Saturday, November 25, 2006

biking around tasmania

Wow - what a day. My bum hurts, my back aches, my neck's stiff, but I have conquered Tasmania's roads on a motorbike! With Frank's assistance!

At first I thought I was going to have to miss out on our motorbiking adventure as I felt unwell, but the symptoms settled enough to don the required clothing, including this head doubling helmet. (Frank was given special dispensation to wear an open helmet, on the condition that he ride safely! Later on he mastered the bandit effect by adding a bandana across his face)

I jumped clambered inelegantly onto the bike (will you check out how far off the ground I am - my legs were hardly long enough to get on the thing!)

and off we went on a circuit around the north east of the state, our first stop being a large lavender farm. The lavender wasn't quite in bloom, but the location was beautiful and the chocolate lavender fudge was delicious! Here is Frank modeling the bandit look.

From there we headed north to a gorgeous seaside town called Bridport. Torquise water, hip cafe, relaxed feel - this place is definitely on our 'return here' list!

After lunch we started heading back home, but we couldn't go past our favourite Tamar Valley destinations - Artisan Gallery & Wine Centre and Koukla's Cafe at Gravelly Beach. The river view is beautiful...

... and the food's always great so we popped in for a while!

When we arrived back at the Motorbike Hire store we had to wait a while for the owner. I was totally exhausted and fell asleep in the car - never has a chair with a back been so welcome!

All in all it was a great day. I didn't relax enough, and drove Frank mad tapping on his shoulder to slow down. During lunch I did a bit of digging, and discovered his biking credentials - just a mere 10 years of riding a bike larger than the one we hired. So after lunch I tried my hardest to trust him, relax, feel the bends in the road and enjoy myself. Unfortunately a cross wind had developed - cross winds and high speed don't mix in my opinion (Frank was thankfully unperterbed and kept steering us the right way). I was also spooked by a truck I hadn't seen coming - it didn't hit us but the woosh of air felt like we'd been knocked! By the time we got back into the city I was relaxing more, tilting like a pro and enjoying the bends. When it all came to an end I felt a bit like a kid - "Stop! Stop"... "Oh do it again!"

There was something wonderful about engaging with the world without metal and glass to reduce all the sensory stimulation. Smells are one example - freshly cut grass, road kill, Eucalypt bush, cow manure, floral scents, bushfire smoke... no filtering, just each smell in all its fullness.

There was also something very freeing about cruising from place to place simply for the joy of being on an open road, feeling the throb of the engine, experiencing the rush of the wind. It was envigorating. Scary, but envigorating! A fantastic break from the humdrum of life, and a chance to appreciate the beauty of the world in a thrilling new way.

So there you have it... I've managed to keep my eyes open long enough to write this, but that last picture says it all, so I'll be off!


At 6:45 am, November 27, 2006, Blogger Robyn said...

The pictures are fantastic, although hard to make out your hair :) Bridport looks BEAUTIFUL! I'm glad you both had fun

At 8:13 am, November 27, 2006, Blogger Cecily said...

The hair developed a serious case of helmet-hair so it is deliberately hidden! I still love the haircut, but it never looks good enough any day to photograph. Even the photos on the first night were not as alluringly beautiful as I'd hoped... I'll try for one at a good moment OK!!!

At 10:23 am, November 27, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What fun! I remember when Ross and I used to jump on the bike and head off for a carefree cruise (way back when!) I also remember the scary bits like when Ross suddenly accelerated and I almost hauled him off the back of the bike while trying to beat the effects of the G Force and prevent being decapitated by the helmet strap:o(. Now and then Ross talks about getting another bike but I just pretend I don't hear:o). When are you going again Cec?


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