Ross to Oatlands. 40k. Uphill.
The day dawned cloudy but in the 20s after a hot, humid night. We were out and about early, packed up and breakfasted quickly and were on the road just after 8am.
As a treat I had packed a mokka pot, coffee beans and a grinder. Before setting off we had a decent black coffee followed by a surprise taste from Taiwan. A group from Taiwan travelling in a camper van shared the camp kitchen and, being friendly, gave us a taste of their breakfast – cooked by the only male in the group of 3. It was good – thank you.
The Midland Highway is the main link between Hobart, Devonport and Launceston.
Today we cycled on the Midlands Highway all the way. All bar a k or so at Tunbridge were on newly upgraded bits of the Highway. That gave us a wide hard shoulder to ride on as the new road design rules insist on them. Much needed, the traffic was continuous. 90% were OK (Colin’s estimate). It felt safe and the main reason not to do this stretch again was the noise. We only had a few seconds of silence at a time and then the next batch of cars would be passing.
After a while the climb began. Gently at first and then working it’s way up to around the 8% mark. No problems with a motor but the length of the climb gave our non-motorised team member a solid leg workout.
I went ahead when we were nearing the rest stop at St Mary’s Pass and I was able to get the ‘kettle’ on for a cuppa ready for Colin’s arrival after cruised his way up.
Arriving in Oatlands we headed to the Bakery Café for a much needed coffee. The Bakery is a shrine to Errol Flynn and, looking at the cinema posters for all the films he was in, makes you wonder how he found the time! Why is all this info here? Well, he was a Tassie lad – born in Battery Point, Hobart.
After lunch we enjoyed a slow cycle around part of Lake Dulverton. The lake is split in two ensuring the section close to town has water in it during dry times. The second section we didn’t cycle round is dry. The wet ‘half’ had hundreds of black swans living in it and swallows seeking airborne insects over it. The track leads on to Parattah and we will use it as the first part of our ride to Richmond tomorrow.
Then it was time to move into our Airbnb for the night. There is a camping area at Oatlands but there is no power to charge my battery – so I booked a sandstone cottage on the main street. The weather was looking distinctly grey and stormy. Sue reported that the rain had reached Longford. We were pleased to have a roof for the night.
During the evening walk to the chip shop a helicopter with a water bucket slung underneath flew across. Nobody could tell me where the fire is. There is one at Browns Mountain which is near tomorrow’s ride. Let’s hope it isn’t too close to us.
Please note : I am using this tour to get to grips with daily blog updates via the phone. When I get back I will read and muse over how to do it better.