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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 01-09-04, 07:16 PM   #1
Chris L
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Day 26: Here comes the rain!

I heard the showers starting as I went to sleep last night. I heard them getting larger as I woke up this morning. Today would be a big day. The Strathgordon road across three mountain passes through the south west wilderness was one of the things that attracted me to this particular tour. However, the freezing rain and 60km/h winds made me pause for reflection as I went.

Quick question: Where in the world can one ride over three mountain passes in the middle of summer, wearing three layers of clothing and not break sweat? Tasmania.

Being either brave or stupid, I set off anyway, a ride initially along the Tyenna river, stopping at the village of Maydena (just 13km or so in) to buy some hot food and enquire about the weather forecast. "Not good for the next couple of days" was the reply. Undaunted, I continued. The climbing started almost immediately, putting on around 550 metres or so to what is signed as the highest point on the road (no name given to the pass, at least not on the signs).

This was followed by a screaming descent - a problem on a day like this when keeping warm is the primary focus (and not all that easy to do). More ups and downs (and really spectacular scenery when the clouds would allow it) crossed over Frodsham's Pass and McPartlan Pass - all the while bringing me closer to the massive Lake Pedder.

The noticeable thing about this lake is that it can't be seen all in one view - it's simply too massive, the countryside too rugged. However, this probably isn't a bad thing as there are numerous vistas to take in - providing your hands are still warm enough to use a camera. The relentless hills continued all the way to Strathgordon, once apparently a town of around 2,000. Now a town of around 20. It did, however, have a reasonable bistro offering descent meals and, above all, warmth.

I hung around for dinner before backtracking 4km or so to Ted's Beach. Along the way I heard a weather forecast for "showers" tomorrow. That would almost certainly constitute an improvement. I am now reconsidering my traditional love for riding in the rain. It was, however, an epic place to bring up the 2,000th km on tour!
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Old 02-01-04, 03:10 AM   #2
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"Life wasn't meant to be a rose-garden". Unless, of course, you live in Maydena.
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Old 02-01-04, 03:10 AM   #3
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The Gordon Forests.
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Old 02-01-04, 03:11 AM   #4
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An interesting ride in prospect.
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Old 02-01-04, 03:12 AM   #5
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Some places are just too cold to grow much vegetation.
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Old 02-01-04, 03:13 AM   #6
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The Needles.
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Old 02-01-04, 03:14 AM   #7
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Somewhere on one of the climbs.
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Old 02-01-04, 03:15 AM   #8
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It's wet!
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Old 02-01-04, 03:16 AM   #9
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Mt Wedge comes into view.
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Old 02-01-04, 03:17 AM   #10
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This is what the South West is all about.
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Old 02-01-04, 03:18 AM   #11
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Lake Pedder comes into view.
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Old 02-01-04, 03:18 AM   #12
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Would you believe I'm still 20km from the lake-side campsite?
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Old 02-01-04, 03:19 AM   #13
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So many vistas around this lake.
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Old 02-01-04, 03:20 AM   #14
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Closing in on Strathgordon.
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Old 02-01-04, 03:21 AM   #15
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No spanky caption this time.
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