Turns out Emmanuel and I are heading the same direction today. We decided to ride the bulk of the day together. I woke up at around 4.30am this morning, my disappointment at missing out on the Tasman Peninsula still playing on my mind. Awww, bugger it! We're not setting off for another three hours, that's time to get some riding in!
I rode a quick 15km circuit near the Devil's Kitchen, Tasman's Arch and Waterfall Bay through more enchanted forests before heading back to the campground to gather my things. The photos will tell the story of this exploration better than I ever could. Seems that fire is getting larger - or is that the morning mist - or maybe both? I could smell some smoke, but not enough to cloud things that much.
Emmanuel and I set off north, grabbing a quick feed at the Dunalley Bakery, before turning onto the dirt road and heading along Blackman bay on a cool, overcast morning. Shortly after leaving the bay, the dirt road climbed into the mist, winding around rolling hills occasionally dotted with wildflowers. We actually took a wrong turn here, but it wasn't our fault - I blame the "road closed" sign on the route we actually intended to take.
There were a couple of challenging climbs on this ride - I just love switchbacks, and there were plenty of those in the dirt road today. The surface got rougher (the roughest I've seen yet), and it became difficult to keep the luggage in place on the rack. At one point I had to enlist the immediate assistance of my "spare" luggage straps as the corrugations (and the rocks) got bigger.
The final part or our ride followed a river bed into Orford - where we parted company as our schedules were different from this point forward, although we may meet again at some point in the future. I then headed north for another 8km through uninspiring country to an equally uninspring campsite at Triabunna (an uninspiring town - do I detect a patern here?). Right now I'm going off in search of a big feed in town, so I'll stop this update right here.