Day 2. Deloraine to Mole Creek
Before we travel any further, I would like I would like to pay my respects to the local Pallittorre peoples, the traditional custodians of the land where we rode on Day 2. The Mole Creek area had been settled by the Pallittorre peoples for at least 10,000 years prior to the arrival of the Brits.
Today Mole Creek accounts for some 35% of Tasmanian honey production. That’s a bald statement that I am unable to explain without further research. It’s a fact though.
There once was a railway line from Deloraine to Mole Creek but it was closed in the early 1990’s. The land was passed back to the landowners. From my point of view that was a pity – the track could have made one very nice rail trail! However, getting the strips of land back probably helped farmers with the management of their properties. Today cycling groups and railway supporters continue to fight to get closed railways turned into rail trails – but hey, let’s not go there. Instead, let’s go to Day 2 of our mini-tour.
Please note – not many pictures today but there is a video at the end.
With no Deloraine Rodeo it should have been quiet overnight. What we had instead was 4 well spaced-out, time wise, goods trains passing through, hooting before every road crossing; 3 groups of Native Hens having a territorial dispute and a really weird shriek. Combined, they prevented a decent night’s sleep. I am not sure which was the worst. Trains sounding like they were coming through the tent, shrill birds arguing for ages or something that sounded like .. well, I don’t know what – once – while you lay there waiting for the next shriek so you could work out what it was.
I was informed that the majority of goods trains run overnight to minimise clashes with farmers who need to move stock across the tracks. The farmers phone the railway, check train times and then move stock when no trains are due.
Eventually dawn dawned and one could make out features inside the tent. I started to get packed up. The Native Hens played up some more so I chased them trying to get video. Then, what’s this? A gentle spit of rain on the head. I packed up what I could in the tent and moved everything to the nearby shelter hut BBQ thing. Colin did the same. We soon had the inside of the shelter filled with camping gear, bags, bikes and riders while outside the small spits turned into proper rain.
From significant confusion, order came. Items went into bags, bags went onto trikes, coffee was made, drunk and we were ready for the off. The downside was – where exactly were things crammed into which bags? Let’s not worry about that! We will find everything tonight.
Colin had to visit the local supermarket ‘cos he couldn’t find his lighter. I contacted the Friday riding group and found they were not riding in the rain today but they were meeting for a coffee. We arranged to meet at The Empire – a hotel providing good coffee and tucker. They opened at 10.00am and that’s when we got there.
After a good chat session covering cycling, COVID-19, music, COVID-19 and dogs amongst other things, Colin explained that the Supermarket had no cigarette lighters. We reckoned the people panic buying toilet paper were responsible. Eventually we climbed back onto the trikes and took off up the hill out of Deloraine before turning left at the roundabout on Emu Bay Road to start towards Mole Creek.
It was wet. Really wet. The distance for the ride was only 30 kilometres but it seemed a few more due to the rain. Did I mention it was raining? We pedalled along and encountered plenty of traffic. In particular the log trucks were barrelling along with their tyres pulling a heap of water off the roadway sending it out as a stream right across our lane. Riding through it was interesting.
By the time we reached Chudleigh I was feeling like a break and pulled in to the General Store. I was wearing a waterproof jacket and over-shorts. They had worked really well and, as it wasn’t cold, I took them off to keep the place dry. The cafe in the store used to be run by a couple of elderly ladies who made a seriously good sandwich. They have sold the business and the new owner is trying hard to expand the cafe and get into new areas of trade. The coffee has improved but the sandwiches are sorely missed. Nevertheless, I wish her well.
Refreshed, we cycled on through Mole Creek itself on loose chip seal that, hopefully, is still being worked on. Then the last 3 kilometers to the caravan park began. It was time for the skies to really open up. When we hit the park it was just quieting down after pouring stair rods the whole distance. The early weather prediction was that the rain would stop at 6pm and now this had changed to 5pm. Would this be the last gasp?
By 5pm we had the tents up and were sitting around, still in wet weather gear and it was still raining. The park was explored, camp kitchen found and a few people chatted to.
While exploring, we found a huge tow vehicle and caravan. The back of the van had “The Shits” written on it together with something line “Fall in Line or F… Off”. The numberplate on the huge black tow vehicle was “RAMMER”. I think we will steer clear of these bogans.
5.30pm and the first traces of blue sky were seen. Then the rain stopped. There should be no more for the next couple of days. All good!!
A wet Video : Click Here