We had coffee at the bakery in Deloraine in the morning. The Bromptons created a fair bit of interest parked outside the shop, and we fielded a few questions asking if the bikes were electric, if they were hard to pedal and just…why? Who needs an answer to that when it involves a bike (until it starts involving electronic shift then you might have to start asking…)?
It was pleasant rolling along to Longford. The roads were quiet and we were able to relax as we trundled along. The rain came and went but it wasn’t cold (particularly on the uphills) so it wasn’t a problem.
Mick spotted some garlic, which we planned to use for dinner that night (Artist as Family style), and we tried some apples. They were very unripe, and we didn’t think they would be any good…Artist as Family, do you have any ideas?
It was only about 57km to Longford, but it seemed to take a long time. Being Tasmania, there were some hills, and, being tired after yesterday, we did not move quickly up those hills.
The visitor information centre recommended we ride via Bracknell, then to Bishopsbourne and Toiboy to get to Longford. We enjoyed the ride and it was fantastic travelling along quiet country roads. Bracknell’s pub wasn’t open yet, but the small roadhouse had a good selection of takeaway food and grocery items. We can vouch for the hot chips!
By the time we reached we reached Longford we were seriously discussing changing our route for the next few days. Our original plan had been to head to Poatina, then up to Miena, down to Tarraleah, Hamilton, Westerway, New Norfolk and Hobart. However, there was a huge rain cell heading towards Tassie, and the thought of being up in the central highlands when it was raining (and therefore quite possibly freezing) was not appealing! Due to time constraints, the only other option at this point was to head to Campbell Town and ride down the main highway until Oatlands, where we could then leave the highway again. The thought of riding along the highway was very unexciting. We started discussing buses, taxis, hitching a lift…
While we were enjoying the bakery produce, Keith said hello. He lives in Longford and frequently cycles around the area. Keith told us the best way to ride was to head towards Cressy, then onto Campbell Town, a popular cycling stretch. Keith said not to turn off anywhere but to head straight to Campbell Town (remember this later). We decided this would be our plan. There were no seats available on the bus (which has to be pre-booked) and we decided we would just have to ride the 46km from Campbell Town to Oatlands on the highway. Tomorrow was going to be the day! It would be long, wet and quite possibly unpleasant on the highway, but it was game on!
The rainy forecast lead us to opt for an ‘onsite caravan’ at Longford caravan park. We are not experienced caravaners so it was interesting paying all that money for one night in a VAN. It was nice and dry and quite well fitted out with a toilet and shower. There was an annex outside the caravan where we cooked dinner using our Trangia rather than cook inside and smell out the caravan. We got to use our freshly foraged garlic in a delicious slow-cooked stew (Trangia-style)!
The caravan was okay, but we are still not sure how well the toilet would go longer term!
Thankfully it rained all night and we felt very grateful and rather smug laying there in our caravan listening to the rain on the roof. At 6am the next morning we would be out of bed, preparing for an early start to Campbell Town then onto Oatlands.