Tassie’s Rough North-West

“There are severe weather warnings due to very strong winds in the south, west and center of Tasmania. Please stay inside of buildings if you can …”. Announcements like this were reported in the radio throughout the whole day while I was relaxing safely in a house next to a farm. Indeed, the weather forecast wasn’t very good for the coming week but I obviously underestimated the wind. When I left Devonport the weather was fine, some showers, mostly sunny and tail wind. The next day the wind became already stronger and super-annoying for it turned to head-wind now. So I didn’t make so many kilometers that day and was at least glad to find a spot for my tent sheltered from the wind. But the 3rd day after I left Devonport the wind became unbearable. I cycled hardly 5-10 km/h and strong showers in between made me wet and cold. Hours that you really don’t want to spent outside trying to push your bike forward. In those situations you sometimes wish to be able to press a button and escape ;). And I escaped. Thanks to a young guy, approx. my age, stopping with his pickup and inviting me to stay at a house next to the farm of his family, about 5-10 km away. He also offered to take me there but I declined and he quickly described the directions. His brother is touring with the bicycle, too, in South America, he told (http://www.nickcyclingtheamericas.com). The conversation just took a minute or so and made me feel so much better. I found the house easily, fully equipped with everything I needed, and just relaxed the rest of the day, glad and happy not being outdoors and having  a shelter for the night. Thank you so much!

The following day the wind eased and I could go on. And it turned out that the half day of resting was actually a good thing to do since the following two days were quite energy-sapping, too. Although the wind wasn’t a problem anymore I chose to cycle a remote and isolated gravel road of about 100 km heading south I didn’t know much about (Arthur River – Corinna – Waratah). But I realized: If the planner of this road was a cyclist, he was a sadist, too. Or there wasn’t any planning involved at all. A winding road with so many steep climbs and down-hills (I was constantly concerned about my brake linings since I recently replaced them with the only spare brake linings I had and they were just ‘melting’ away), and on top of it all wet due to occasional showers. It took me about 8 hours or more of pure padeling (including a night wild camping) to get through. But by hindsight I don’t regret that I took this north-west loop since in particular the gravel road stretch opened beautiful views into a hilly and vast wilderness (I also met my first wombat).

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