Day 5 – Triabunna to Mayfield Bay (35 km/21 miles cycling)
Today was the first day I felt slightly uncomfortable being a female cycle-touring and camping alone. After quite a boring ride in the hot sun from Triabunna to Mayfield Bay free camping area, I was immediately befriended by a retired Australian man who seemed to be living there.
I was extremely grateful for his assistance hammering my pegs in the solid earth, making me a cuppa and a snack, preparing me a fish supper, and offering me chocolate and ice cream, but I felt a bit uneasy in his presence. He was probably just a very kind man who was slightly lonely, but I couldn’t help feeling a little vulnerable on my own. Fortunately there were lots of others at the camping area and, of course, I was just being silly as all was fine and dandy!
Mayfield Bay campsite is on a lovely beach and next to the convict built ‘Three Arch Bridge’.
Day 6 – Mayfield Bay to Swansea (16 km/9 miles cycling)
Sunrise over Freycinet Peninsula from Mayfield Bay was spectacular. Anyone who knows me in the slightest is probably thinking “hang on a minute, what was she doing awake to see sunrise?!” as I have a strong bond with sleep and not much comes before it! To answer the question… I wanted to be on the road by 8am to try and be over the upcoming hills before the worst of the traffic. Not that there is much traffic in Tasmania; nothing like what I’m used to in England.
The scenery started off quite mundane and then it was beautiful coastline. Spiky Bridge, another convict built bridge was en route and then Kates Berry Farm was slightly off the main road, where I treated myself to second breakfast. Delicious French crepes with berries and vanilla ice cream. Yum.
Swansea Backpacker Lodge was one of two hostels I stayed at on my cycle tour, with the reason being I was in desperate need of a hot shower, all my electronics required charging, and I had a load of laundry to wash (this was before I learnt to do it on the road – rinsing the clothes I wore each day in the sink – you get to learn these things with experience).
I paid an extortionate $39/£24 for a bed in a 4-bed dorm, which was pretty much my only option in the small town. The couple who run the backpackers were quite rude, especially the bloke, and if I wasn’t so desperate to use the facilities then I would have told him to stick his dorm bed. A lovely lady also staying there concurred with my views of the couple and we shared our annoyances with each other over a tasty pizza in the evening.
Loontitetermairrelehoiner was the name of the short track around the headland that I completed earlier in the day – an easy but pretty walk. I also popped into the East Coast Heritage Museum and enjoyed looking at Louisa Anne Meredith’s artwork of the Australian bush.
Day 7 – Swansea to Friendly Beaches (41 km/26 miles cycling)
I made good time in the morning and arrived at the Pondering Frog Cafe – 33 km/21 miles down the road – before 10am. I obviously stopped for a breather when I arrived, and needless to say I had to purchase one of their homemade berry ice creams. Scrumptious.
I took the turn off to Freycinet Peninsula and traveled along the unsealed corrugated road to Friendly Beaches free camping area. What a place! There was a cute echidna on the verge on my way in. When I got off my bike it consequently buried its head in a bush as if to say “I can’t see you, so you can’t see me”, while its whole body was sticking out. Bless. There were also large healthy wombats and wallabies on the camp in amongst the peaceful secluded pitches. I walked along the colourful rocks on the beach and admired the beauty. Life is wonderful.
More generosity was shown towards me in the evening as I got chatting to some fellow campers who spoiled me with plums, spaghetti and as much drinking water as I desired. There was no water supply at the camp so I was being very cautious before that offer.
Part 3 coming up!