Launceston to Devonport, Tasmania

Distance: 230ish miles
Time on bikes: 0 hours

It’s still overcast and raining in the morning, but showing signs of cheering up. This is more than can be said for Carl who’s nursing a bit of a hangover as a result of his attempt to try and break the back of the four litre red wine box we bought the other day. It wasn’t his fault really, as apparently Béné was covertly topping up his glass while he was chatting to the locals.

After a slow, actually a very slow start, the girls do pretty much all the packing up while Carl has his hands full just getting himself dressed. We manage to get away at about 11 am, just when the clouds have broken and we have sunshine again. Carl is just glad that his bike appears to be well balanced and is keeping itself upright.

We take the road out of Launceston and head towards the west of Tasmania where we hope to be able to see Cradle Mountain. We’re catching the ferry tonight from Devonport, but this doesn’t leave until 9 pm and last check-in is 8.15 pm, so we still have plenty of time.

The roads have been great on Tasmania, but the landscape is much like any of the countryside landscapes we see in Britain, so really it’s not all that mind blowing. The weather is certainly reminiscent of Britain, but on a cold winters day and we have to ride with the heated jackets and heated grips turned on full. Poor Anne thought she was coming here for a bit of winter sunshine.

On the road which passes near to Cradle Mountain it’s absolutely freezing while we ride as the air dips to 6 degrees and there’s a bit of sleet in the air. We decide not to stick around and instead try to get down a bit from the 900 m altitude we’ve climbed to, to find some warmer air to thaw out in.

There’s a bit of a detour to visit the town of Waratah which was apparently at one time a very big tin producing mine. Rather disappointing for Béné and Anne, the museum appears to be closed, so instead we settle for a hot chocolate in the pub where we can warm up a bit.

Back on the road we then make our way towards the coast, but have a bit of a detour as we miss the turning for the scenic option which is about twenty miles further but takes us on a lovely snaking road through a gorge. By the time we reach the coast, it’s a thirty minute ride to Devonport where we arrive with about half an hour to spare before last check-in. This gives us just enough time to stop at a pizza takeaway to get some dinner to take on board the ferry and we arrive at check-in with ten minutes to spare.

There are no queues and we’re straight onto the boat and no sooner have we left the bikes, the ferry is pulling out of the dock. It’s left about twenty five minutes early, so we guess that everyone is on board and it’s not waiting until 9 pm when it was scheduled to leave port.

After devouring the pizza along with the last of the white wine, we settle down to see a movie in the on-board theatre before retiring into our budget option Ocean Recliner seats for the evening. We’ve each saved about £12 over taking a cabin, and the seats on the way out proved to be no problem for us getting a good nights sleep. Let’s hope it’s the same going back.

Jour 308 – Dimanche 20 Février 2011. De Launceston à Devonport, Australie.

Distance: 370 km – Temps à moto: 5.5 heures

Il fait encore gris ce matin, mais au moins il s’est arrêté de pleuvoir et on arrive a ranger la tente et nos affaires au sec. Carl a un peu mal a la tête suite aux quelques verres de vin qu’il a bu hier soir, bien sur, il dit que c’est la faute a Béné qui lui a rempli son verre plusieurs fois.

Après un démarrage au ralenti, en fait, sutrout pour Carl, car  avec Anne on rangé toutes les affaires autours de lui, on arrive a prendre la route vers 11 heures, juste quand les nuages semblent se lever. On prend la route vers l’Ouest  vers les ‘Cradle mountains’ où la route est sensée être superbe, on a le temps de faire des détours comme le ferry n’est qu’à 9 heures ce soir.

Les routes de Tasmanie sont vraiment agréables a moto, et on espère encore en profiter aujourd’hui, c’est juste dommage qu’il y fasse aussi moche et froid, Anne espérait être venue a la pèriode éstivale, ca n’est pas trop le cas… Le temps n’est pas trop mal pour la montée, on passe a Mole Creek où on se réchauffe en mangeant une soupe, mais dès qu’on arrive en haut il y fait vraiment frais, et il commence a faire plus mauvais, bref, ca caille et ça n’est pas trop agréble, mais on espère que ca va bientôt se réchauffer.

On passe dans Waratah, un ancien village minier où pensait passer dans un musée, mais il est fermé, on va donc dans un bar boire un chocolat chaud pour nous réchauffer un peu.On prend ensuite la direction de la côte dans l’espoir de resortir des nuages, mais on ne prend pas la bonne route et on fait un détours de 20 minutes, un fois sur la bonne route les nuages semblent tourner autours de nous, mais heureusement on reste au sec et la route le long de la côte entre Somerset et Devonprot est bien agréable.

On arrive juste a temps pour acheter deux pizza qu’on mangera sur le ferry. On a de la chance et il n’y a pas de queue pour entrer sur le ferry et le temps de ranger nos affaires sur les motos et d’aller nous installer a une table pour manger les pizza et les boire les petits restes de vin et le ferry démarre. On est a nouveau sur les sièges plutôt que dans une cabine, mais on y a bien dormi a l’aller, on espère que ca sera pareil cette fois-ci.

On va voir le film qui est au cinéma gratuit du ferry, avant d’aller nous coucher, on est bien contents d’être au chaud et on espère trouver le soleil a Melbourne.