We'll pay the Ferryman

(40 Kms)

Saturday, 20 Jan, 2018

Coles Bay - Swansea

We finished off last night with a few rounds of 500. Georgia and Simon partnered well together, one or the other having the Joker for most games. Jonno and I had to rely on skill to win any games, as the cards weren't in our favour.

The morning dawned overcast, with a constant threat of drizzle. We were hoping to visit Wineglass Bay lookout, but needed to move our taxi pickup time. Previous attempts to call had gone unanswered but we finally made contact and shifted the pickup to 2pm. That sorted, we packed up our gear, and left it with reception to collect on our return. By 9:30am, we were on the road to Freycinet National Park.

We stopped at the visitors centre to purchase our pass, and pointed out to the nice young man at the counter, that it was a little odd that it was cheaper for us to travel in a car as a family than it was to ride our bicycles, which had no impact on the environment. He agreed, and rather than charging us a $12 fee per person, only charged us for the vehicle entry which was half the price.

The car park at the start of the walks was pretty full by the time we arrived, and people were parking in the overflow carparks. We parked the bikes behind a sign, before discovering the bike racks near the toilet block.

We knew we only had time to walk to the lookout, about 30 minutes of uphill hiking. The path was excellent and the steps were very even, making for easy walking. The view from the top was spectacular, though a little misty. Most atmospheric, and quite different from the postcard pictures under brilliant blue skies. Jonno had already decided that he was coming back to do the three day Freycinet walk, so for him this was just a taster.

Coles Bay

At the main lookout

Wineglass Bay

Wineglass Bay

A little alcove at the top

We were back at the carpark by 11:30, perfect timing to head back to the caravan park to collect our gear, pick up some fresh bread rolls, and a loaf of fruit bread before cycling onto Sandwick, some 6 kilometres away to meet our taxi pickup.

We had factored in time for lunch in Sandwick and as we approached we met up with two Chinese cyclists who had waited at the boat ramp for a ferry that no longer operated. I gave them the number for the Aqua taxis and they booked a pick up for 2pm as well.

We found the picnic area, which was in a new estate with lots of subdivisions but few houses. It was well set up with undercover seating and BBQs, as well as conveniently located toilets. Luxury! We enjoyed our wholemeal knot rolls, definitely fresh. On the other hand, the fruit loaf was stale but Jonno and Georgia fixed that, firing up the BBQ and toasting the bread. Much better, though we couldn't convince our new Chinese friends to try any.

Swanwick Picnic Shelter

The BBQ Toaster

We all cycled on to the boat ramp, and enjoyed the views and the sea life from the jetty, including an enormous stingray. Simon gave directions to some passing tourists, and also gave them our parks pass, thus ensuring great value from our entry payment.

The estuary at Swanwick

The stingray

Our Chinese friends

Our taxi arrived in the form of a tinnie being towed by a car, which was a little surprising. Nathan introduced himself, and soon enough we were loading our gear and bikes into the tinnie. Our trip was only a few hundred metres, but it meant we avoided of 50 kilometres of highway including a big hill. Instead we powered our way along a 14 kilometre narrow spit of flat, sealed road. We could see glimpses of water on our left, but the view was mostly hidden by sand dunes and scrub.

Our taxi is ready

Loading up

All on board

Unloading at the beach on the other side

All safely across

On arriving in Swansea, we stopped at the supermarket for breakfast, lunch and dessert supplies. Morris' supermarket seemed to sell everything. And we were most excited to find that it sold bike tyres. Admittedly there was only one tyre of the requisite 26 inches, but that was all we needed. What a find! A solution to all possible issues with Georgia's deteriorating bike tyre.

We were quick to set up camp, put on a load of washing and shower so that we could make our rescheduled 6pm sitting at Salt Shakers for Simon's birthday dinner. We had a lovely corner table and ordered some bruschetta to share, and some local oysters for me, being the only one who eats oysters. They were divine. The kids had Tasmanian scallop pies, whilst Simon had scallops and chips, and I had linguine with prawns and scallops. All delicious.

Morris' saving store

Camp set up and off to the showers

Our corner table at Saltshakers

The view from our table

We cycled back to camp via the beach to enjoy the view, returning to eat our icecreams as the sky darkened. We then adjourned to the camp kitchen to write, change tyres and study Hamlet. Another great day cycle touring.

The darkening skies off the beach behind the camp site

Ice creams by the beach

Happy cyclists