An exploration of the roads out to Clarence Point.
NB: Before we begin, please note pictures were a little limited today.
During the night I had to leave the tent for a visit to the ablution block. The sky to the south was clouded but when I turned to go back, the rest of the sky was clear. Really great “seeing” allowed a wonderful view of Orion, Taurus and Pleiades (otherwise known as the Seven Sisters or even the Suburu badge!). It held me spellbound for several minutes. I was unable to make out any planets even though most of the plane of the ecliptic was visible. It made me realise how light polluted the Longford skies are.
Then it was morning – a new day – another problem! While removing the panniers for today’s ride I found one of the smaller ones has split at the seam. Luckily the strapping stopped the food supplies falling out while riding yesterday. A repair is required. I have gaffer tape!
Today’s ride is an unladen shorty to Greens Beach via Clarence Point. The early part of the day was comfortable. No wind, sun and very little traffic.
We turned right out of the caravan park and rode along West Arm Road to the A7. This sounds like a serious road but it is really a country lane with no hard shoulders. Why is it designated A anything? I suppose because it’s the only road!
To this point there was little traffic on this Sunday morning. We pulled in at the heritage site of York Town and cycled the 15min walking track with all its information boards out to the pond and period style cottage. I am learning a thing or two about riding with a canopy. Point 1. Be careful what you cycle under! It’s easy to scrape the top on overhanging foliage – no damage to date but the scraping sounds are not nice.
I should explain that York Town was the site of the first attempt to establish a British presence in northern Tasmania (in 1804) and is the 4th oldest British settlement site in Australia. The following are extracts from Wikipedia and weekendnotes.com discussing York Town.
York Town was a “bustling village” until 1808. In 1806 the population of York Town was 276 which included 124 male convicts and 11 women convicts. It consisted of a store, a memorial, Major Kemp’s Garden, swamp areas, the commandant’s house, Government Gardens, brick guardhouse and gaol, McDonald’s hut and a rivulet. Life was not alway easy at York Town; at times food was almost impossible to get, causing convicts and soldiers to resort to robbing the stores. They also faced many difficulties including stock losses, poor soil, food shortages and episodes of robbery, bushranging and piracy. In the end it was decided to relocate further up river and to settle by the North Esk in what is now a suburb of Launceston; seeking better soils and water. All the original buildings have now gone, but the landscape and natural setting remain largely unchanged. The site is preserved as the York Town Historic Site and provided with interpretive signage.
Here is a collection of the photographs taken at York Town.
After this interlude, time had ticked on and it seemed like most people had got into their car and gone for a Sunday drive.
Luckily our turnoff for Clarence Point soon appeared and it was back onto a quieter road. Near the junction was a wood craft gallery.
The owners were surprised to see two trikes coming down their driveway and the shop dog was intrigued. An interesting place. Sue and I used to visit such Galleries regularly when Sue had her stall at Salamanca Market and we lived in the Huon Valley. This visit was a step into nostalgia – partly driven by the woody / polish smells inside the Gallery.
We continued on to Clarence Point which was a very scenic riverside spot. The grand views continued as we the cycled Bevic Road which ran by the coast to join the main road to Green’s Beach, situated at the end of the estuary. We pedalled past grand houses with views over the waters. Not cheek by jowl either- each house on quite a few acres. Little traffic – a relaxing few kilometres.
We got to the junction where the right turn heads to Greens Beach. Colin was feeling a bit knackered after yesterday’s heat and hills so we turned left onto the A7 and headed back. Even more drivers were out and about, now towing their boats either to or from the water. All were in a hurry.
The action continued along West Arm Road. There is a footpath from the caravan park into Beauty Point and we jumped on it ASAP to follow it to the Cafe.
The afternoon was spent lazing about getting all things electric charged up for tomorrow. “Our” site has a flowering gum tree (Eucalyptus ficifolia) on it and that made a good shady space for inactivity. These trees have been bred and modified to produce brilliant flowers with colours ranging from deep reds, through pinks to oranges (on separate trees!) and the bees love them. There were many in “our” tree and all the workers too busy to worry about nearby humans.
Our original plan was to ride across to Port Sorell tomorrow but two things are against this. The first is that Colin is a bit tired today – would he handle nearly 60 kilometres of hilly riding? The second is that we got confirmation that much of the 60k would be on gravel. Ride with GPS tells us there will be climbs of up to 15%. 15% on gravel is not easy on trikes as the rear wheel tends to spin on steep gravel. Indeed my rear wheel had spun a bit today at York Town.
Now there is another route to Port Sorell on tarmac but that would mean cycling further and a significant portion on a major truck route. I was not keen on tackling that.
We thought about it. What to do?
Decision made. We will stay at Beauty Point for an extra night, do further exploration around the Beaconsfield hinterland tomorrow and then start heading back to Legana and home the following day. A bit sad but we feel it’s the wisest move as we are somewhat boxed in once the route to Port Sorell proved difficult. I will come back one day in the car and see what the gravel road would have been like. For another trip?
After making the decision, it was time to watch the many Swifts, which inhabit the power lines of the park, dart around the sky catching their tea.
Later on in the evening we could see a sliver of Moon. Was it just finishing waning or just starting waxing? Neither of us could remember the sequence!
So, a Beaconsfield explore tomorrow ……. but first :