Along the coast

(80 Kms)

Wednesday, 17 Jan, 2018

St Helens to Bicheno

We were up at 7am with plans to be on the road around 9am. With almost 80 kilometres to cover today, we wanted plenty of time to get to Bicheno.

In the end, it was close to 9:30 by the time we had breakfast and packed our gear, delayed further by me putting my panniers on backwards.

There was no wind as we cycled out of St Helens, and we enjoyed a brief respite from the highway along a cycle path for the first kilometre or two. Once on the highway, it was a windy climb with no shoulder, but the traffic was light, and gave us plenty of room when passing.

Cycle path out of St Helens

Our first meeting point was near Beaumauris, and already we had a glimpse of the ocean, which we would sight frequently throughout the day. We turned off just after Scamander to visit Eureka farm, renowned for its berry crepes. Jonno made the most of the opportunity for a second breakfast, whilst Georgia enjoyed a blackcurrant smoothie, and Simon and I had coffees and scones. We had covered some 20 kilometres and enjoyed the relaxing outdoor area.

Georgia waiting at Beaumauris

A "Berry Delicious" morning tea at Eureka Farm

Back on the bikes we avoided the turnoffs to St Marys, including the renowned Elephant Pass. Whilst the day was calm, we did feel the wind as we turned north east towards Falmouth, but that was about the only time it affected us all day.

Rest stop near Falmouth

Bay at Falmouth

Bay at Falmouth

We continued to get Jonno to stop every 30 minutes and wait for us all to catch up. Georgia was making good time today, and I was the slowest of the family. We knew that there were some camping areas in Chain of Lagoons, and suggested that Jonno check out Little Beach as he passed, and we would wait for him at the turnoff. We all missed the turnoff, except for Jonno, who came pedaling after us to catch up. There was nothing at Little Beach so we tried Lagoons Beach, and it was a good spot to stop for lunch.

We made tea, and enjoyed our sausage sandwiches, making the most of our ration of two each. We never did solve the mystery as to what happened to our ninth sausage, as Simon was sure he had BBQ'd nine sausages the night before.

Lagoons Beach

Lagoons Beach

Tea and sausage rolls at Lagoons Beach

We estimated we were now some 30kms from Bicheno, and the highway continued with the same gentle undulations. The traffic had reduced following the St Marys turnoffs, and the road was pretty quiet. Quite a few cars passing the other way gave us toots and thumbs up for our efforts. We also passed three other cycle tourists heading the other way, but we did not see Rachel, the cyclist from the night before.

Last stop before Bicheno

Around 4:30 we reached the campsite. I dropped into the nearby information centre whilst the others checked in. The caravan park was full so it was lucky we had pre-booked. Once we had set up camp, we struggled with the showers which were either too hot or too cold. Jonno made a quick visit to the nearby IGA to pick up juice for his breakfast and a bottle of mineral water to act as a roller to release our right quad muscles.

We decided that an 80 kilometre ride deserved some celebration so decided to go to the nearby bistro for dinner. Georgia had a vegetarian lasagna whilst the rest of us enjoyed enormous chicken parmigianas. We hadn't eaten since lunch and were starving. There was nothing left once we finished.

A shorter ride tomorrow to Coles Bay and the Freciynet National Park.

Evening at Bicheno

Sunset at Bincneo