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Ride to „the Edge of the World“, …

BlogstartTasipassing the magnificent western wilderness to the southernmost point of mainland Tasmania, shelter at “Eggs and Bacon” and finally FISH!

Even though we became a little bit nervous on the farm, because we stayed much longer than initially planned, we enjoyed staying there and the mixed pickles of all the different people around. Really heavy rain and cold gusty wind let us rest a couple of days longer than expected with our friends. We had a lot of fun doing “Ravioli à la Oscar”, roasting a pork head and sitting together in front of a warm oven. Sunday noon the weather cleared and we went all together to a forest close by, exploring the wilderness and a huge waterfall. At Stanley, the historic town with his iconic “Nut”, a 152m high cliff jutting out from a narrow isthmus once created of a long-extinct volcano. We walked up to the „Highfield Point” where we had great views all around. This sunny afternoon we decided to leave the next morning to go and see the rest of Tasmania.

So we did. We head west, passed Stanley and Smithon and reached “The Edge of the World” – a rugged coastline that was created by the wild “Roaring 40s”. Breathtaking huge waves came in and giant timber was all over the coast line. You really feel so tiny at this beautiful place. The weather was just fantastic; no wind and a sunny day let us undress more and more. From here we drove south. The “Western Explorer” a gravel road (someone said it is probably the most precious and expensive dirt road on our planet because it is made of white, crisp in the sun glittering Silicone Dust from the silicone mines on its way. You maybe got some of this dust in your computer or phone as it is exported to China and made into nice little gadgets and send all over the world again), passing several impressive wild coast beaches and entered the “Tarkine”, which is the largest temperate rainforest in Australia and the second largest in the world. We had two stunning days riding through this wilderness. The winding good gravel road made us just smile and each corner was presenting a new gorgeous view to us. The night we spent up on a plateau overseeing the spectacular wild scenery. We had some walks around but as soon as the sun set it became really chilly. We spent another half an hour watching the sky with its bright stars and sneaked early into our tent. When we woke up with the sunrise the next morning all the valleys around were still in thick mystical mist – it was cold but we were just happy and enjoyed the view while the sun was slowly warming us and we were sipping our hot coffee.

We loved the area so much that we decided in Corinna to do an extra loop instead going straight down to Strahan. We went up again, direction north-east to Waratah, the town of tin, and from there south again to Tullah, which sites beneath the 712 meter Mt Farrel, next to Lake Rosebery. While we were cruising around we found a lovely place at the lakeside and we spontaneous decided to stay overnight for the full moon. Some eagles were watching us when we were putting up the tent and our camp neighbors invited us to join them at their fireplace and so we spent the night chatting and drinking at the warm fire while drinking and chatting. Via Rosebery we followed a pleasant twisting road to Zeehan and shortly before Strahan a gusty cold wind with some drizzle of rain made us taking out our warm clothes and rain gears. I did not look good at all what was coming up there from the sea… and we shortly decided to go ahead and passing if possible the mountain part of the Lyell Highway. The scenery was great and the rest of the day we were continuing driving; always just escaping the black wall behind us. The wind became more and more gusty and cold and finally we left the high mountains behind us. Even though the storm went stronger and the dark wall came closer it was time of the day to look for a place to pitch the tent. We found a place next to a lake which seemed to be pretty sheltered. We put up the tent and had the worst cooking experience ever. The stormy wind was changing every second and just covering everything with sand dirt and leaves again and again. We somehow managed to cook and eat quickly when the rain started. The other day we bought a huge plastic cover but it was more keeping us awake and made horrible loud sounds at night flapping around in the storm. We had an early night; sitting inside the tent, looking at the map and wondering what we going to do tomorrow and how the weather will be…

Ahhh! Forgot one thing: We saw an Echidna!!! But the moment we recognized it on the side of the gravel road and stopped it disappeared in the high grass… and was never seen again unfortunately! Kerstin really hopes to see one once again; more closely!

When we crawled out of the tent the next morning it was bitterly cold but the weather was not looking too bad. If possible we wanted to drive the Gordon River Road to Strathgordon today. This is a 100km dead end road up to the Gordon Power Station Dam. But when we reached the crossing to turn into this road we were already wet and frozen. We were lucky! We had a contact south of Hobart who offered us to host us when we are around. We called Mac to ask if we could pass by already today and the answer was: “Of course no problem!” On the way we did some shopping and two hours later we arrived at Mac`s place. Mac and his Puddle Noodle welcomed us warmly with a cup of coffee and then he passed us the key to his beach shack at the “Eggs and Bacon Bay” with the words:” Stay as long as you want.”

We left Mac´s town house behind and drove into a black wall of rain. When we arrived at the bay the sun came out and we spent the evening watching the sunset and drinking a glass of vine on the rocks in front of “our” shack. The shack is a little house just one meter from the waterfront; you overview the whole bay from the window while you listen to the waves. The day after we arrived, we realized HOW lucky we are once again. It was “Good Friday” and the shacks around became more and more busy. Easter weekend! And we had a beautiful place to stay!!! And we really appreciated this fact especially during the stormy Easter nights.

The weather is changing constantly from a sunny warm summer day to chilly autumn just some hours later. We love the “Eggs and Bacon Bay” (though we would rename it to “Sunny Side Up Bay” from our point of view) and it is the place where we are still at the moment ;-) Since nearly two weeks now. We are fishing a lot and actually if we would only eat fish we would be completely self-sufficient, no need to buy anything. Fishing is a pleasure here, you just collect some mussels at the rocks, put them on the hook and throw it into the water and within seconds they are biting. It’s really surprising what you can find in these waters here. While fishing on a rock just 2-3 meters from the shore suddenly a 4 meter manta ray comes and looks what you are doing there. Hmmm, OK as far as I know they are not attacking when you are on a rock, my feet in the water though. But this one famous Australian Adventurer got killed by one, right? Never mind that one was not in an attacking mood. Than a day later on the same rock suddenly 3-4 seals passed by to say hello (and took all fish with them, no reason to continue fishing for that day). The shore is full of oysters and mussels which you just can collect to upgrade your lunch or dinner.

For us it is so great to have a warm dry beautiful base to explore all the surroundings! We did several day trips: to the Gordon Dam, where we could see the Russel Falls on the way and a lot of rain later on. To Bruny Island, this is nearly 100km long. From the tip of Dennes Point in the north to Cloudy Bay in the south the landscapes change from sandy beaches, tall forests to wild coastlines and we rode nearly each single existing road. We went down to the beautiful Cockle Creek at the South East Cape which is the southernmost point of mainland Tasmania – you cannot drive closer to the Antarctica!!! Or we just discovered the closer neighborhood… If it becomes too cold and windy we adore Mac`s great book collection and/or watch the stormy sea from our warm sheltered place. Or we work on our update ;-) And finally today we figured out the internet after we reinstalled the aerial on the roof. Hurray!!!

Only one morning we were a bit worried… suddenly we did not have water anymore. The rainwater tank was empty. As we could not see a connection to the roof when we arrived and the tank seemed already pretty empty we did not concern that much because we thought there must be any other water supply… and we did not think about it anymore – stupid us! We text Mac if he has any idea and he replied he filled the tank just recently. Hmmm… of course it was a Sunday! Luckily we still had some water bottles filled. We checked the pipes and found two leaking points which we fixed as good as we could. And Monday morning we found a freshwater supplier who came like promised in the afternoon and filled it up again for 115,- bugs. We are living here nearly alone in the Shack, nearly because there are several possum families all around. One family is an albino one, absolutely white. They are not shy at all and are having hard parties on the tin roof some nights… We saw on the road one Tasmanian Devil but it was too busy for a photo shooting (got one though), never mind next time Mate ;)

Like you see we have a pretty good time over here in Tasmania and we slowly have to plan how to travel on and explore the rest of it. We are so much obliged that Mac left us his slice of paradise for the time being what makes it so incredible much easier to us to discover and enjoy this beautiful part of Tasmania.

Loaded like never before, a flat tire, …


… a hangover and rain on the Nullarbor, beach life at Eyre Peninsula with a great host in Whyalla, interesting wildlife in Mt Remarkable Nature Park, never-ending turns in the Adelaide hills and a charming host in Port Wilunga.

There was no movement to see when we were checking the tracking number of our spare part from Hong Kong and we decided to move on. We agreed with Romy that she will send the parcel when it arrived, wherever we are than. Like we said before the plan is to take a spare tire with us to cross the Nullarbore; as well taking as much water and food as we can carry because everything will be limited and really expensive… A test loading made us smile: WOW! More is really not possible!

John gave us many interesting tips for little detours and we wanted to start from Esperance and crossing over to Balladonia via the Parmango Road. It was a great road which turned to a dirt track right through the bush after about 100 km. We found a charming deserted homestead which some people renovated and fixed for anybody to use for an overnight stay. Unfortunately it was too early for us to stay there but we explored each corner and had a break. After that some challenging sand holes and some really rocky parts appeared and we passed an interesting underwear-gate. There we recognized our flat rear tire… and the last 50 km until the Balladonia Roadhouse we stopped every ten km to pump it up again while sweating and passing the deep lane grooves which the road trains had left. For sure you would not like to ride this trail with rain!!!

Finally we reached the Highway and the first Roadhouse; we used our tire repair rubber fluid, pumped the tire up at and headed east. At the horizon were some dark clouds coming up and we were facing strong side wind; around 4pm we stopped at a rest area to check it out for the night. We met a guy doing tours over the Nullarbor with his group, a French woman and two Scotts. They immediately invited us for a cold beer and later on we were sitting together at the fireplace drinking beer, cider, vine and a real good malt whisky under the full moon…

Hmmm… the next morning we both had a “pretty” hangover… Still the wind was strong and we had some rain drops and really dark clouds coming up. We decided to stay on the highway. We drove along the ocean, passed Eucla and the old telegraph station and stopped at several viewpoints to watch down the high cliffs with a strong breeze. For the next night we found a rest area with a shelter where we could park the bike under and half the tent. At night we woke up a couple times from the rain showers. In the morning we shared the shelter with our camp neighbor family while some showers passed by. They are since 1 1\2 year on the road with their two kids in Australia and supplied us with a hot coffee therefor we did not need to unpack our kitchen bag once again. When we went back to the highway the rain stopped and we were driving with gusty winds further east. In Ceduna we stopped for shopping, met again the family from last night ;-), and headed south. Entering the Eyre Peninsula we found a lovely shady place a few hundred meters off the road in the bush for the night.

Streaky Bay did not really look interesting for us; we filled up our water bottles bought some bait and we drove about 180km south where we found a great little beach camp in the dunes. We had a big shady spot only for us… fishing, swimming, cooking, drinking vine. The next day we got some neighbors. A little “grey nomad caravan” was driving in with their trailers. We still had bait and we decided if we can get some drinking water we would like to stay another day. Kerstin took two bottles and went over; when she came close to the “round table” silence came over them. Friendly Kerstin welcomed the new neighbors and asked for any drinking water supply. One woman turned and simply said: “We are all short on water as well!” Kerstin was speechless for a second and replied with her biggest smile: “No worry, if YOU are short on water as well,” looking around the huge caravans with their water tanks “I will go over to the neighbors on the other side who offered us already yesterday to help us out if we need some.” Immediately two men jumped up, each grabbed a bottle, nodding: “Of course we have some water!”… Later on we had as well some nice chats with them but nevertheless we will never forget this situation.

After two beach days we crossed the Peninsula and drove up to Whyalla where we had a host via Couchsurfing. Alicia! An energetic uncomplicated young woman who traveled a lot with her bag pack around the world. She welcomed us together with her parents and we spent the evening talking talking talking… We did not have any news from our spare part yet so we stocked up our supplies at the local supermarket and left for the Mt Remarkable Nature Park.

The camp is located under big old Sweet Gum Trees and except one other camper van we were alone. The only really annoying thing was the flies… everywhere and really penetrant. We took out our fly nets and left for an10km hike. After the first few meter we met an emu couple and later on many roo`s and wallabies were crossing our path. The last two kilometers to the top we were more running than hiking because big red ants were eating us alive. When we reached the top we were completely sweated and disappointed about the lookout without a view… But we were happy because we knew we gone have a hot shower when we are back at the camp. We borough a bistro table and two chairs from the only hut which was there which was not rented and we spent the evening watching the wildlife, cooking and some red vine. The next morning we had a real pleasant 2,5 km hike, a relaxed breakfast with some roo`s, birds, emus and lizards around and after a last shower we were heading south.

We chose an inland road and were immediately rewarded with great turns on a narrow road through the forest. This day we did around 400 km until Port Willunga, South of Adelaide. We arrived just with the sunset at the house of Cara, Toff and their charming little son Trip. Usually we avoid driving in dusk or dawn and as well arriving that late at any people’s home, but we had to make an exception that day! We drove the inland road, past some remote villages, met a guy who was running a grocery in the original hundred years old house and born in Hamburg!, passed the beautiful Valley Clare and finally reached the Adelaide Hills. South of Gawler we were only driving in turns… turns turns turns! We drove more turns that day than in the last 7.5 month together in Australia and were purely enjoying that!!!

To stay with Cara, Toff and Trip (and his soon upcoming brother or sister – Cara is pregnant ;-) was just a pleasure! Every day we just walk to the beach, either morning or evening for a refreshing swim. They do run a bakery and today Kerstin had the chance to join Toff for one morning… watching everybody’s job and giving a helping hand where she could. Yesterday we went to the Deep Creek Nature Park for a hike; 11km up and down along the coast and through the bush… sweating like in hell, but we enjoyed it. Tomorrow we will head further east on the Great Ocean Road: The Ferry to Tasmania is booked for Saturday!!! Tasi we are finally coming!!!