Please note the dates (on the titles) of these blogs. These are still adventures that happened pre the accident of 27th April 2012. We are trying to get up to date but Karen still has a full on physio regime and Kev is being her carer. We are also very busy getting a presentation ready for the V twin rally in the UK and designing new calendars.
Please bear with us we are doing our best, at least we have something for you to read while Karen recuperates in Melbourne.
Back to Tasmania.
Blog 220 Freycinet peninsula 30th March 2012.
After another spectacular sunrise looking out over Freycinet (pictures below) we followed Kerry’s suggestion of a trip to lake Leake, a wonderful name for a dam.
It is a ride favoured by the bikers on the island but as we were a little short on time the plan was to return by the same road rather than make a loop ride out of it, also partly because we didn’t want to miss out on Elephant and St Marys passes later on.
We were both heading for the same conclusion that it probably was a detour we could have missed out as the road was fun and twisty but nothing jaw dropping when we arrived at lake Leake which made it all worthwhile. It was still fairly early in the morning and the light was just right.
Then it was on to the Freycinet peninsular itself, we headed first to the Wineglass Bay lookout walk, the furthest accessible point by road. After changing into our shorts it was a pleasant couple of hours walk although it was a hot day. It was certainly worth the steep climb , the views out over the bay were stunning. Hard to visualise now but these beautiful white beaches were covered with blood and blubber from the whalers who colonised this area in the 1800′s. This is a far cry from today’s view due to the conservation status it has held since 1916. We could see back to Coles bay where we started and down into wineglass bay and the small strip of land separating them. The rock’s colours come from a high concentration of pink feldspar. I found a very comfy chair for a snooze but Karen wanted a try as well. It was a project by a university design team. When we got back we found a Pademelon by the bike sniffing around for food, we didn’t feed him but it was a good chance for a picture and he was very cute.
One of our excellent Fournales shock absorbers had been weeping damping oil for a while and I had done a bit of research and found out that the nearby Mayor of Bicheno was the distributor of Fournales shock absorbers in Australia and Tasmania. I got in contact with Bertrand while we were in Hobart and sent the spare shocks ahead to be repaired.
Bertrand is very busy these days (being Mayor amongst other things) but he very kindly squeezed them in for us despite having friends over from France. We rang to say we were on our way and he said we should meet at the summit of Cape Tourville on Freycinet as he was taking his friends up there after lunch at Coles bay.
We set off for our rendezvous, we arrived first so walked the spectacular lookout track around the lighthouse while we were waiting. If you were thinking the place names around here sound French you would be right. The French explorer Nicholas Baudin named the peninsular after Louis de Freycinet one of his contemporaries.
Here are some pictures from Cape Tourville and Freycinet.
Bertrand knew how to make an entrance arriving with his friends in a black Pontiac Trans Am. He is a true character and has had an interesting life.
He hails originally from France and set out many years ago to ride around the world on an R65 BMW. He got stuck in Australia and never left so he understood better than most people the journey we have done. He was elected to council in 2005 and is fast becoming the most famous mayor of Tasmania such is his larger than life character. His first actions as Mayor were swapping his Mayoral vehicle for a scooter and declaring his district motorcycle friendly. One of his other claims to fame is that he modified the bikes for the first Mad Max film and even starred as Clunk one of the bikie gang members.
Kawasaki Australia supplied 10 x Z1000′s and and Bertrand styled them and fitted them with his own La Parisiene fairings. It was a very low budget film at just $350’000 and they ran out of money twice while filming, Mel Gibson was an unknown actor then and many thought the film would never make it to the big screen. During the filming many of the bikes were dropped and bashed around and afterward most were sold for scrap. If only they had known what a cult film it would become or what a Z1000 would be worth in 30 years time.
In true French style one of Bertrands first questions to Karen was “Tell me, are you still in Love?” said in a beautiful French accent, he has met many couples who relationships do not last the stresses of 24hr travelling and living together. Karen assured him she still was although she said we have our moments. ( Either I have a very lovely wife or she was worried about her ride out of here…..)
There was lots of Bonhomie all round, Bertrand’s friends were very nice and excused my appalling French, they took pictures for us of the shock handing over ceremony. Bertrand also made us honorary citizens of the Freycinet Peninsula and pinned a badge on us “using the power NOT invested in me” he joked. He then said because he was French we had to have an ug !
“Eh” I said, “oh a hug, yes that’s all right”.
Bertrands last surprise for us was that he rebuilt our shocks for free and wished us well on the rest of our journey what a nice fellow !
From Freycinet we headed through Bicheno (Bertrand’s home town) and then up Elephant Pass, a great biking road up through the mountain, Kerry told us to watch out for the elephant on a motorbike (we found him ok). The road ended up in the small town of St Marys where we quickly refuelled before heading back down along another pass to St Helens to camp at Binalong bay also known as the Bay of Fires. The bay was named by Captain Tobias Furneaux in 1773 in response to the many Aboriginal fires he saw burning on its shore.
We had to watch the roo’s a bit more out here, as if the road signs are anything to go by they are very big and strong….
The first campsite we went to was closed but a friendly local directed us to cosy corner a lovely white sand beach with camping. The granite rocks were splashed with orange lichen contrasting against the blue water typical of this region.
Next up – wending our way back to the ferry and our last days in Tasmania.