*Late upload, meant to be from Saturday*
Happy weekend y’all!
Today started out with one of the Intensive Care Paramedics stopping by to give us a tour of an ambulance, arranged by one of the awesome volunteer ambulance officers.
He had offered earlier in the week to give us a lift up to the old Coal Mines, and we could bike back. It would be a great little trip, and we would get to see another historic site. However, today he also gave us the option of going to Fortescue Bay, which while less historic is part of the Tasman National Park, and has nice sandy beaches.
We decided to see the national park. Who doesn’t love sandy beaches?
(You’ll probably ask yourself why I am wearing this hat. Note that we were dropped off by a paramedic. I was told I wasn’t being dropped off outdoors in Australia without a hat. So his partner lent me this one, and I wore it, haha.)
Now. I had asked if it was much further than the coal mines, and his response was “No, about the same, maybe a tiny bit longer”. We are still new in town and learning the geography of the Tasman Penninsula. Telling me it’s near the Lavender Farm is meaningless.
It turns out, that the Lavender Farm is in Port Arthur. Which is a 16 km drive from Nubeena.
We drove past the Lavender Farm and kept driving. I asked how much further it was, and he said the turn off wasn’t too much further. So then we turned off, and began to bounce down this poorly maintained dirt road. And bounced and bounced and bounced. It felt like an eternity. I began to worry, this was very remote. We lost cell phone service before the Lavender Farm, and I had packed enough snacks and water for just a half day trip. Not any great tremendous journey. I began to plan in my mind how we would ration out snacks to make sure we made it back to Nubeena. It was like survival mode.
There was lots of people of all ages around, and a Rangers station which was selling water and snacks. My initial panic melted away, and even more so when we were told to call for a ride when we got out to the entrance of the road, or to the Lavender Farm. We didn’t have to actually get all the way home!
So, we stocked up on some extra water and snacks, and decided to start our 12 km trek out. We’re young, we could do this. It was also only 17 degrees, so it wasn’t a scorcher.
The hills were absolutely brutal. My phone says I climbed 75 flights of stairs today. I believe it. If I ever tell you all I’m thinking of buying a bike, or going biking down in Fundy, remind me of this day. I assure you that this must have been equivalent to like 30 km on a stationary bike. Uphill both ways!!!
Eventually, we made it out to the main entrance. I have never been so excited to a main road. Ever.
We read on a sign that it was only 4 km back to Port Arthur, so being starved, we figured we could make it to the Lavender Farm for lunch. Such a good choice! There was lavender lemonade, and I had a chicken panini. They farm lavender for use in food at their restaurant, but also have a distillery, and make aromatherapy and bath products, and chocolates.
Unfortunately, we still didn’t have cell phone reception, so we decided to get back on our bikes and keep going. We biked, and biked, and biked. Until finally we made it to the Fox and Hound, the restaurant Eddie had taken us our first weekend here. We still didn’t have cell phone service, but we explained our predicament to the lady at the front desk, and she gladly let us use the phone there.
Our ride’s reaction was “HOW ON EARTH DID YOU GET THERE?!” We told him we got as far as we could before we gave up. He was super surprised we made it as far as we did.
We got home just before the rain!
For the record, we biked 15 km, of hills, and would have had another 13 to go to get home. It wouldn’t have been as bad if there was sidewalk or something, but we decided it was safer to call for a ride than to keep going, as the drivers here are maniacs. There was a lot more traffic on the main road than the dirt one.
If I ever come back to Tassie with the intention of doing treks and biking, there will be months of physical fitness prep involved I believe!
Now to reward ourselves with a lovely pan of nachos. Taking a cue from Fitness Blender, it’s all about balance ❤️