On to Orford

Jan 30

This morning we hopped on the bikes and headed back out of the Freycinet Peninsula. The day was still very overcast – everything is very gray. Taking landscapes has been really difficult since we hit the east coast. On the early portion of the ride a number of wallabies crossed the road ahead of us. They were darker than those I had been seeing earlier and Baz tells me that they are indeed a different variety called Paddymallon. The cycling is easy as we get back on the coast beyond the peninsula. We have a long straight run along the seaside. The fog, overcast skies and misty rain can’t take away the pure joy of cruising along this section on our cycles. It’s a wild coast- there is no development. We do see a few sheep grazing, some small orchards and one really cool farm on the inland side with orchards, a vineyard and olive trees. They had a small sign announcing cold pressed olive oil, jams and wine. Our bikes leave no room for shopping.

All along today’s ride there has been debris from the last two days of rain. Rivers are swollen to three times there normal width and height putting trees, bushes and much else into their flow area. We learned that over 8.5 inches of rain was recorded which was unprecedented in the eastern coast of Tassie. In the west they typically get about 16 feet of rainfall annually so this storm would not be unusual there.

Our trip to Orford was 114K and included 960 meters of climbing.

We arrived early in this small coastal town where we were staying in an older B&B called Sanda. We were delighted to find ourselves in a large home originally built in 1840 – like most larger homes from that era it was most likely built by convicts. Our quarters had stone interior walls and uneven stone floors. Two of the walls had been whitewashed at some point. There was a huge hearth in the center facing wall. Everything in the room was fittingly aged, including the lumpy little bed where I was sleeping. Barry and I were taking turns with who gets the larger bed. Most of our accommodations would have one queen sized and a small children’s bed. It was my turn for the little bed. That night I would find myself constantly sliding into a deep hollow on one side of the mattress.

The yard had large shade trees and a variety of fruit trees including a mulberry tree. Most of the trees and decorative shrubs and flowers in people’s yards are not native. There was a stunningly beautiful tree in the front yard which the proprietor called a Liquid Amber. The tree was perfectly shaped, full, and had leaves an eye catchingly bright shade of green. She tells me that they become yellow in the fall, then brown and fall off. It seems that in this climate most of the trees and foliage retain their leaves. The average winter day here is 10 – 15 degrees Centigrade. Pretty mild.

She also had a vegetable garden in the back and a chicken coop. We enjoyed a wonderful breakfast at Sanda with a variety of homemade jams from the orchard and really tasty homemade bread.

One of the other guests at the B&B was a retired forester. I learned from him that the huge trees we saw in old photos at Scottsdale were a variety of Eucalyptus and that there still were a few of those monsters around.

We have been seeing quite a few flocks of parrots and, with all the rain, the sound of frogs fills the air in lower stretches along the road. The parrots are a nuisance in the fruit orchards – netting is used in many places.

Sent from my iPad

Leave a Reply