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Chris L circles Tasmania Chris L is spending a month riding around Tasmania. Follow his progress here

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Old 01-08-04, 10:36 PM   #1
Chris L
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Day 18: Up to the cradle

Gorgeous sunset from the campsite on the Bluff at Devonport last night. Not sure whether the late evening cloud cover added to it or detracted from it. In anycase, today's ride started with a pleasant ride out of Devonport alongside the Mersey River once again. I think this is what passes for "rush hour" in Devonport, but things were pretty quiet out there.

There were a few little ups and downs along the way to Sheffield. This is a town that has very little going for it in the way of natural features, but manages to attract a reasonable number of tourists all the same. The main reason for this is the murals that somebody decided to paint on the walls in the town. There are quite a few of them that tell various stories of the town's history. One wonders just how many murals they can find in a town with a population < 1,000. The biggest mural of all was a little later on in the hamlet of Gowrie Park. Two photos end to end weren't wide enough to capture all of it!

After Gowrie Park the road begins climbing gradually for a few km, putting on probably a couple of hundred metres or so in the shadow of the rugged Mt Roland. This all comes just before a screaming descent into a gorge around the Forth River. After a descent like that, there almost certainly has to be a climb, this one is the hardest in Tasmania thus far. 4.5km at an average of 10% up to Moina. Of course, today just had to be the first hot day the tour has produced.

I was pleasantly surprised in Moina to find that a pasta meal was readily available. I devoured my unexpected surprise, before climbing the remaining 3km or so through the forest onto the plateau. It's here that the legendary wind from the west known as the "roaring forties" has nothing to stop it. I actually think my average speed across the plateau was slower than when I was climbing the mountain, such was the strength of the wind.

Eventually I reached the destination at Cradle Valley where I will spend two nights. I was also somewhat fortunate that I rang ahead and booked this particular campsite, because there were no spaces left. For an area that was totally booked out, the campground at Cosy Cabins still offers a reasonable amount of space for individual tent sites - even if the so-called "general store" on site is not particularly well-stocked.

A note on updates - I know there haven't been any for a couple of weeks, but there aren't exactly an abundance of internet Cafe's on Tasmania's west coast either. I couldn't update in Queenstown because I was there on a Saturday - and there wasn't anywhere else. some of you might have to be a little patient!
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Old 01-26-04, 04:42 AM   #2
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Taking the coastal route out of Devonport (again).
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Old 01-26-04, 04:43 AM   #3
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Rolling hills all the way to Sheffield.
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Old 01-26-04, 04:43 AM   #4
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A nice little lagoon for company
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Old 01-26-04, 04:44 AM   #5
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Magical murals.
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Old 01-26-04, 04:45 AM   #6
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Bible readings or weddings here anyone?
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Old 01-26-04, 04:45 AM   #7
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I'd say this one was just about my favourite.
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Old 01-26-04, 04:46 AM   #8
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... but I couldn't resist one more.
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Old 01-26-04, 04:47 AM   #9
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In the shadow of Mt Roland
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Old 01-26-04, 04:48 AM   #10
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This mural is an absolute monster!
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Old 01-26-04, 04:49 AM   #11
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... That's two pics, and I still don't think I got it all.
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Old 01-26-04, 04:49 AM   #12
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Forth River gorge.
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Old 01-26-04, 04:50 AM   #13
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I just had to find this waterfall.
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Old 01-26-04, 04:51 AM   #14
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Now the climbing starts.
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Old 01-26-04, 04:52 AM   #15
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... And continues through Moina
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Old 01-26-04, 04:53 AM   #16
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I just want to know who delivers the mail out here?
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