Surprisingly, we both woke full of vim and vigor without suffering any ill-effects from the night before. I was a little nervous about any Spam aftermath, but all good there.

The worst thing was that I had to deal with the Spam-fat covered cookware from the night before. Not pleasant at all. It was then that I started to question the merits of consuming it… probably none I suspect.

In discussing the planned route with Peta, we discovered some was on gravel, so we both chickened out and figured we’d adjust and play it safe. It was to be a great day with great weather.

We headed back the way we came for a bit, then north stopping in this quaint “resort” like town called Tarraleah, with houses all painted in different pastel colours.

We looped around through the constantly changing and incredible scenery…

… and eventually made a stop at the Franklin river. Why anyone would want to dam this is beyond comprehension.

Onwards to Queenstown, and possibly the best day’s riding EVA! Twisties, ascents, descents, changing landscapes, dramatic mountain ranges, lakes, … just wow.

The descent into Queenstown is like the nothing I have ever experienced on a bike before, and almost certainly never will again.

It starts with perhaps the most ridiculous placement of a speed limit sign I have ever seen. This invites you to run through the first corner and drop about 100m to Queenstown below:

… then puckering turn after puckering turn, eventually getting you to the bottom where Queenstown sits.

We had lunch (nice pies) and took off for a little circuit of the town. Apparently, this town has been “trying” to get a bit of a facelift courtesy of its mayor. However, while the main drag is well done…

… the rest of the town is quite depressing. It’s clearly a mining town, but mostly rundown and we imagine little hope for any of the children growing up there. Getting the hell out of there is their best option.

They even have their own polluted river.

Done with Queenstown, we head to Strahan on the west coast. More great road after great road, mountains, blah, blah, blah. It just never seems to end. You stop for a few photos, drive another 500m and it’s like you’re on a totally different planet.

Strahan was a real contrast to Queenstown. Clean, vibrant, well looked after. We had a little ride around before Diesel headed for home and I found a place to pitch the tent. Tomorrow, I’ll contemplate the river cruise, maybe staying an extra day.

I said in yesterday’s post that that day’s ride would be hard to beat. Well, today did just that.