Another companion for today's ride. A New Zealander who is riding Tasmania's East Coast whom I met at the campground last night. Conventional wisdom suggests heading inland from St Helens. However, I exist only to defy such 'wisdom'. My friend and I set off due immediately North-East, continuing up the coast past a big lagoon just north of St Helens. A minor climb (and a change to arrogantly ignore the first poorly-mannered motoring primate in Tassie) offered some great views of the coast line.
There were a few other little ups and downs, before the style settled down, and we cruised alongside some beautiful beaches near the Bay of Fires. It also provided the opportunity for one or two stops to view the coastline here.
Not long after this, the coast road ended, meaning that I now had the opportunity to see if my speculation about a link-road was correct. Good thing we were on Mountain Bikes, as the 'road' is more of a dirt track. Either way, after 12km of ups and downs (and some rather rough sections), we found ourselves back on the C143 road, which would lead us further into the North-East.
At this stage, the coastal views had all but disappeared, replaced by rolling farmlands, which would dominate basically the remainder of the ride for the day. After briefly returning to the coast, and breaking for lunch in the tiny settlement of Anson's Bay (permanent population: 16), we continued on the pilgrimage toward the north, now turning slightly to the west.
At this point, the hardest conditions of the tour so far (and probably the hardest of all) eventuated. The road deteriorated to nothing but corrugations, some of them massive. This, combined with yet another massive headwind (gale warnings up and down the coast on this one), slowed the speed to little more than a crawl. The scenery here was also somewhat less than inspiring. After about 20km of this, I had just about had enough, and basically abandoned plans to go to Mt William (the 'Mt' part of the name is a bit of a misnomer anyway), so my companion and I headed for the tiny settlement of Gladstone, where we would part company as our tours were headed in different directions.
I free-camped behind the hall. Not a lot there, but after 94km today I'd just about had enough. Tomorrow I head inland, making my way toward Launceston eventually.