Friday, 25 January 2013

Thursday 24th Jan Swansea to Bicheno

My first memory of today was rain beating hard on the outside of the tent in the early morning. We could have folded the bikes and put them in the tent porch but we left them out assuming it would not rain. We even did some washing and left it airing on the bikes.
Had a great sleep last night though. The campsite was very packed and we were just a couple of feet away from a massive tent with boat and all the things you could think of. At half past eight I decided to rest as it could have been a late night with so many people around. Slept at 8.30 pm and woke up at 6 am and heard not a thing. I cannot believe how quiet the camp site was. Our neighbours are fishermen so perhaps they went fishing, who knows but the noise levels were fantastic.
Up at 6.30 and shower block to myself. The campsite has a fantastic kitchen area with fridge, microwave and kettle, sockets to charge up the ipad and table and chairs to sit on. Good cup of english breakfast tea, watermelon, banana and yogurt for breakfast today before we start to decamp. The kitchen has a tin roof and we can hear the rain, it gets more like home every day. All the field were yellow when we arrived but over night things have already started to turn green. Site cost 35 au$ about £24 which for our small tent was a lot but great facilities and right next to the beach. All I heard all night were the waves crashing in.
Less miles today as this is a really scenic area and worth a few side trips. Our destination is famous for it's cliff top walk Blow Hole and Penguins. Although keeping me up after 9pm to see a penguin walk up a beach may be a tall order.

Well we got here after a really hard day. We turned North East and into a 15 mph head wind which slowed us a lot. We were hitting about 4 to 5 mph and we did a climb from sea level to about 800 ft but had to peddle down the hill as the wind was so strong. Got up at 6.30 and were out for 8am but it took until 3pm before we got into Bicheno. Hardest thirty miles I have ever done on our bikes. We went along to the blow hole which with all the wind was working well and we walked along the coast and saw another Penguin in his nest.
Wet and windy today really Scottish weather and reminds us of our wet trip in the Outer Hebride and our time in Mull. A little damp but doing ok and camping again at a site with a good, if rather noisy kitchen.
We expected problems with coping with the heat but now it is the wet and wind that is the problem but at least we are well practiced. They had forest fires here just two weeks ago but things are now turning green again and the risk of fires quoted in their local paper was at the lowest level out of eight levels. I call this the Catherine and Tony effect, send us over here and it goes from non stop boiling hot to wet and windy in no time at all.
Not sure what the winds are going to do tomorrow. At the information centre it said 15mph against us (N.E) changing in the afternoon to 19mph on our backs (S.W). Hard to think of wind doing a 180 turn but hay, this is Tas and we will see.
Scenery has been great and at least now we are bonding with the bikes and really getting used to them.

Photo 1. Overnight rain means you can really see the tent footprint which is shaped like a big coffin.
Photos 2,3&4. On our afternoon Coastal walk in Bicheno.
Photo 5. The blow hole in full force.
Photo 6.Our halfway brew up, getting out of the wind at an information shelter.
Photo 7. The campsite where we started the day in Swansea

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