Clouds. Rain. Clouds. Rain. I am glad we got the tents away before the wet begun, but now we are ready to go, and the rain has started. The boys take it as a sign to run off and play, being distracted at the task at hand, but they are with friends, so we let them go.
Today we have a planned ride, but we are not sure if we will make it that far, we aren't too worried about it though, a leisurely pace should suit us for a few days. Considering it is midday, and we are still wrangling kids to get going, we may not make it the planned 50kms.
We wave goodbye was we leave down the steep driveway, our friends yelling “Good bye” as we head on our way. Jacqui and I talk about how glad we were to stay with Ruth, Shane and their children, we all enjoyed their company and a few days to stop and enjoy the surrounds.
The road before us feels daunting, with the distance we have planned, but we don't have any places to be, so there is no rush. A few steep inclines, and many downhills, rolling and rolling. The biggest issue is navigating the busy streets and impatient cars, trying to make sure the boys are in the right spot, waiting and watching for cars, on roads that are as unexpected as the drivers.
By lunch time, only a few kilometres from our morning’s departure, we decide to go a shorter distance for the day. Aim for Legana and tackle the other 30kms the following day - 50kms doesn’t seem like a long way, with a few weeks of riding in our legs, but to make more than 35kms in an afternoon, when we aren’t in a rush, seems like a silly idea. So we change our destination, relax, and enjoy the ride.
The afternoon’s travel is excellent. A wide bike lane heads out of Launceston on the West Tamar Highway, plenty of room for cars and trucks to travel past us, and we follow the road where it leads, through small suburbs and out the other side, and out past a wildlife reserve, where we stop for a walk.
Legana is not far from Launceston, but is our camp for the night. Too easy.
On to Beauty Point
The sun was not in the open when we woke, it was behind the clouds and it felt cold. At the breakfast table the sun burned through the clouds, and it warmed up in an instant. It has been like that since, warm sun shining, hardly a breeze in the trees.
Packed and ready to leave at a suitable time we ride out of the caravan park and back onto the highway. It was suggested to us that we take the road that goes down along the Tamar River and we are glad we have done that. It is a beautiful day, sun is singing through the trees, casting dark shadows across the road. The grass is green and the water on the Tamar River is still. Everyone is in high spirits, enjoying the weather, the view and the riding, none of them demanding much of us today.
We ride up, away from the water, a short jaunt down the highway, avoiding rushing truck drivers as best we can, and into Exeter. We decide to stop and enjoy “A Cyclists Stop”, our first for the trip, at the Exeter Bakery, ordering cakes, coffee and chocolate milk. We sit in the sun, critiquing the baked goods, and suggesting that we should start “The Cyclist’s Review”, a website dedicated to reviewing Coffee and Cakes from Bakeries we ride to (turns out it (has been done)[http://www.patisseriecyclisme.co.uk/], but is not working).
The road from Exeter is, once again, nice rolling country roads, but here the drivers are a little too close, and the trucks are a little too fast. It is tight riding, and after a few stops for blackberries, we thread our way into Beaconsfield.
We stop for food, and visit the museum (it is a brief stop as we earmark this for our return the following day), before continuing on toward Beauty Point.
Chicken burgers for dinner tonight, in preparation for tomorrow’s ride. Foraged fruit for dessert, some of the roadside apples combined with a big bag of blackberries, when the roadside has no stalls you can make do with bushes and trees.
We have a great discussion with a man, who along with his wife, is finding a love for travelling. It is funny how the road will change your perception of people, usually things are not just business as usual, but different and odd, and there is always something to talk about.
We sink into our tents, after a shower, knowing that tomorrow will not be a bad day of riding, it is not far and the road is not demanding. Sleep falls upon us, quickly.