The Tasman peninsula

(40 Kms)

Wednesday, 24 Jan, 2018

Dunalley - Port Arthur

We enjoyed a leisurely start, and an enormous breakfast. The kids were delighted not to eat muesli, and also had toast and crumpets. Simon and I enjoyed the eggs from the chooks, and we also had bananas all round.

Jonno and I then set off in search of supplies, with the aim of avoiding an 18 kilometre, hilly detour to Nubeena. We stopped at the community hall to check out the local veggies for sale, then the nearby bakery for some bread rolls With fingers crossed, we headed to the service station, which had a small grocery store attached.

We found a reasonable selection of meats and decided that a chicken stir fry with teriyaki sauce for one night and a spaghetti bolognaise for the other would work well. We found some local smoked trout pate, and picked up enough ingredients for two dinners, including some extra chicken to cook up for lunch.

We then bought some apricots, broccoli, cauliflower, beans and carrots from the community co-op, chatting to the woman who served us. Turned out that she was from Nugent, and we learnt a little more about the hamlet, and the use of the local hall. The apricots were from her orchard, and smelt delicious We had one more shop to try, but only added an onion to our supplies. As we turned for home, Jonno spotted a stall selling cherries, so I added a kilo of cherries to our haul.

Whilst we were shopping, Simon had cleaned and oiled the chains, ready for another few days on the road. It was close to midday by the time we headed across the canal at Dunalley, waving to the cherry stallholders as we passed.

All loaded and ready to leave Dunalley

Dunalley Bay looked glorious in the sunshine, and the views were lovely was we started towards Murdunna. It was hilly riding but nothing too challenging. We met up at the Murdunna petrol station and store, which proved to be very well stocked, and would certainly provide supplies for dinner on our return journey.

Dunalley Bay

Dunalley Bay

Then the climbing really began, and it was largely uphill until we reached the turnoff to Pirates Bay. It was just a short distance to the lookout, and the most perfect lunch spot, supplemented by the Cubed coffee van, which served amazing coffees, chai latte and spicy hot chocolate. We ate the rolls that Georgia had prepared, together with mince pies from the bakery, apricots and cherries whilst enjoying the incredible view.

The climbing starts

Looking down to Pirates Bay

Not a bad spot for lunch

Coffees ready

We could see the road across the isthmus, and it was a long way down. All good for now, but it meant it would be a long, hard climb out. After an exhilarating downhill, we walked down to the tessellated pavement, which was a spectacular rock formation, and not quite the nice footpath that Georgia was expecting.

The Tessellated pavement

The Tessellated pavement

I headed back to the bikes, so as to not leave them unsupervised for too long, then ducked into the hotel across the road, and picked up a local Bream Creek rose for dinner. We then made our way back to the highway and through Eaglehawk Neck, not that there was much to see. The next part of the ride was lovely as we skirted the edge of the bay.

We stopped at Taranna to visit the chocolate factory, and tasted a few different chocolates before making a carefully considered selection of dark chocolate, chilli cinnamon dark chocolate and a caramel, nougat milk chocolate to enjoy with our next game of cards.

The bay at Eaglehawk Neck

The wind had picked up and was blowing quite strongly as we headed off. Next stop was the lavender farm where we browsed the gift shop, and Georgia bought some lavender tea, being light enough to carry. We also enjoyed some lavender ice cream, including lavender (Georgia), berry and lavender (Jonno) whilst I had a delicious chocolate lavender.

At the lavender farm

The last few kilometres to the campsite were quite tough, with a few more hills. Then the steepest hill of the day, into the campsite itself. We were all relieved to arrive at reception and find our way to our site. We set up, showered, and enjoyed a beer with our pate and crackers before cooking up dinner. Our veggie selections worked really well, and we had fruit cake and custard for dessert. The kitchen was empty by this time and we enjoyed the peace before bed.