Tuesday, January 22, 2013


We have reached the stunningly, awesome coast. That is, we have arrived in Saint Helens. It's an “old” fishing village that is now trying to earn its money from tourism. OK, the amazing beaches, that – according to the tourist brochures – are rated second most beautiful in the world, are a bit north of the town (2000 inh.), but the town does not surprise us. Small and quiet as usual, nothing special about it. Traveling here I've got the impression that the Australians tend to exaggerate things. They are quick to call things awesome, amazing, a must see etc. Once there things seem not to be so extraordinary at all. They seem to be thrilled quite easily here.
That does not mean that Tasmania is not beautiful. The last couple of days the scenery was particularly nice. We had to climb some hills, up to 600 altitude and the forests, the paddocks and the views were romantically beautiful. Cycling was not very light, but much easier than the akward undulating slopes in New South Wales. We were happy riders the past days. Today we spent the day on Binalong Bay, indeed a very beautiful bay with a white beach and cristal clear water. 
On the way here in Scottsdale we stayed in the free camping area next to the river. Very nice place that we shared with app. 10 campervans and caravans. Toilets and a hot showers available. In the evening a man walked past our tent and whispered: “There are platypus in the river here”. (this is the otter-like marsupial with the duck bill). And indeed, a few minutes later we saw a couple of these animals diving and surfacing in the dark water. Now that was awesome!
From there we rode on eastward and ended at the Weldborough hotel. Don't think of a hotel with rooms with all facilities, a large parking place etc. No, it is a small pub in a 'locality' where there are two more houses. That's all Weldborough. But the pub is special. It's old and it has a very nice and romantic camp ground behind it, with a toilet and a shower for ladies and the same for gents. But most special is the fact that the pub has beers in stock of all Tasmanian micro-breweries. And there are many of them. So what to drink? Well, the publican let's you have a taste first and if you like it, you order one. We shared the campground with three other solo-cyclists and a campervan. That was an awesome place!

1 comment:

  1. That amazing creature has tickled the fancy of a few poets:

    How God made The Duck Billed Platypus
    By Pam Ayers

    The duck-billed platypus, small aquatic friend
    Made from the pieces God had over at the end.
    According to His reckoning (He'd not been wrong before)
    He hadn't made enough: He needed one mammal more.

    He studied all the corners in His cupboard large and bare
    A little foot here, and a little nose there,
    A scrap of fur, a feather, nothing anyone would miss
    And God said, "Oh Good God... Yes?..... What can I make out of this?"

    There was a funny flat tail and a great enormous beak
    Which had lain in the cupboard for a year and a week.
    There were four webbed feet in the manner of a duck
    And hanging on a peg, a furry overcoat for luck!

    So the turn of the platypus came to be fitted
    God sat him down and honestly admitted
    That the finished platypus might appear a little odd,
    'But look on the bright side of it,' said God.

    'You can swim in the river, you can paddle in the creek,
    You can tackle anybody with a great big beak,
    There's a tail for a rudder or alternatively legs
    And by way of consolation you've got babies and eggs.'

    So God took all the pieces into Workshop One
    And there he told the men the sort of thing he wanted done.
    The Carpenter and Plumber stroked the platypus's neck
    And said, "Don't you upset him, he cant run, but he can peck!"

    So the platypus was made, and his beak was firmly rooted
    And God found him a home where he would not be persecuted.
    They packed him up and sent him with his tail neatly furled
    In a brown paper parcel marked "Australia, The World.

    and a shorty from Ogden Nash:
    I like the duck-billed platypus
    Because it is anomalous.
    I like the way it raises its family,
    Partly birdly, partly mammally.
    I like its independent attitude.
    Let no one call it a duck-billed platitude.