Get me out of here!

Tasmania is pretty, the people are friendly, you see heaps of bicycles, but a day after arriving I booked a ferry ticket back to the mainland. It’s a nagging gut feeling of something not right about the place, that one’s reading of Tasmania is superficial, that it is a lie and one that is substantially true if you disregard the past. There is an evil here that must be cleansed. The genocide of the island’s indigenous population, the sadistic treatment of convicts, is the lingering stench of those things what caused Martin Bryant to commit mass murder in Port Arthur, the British prototype of a concentration camp, in the cafeteria, where staff dressed in period costumes?

My bike upside down and front wheel removed for tyre repair. Devonport Tasmania.
Fixing flat number 9 in Devonport, Tasmania. Had another a few hours later.
View of distant hills from Bass Highway south of Devonport, Tasmania, Australia.
Nice view looking west from the Bass Highway south of Devonport.

Finished with Victoria.

Now in the city of Geelong which is west of Melbourne, and from where I’ll later today catch the ferry to Devonport in Tasmania. Happy to be here, the past ten days have been headwinds, bad roads in places, and weather that in a few days went from 37 down to 16 Celsius, with this morning a thunderstorm chucked in. The best part of the trip so far has been kerbside conversations with some great people.
Otherwise, bored in the tent I downloaded the latest IPCC report and didn’t have to read much of it to again be assured we, life on this planet, are in serious trouble. Will read the whole executive summary tonight on the ferry.

The original 1854 ‘Eureka stockade flag’ in Ballarat, Victoria. Had to stop there!

Mark Twain visited the Victoria gold fields in1895, and said of the rebellion that,

By and by there was a result, and I think it may be called the finest thing in Australasian history. It was a revolution – small in size; but great politically; it was a strike for liberty, a struggle for principle, a stand against injustice and oppression….It is another instance of a victory won by a lost battle. It adds an honourable page to history; the people know it and are proud of it. They keep green the memory of the men who fell at the Eureka Stockade, and Peter Lalor has his monument.

‘Silo Art’ in Colbinabbin. That’s my bike and trailer on the left of the picture.

Northern Victoria.

Stopped in a town called Chiltern in northern Victoria, having spotted a sign on the highway announcing the local pro rodeo is on tomorrow, Sunday 12th. Rodeos are fun to watch, you wish the bull or horse would win big time, and might get some good photos, and have a reason to not regret the extra weight of the DSLR and 300 mm lens. Sadly found out it’s a night which creates a problem finding a place to camp in the dark, so will have to give it a miss.

Chiltern in Victoria. Not sure what the secret baby squirrel is… Maybe a school for apprentice intelligence officers?
There’s a plan to transform disused train lines into nice tracks for bicycle riders, but strangely some do not agree. This farmer’s gate is just north of Gundagai in New South Wales. What are they afraid of?
Remnant of the old Hume Highway, somewhere south of Gundagai in New South Wales, miles from nowhere anyway. The hills and land used to be bush but last century too much of it was ‘cleared’. Destroyed.

Albury – Victoria tomorrow morning.

Stopped for the night in Albury which is a town on the New South Wales and Victorian border. Will continue south tomorrow morning, hopefully feeling a bit better, this morning I spotted a dead Wallaby (smaller version of the kangaroo) by the side of the highway, beautiful young female, a leg and skull smashed, I checked the pouch but luckily she was not carrying a Joey, that’s a baby. Don’t know why, you see a lot of so-called ‘road kill’, but this really put me in a foul, and depressed mood. Aren’t we supposed to be doing something about declining biodiversity? Putting up a fence along highways would be a simple thing, the all-too-common sight of blood and guts splattered on highways is sickening. We share this planet with all other life, it is not ‘our planet’.

Took this picture on the south side of Jugiong – the Great Southern Land peoples!

Victoria, probably tomorrow.

Less than one hundred kilometres from the Victorian border. The ride so far has been ‘OK’, I have some helmet cam footage, have taken some stills, and will try to upload some soon. Right now am at a petrol station that kindly allowed me to plug in the laptop, but would be here all afternoon processing pictures and video. Nothing much to say about the ride so far, hot and sweaty, lots of hills, overloaded with camera gear and water needed given the distance between watering holes can be a few days riding, etc. No use complaining because as we say in Oz, ‘no one gives a fuck anyway.’