After our terrible night at the ‘Bothwell Grange’, an experience we hope we don’t have to
experience too many times, we were up, showered and out of there before seven o’clock this morning. Someone from the Castle Hotel had told us yesterday that the cafe next door opened at seven for breakfast so we made our way there, bleary-eyed and desperate for some clean comfort and a cup of tea. The Captain and I always start each day with at least two cups of tea, usually when we wake up around 5:30am. The Grange hadn’t even provided that facility, so we were desperate by this time of the morning!
We rode up to a closed cafe just before seven and lingered there hopefully until the owner drove up, running late, but with such a big, friendly smile and helpful manner that we wanted to hug her, or cry, or something!
All five of us had a delicious breakfast of bacon and eggs, then said our goodbyes. Our friends left to return to Hobart, and we set off to complete the 59kms to Miena.
Bothwell has an altitude of 600 metres. Miena’s altitude is 1200 metres. That’s 600 metres of climbing right?
WRONG! Do you know how many hills we worked our way up, only to have a sweeping descent (greatly appreciated as we were rolling downhill with the wind in our hair) which undid all the hard work and meant we lost precious metres of altitude gain. We may have changed our altitude position by 600 metres today, but we darn well climbed a lot more!
Despite the effort, today’s ride was again fantastic. The small number of vehicles we encountered were very courteous with country waves, and moved right over to give us space. The roads didn’t have much of a shoulder, but were so quiet this didn’t matter.
We stopped at Steppes Sculptures and the Steppes Homestead to have a look.
As we got closer to Miena, and were struggling slowly up a looong hill, we saw a For Sale sign on a block of land. One of the features of the property was that it was only ‘minutes’ from Miena. With some desperate and hopeful excitement I pondered aloud how ‘minutes’ translates into bicycle terms.
“We have 9 kilometres to go” came the curt response from the Captain.
“What speed are we doing now?” I asked timidly.
Needless to say, it wasn’t worth working out the car to bike translation!
We did finally pedal into Miena, and with much joy perused the clean and quiet surroundings of the Central Highlands Lodge where we are staying the night. The owners offered to wash our clothes when we enquired about laundry facilities, and we even have tea and coffee in our room! Dinner is at 5:30 and we are STARVING so I am going to finish this and walk some weary legs to the restaurant. Bring on the food!