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Saturday, 31 March 2012

Wrest Point’s bus trip to a Cheese farm…

At the Wrest Point Casino, I joined the Player’s Club.  This is free, and don’t worry if you don’t gamble – this is for free movies in the afternoon at the hotel, and courses in pilates, line dancing. etc.  This would also include bus trips around Tasmania and to the other Casino in Launceston.

I didn’t find out about the monthly bus trips to the end of February, when I heard from the Cromes that the bus trip was to the Tahune Forest Airwalk.  I would have really liked to go, but the bus left that morning and I didn’t find out till lunch.  
Pair of wool pants in the Wool Centre.

So I decided to go on the bus trip in March, no matter where it was going.  It turned out to be a trip to Ashgrove Farm Cheese in Elizabeth Town, with lunch at the Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm CafĂ©.

This bus trip costs about $60.00.  The bus left at 8 o’clock in the morning.  I didn’t want to walk to the Casino so asked them to pick me up at the bus stop right besides my house.  This was not a problem for the driver, and the bus was full.

At about 10 o’clock, we stopped for coffee at the Wool Centre.  The tour guide had coffee and cookies on the bus, and they were served outside.

My next blog continues the trip. 

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Jaro’s bike trip in Montreal…

Jaro left Tasmania in the middle of March, returning home to Montreal. 

No ferry at Ile Bizard or Oka-Hudson until April, so I rode downtown and took the 11:00 am commuter train from Central Station to Deux Montagnes, and biked from there.

Nice ride over St. Joe down to Oka, then back by way of Cote Rouge and St. Benoit - where
 I ran into the Espoirs Laval racing team with coach Antoine Malo.

Climbed up the back side of St. Joe and did a couple of loops around, because the return train doesn’t leave until 4:00 pm on Sunday.

Lots of bikers everywhere, especially in the afternoon, when it really warmed up.

Oka bike path flooded.

The ice on the lake at Oka and elsewhere is not going to last long after this week's warm spell.

All photos belong to Jaro Franta.  

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Shopping downtown…..

I am from a small Alberta town with hardly any shopping, so I really enjoyed the shopping in Hobart. 

The Cat & Fiddle and Centre Point are just across the street from each other.  And behind the Cat & Fiddle was the Elizabeth Mall.

The bench and this sign are both in the Cat & Fiddle.

In the Cat & Fiddle Mall, in the Harris Scarfe store, take the elevator to the 3rd floor - everything up there is on sale.

All photos belong to Jaro Franta and to Google.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Grocery shopping.....

No Safeway or Superstore in Australia - Woolworths and Coles are the main grocery stores.

The produce is excellent - In Alberta, I never eat avocados, but down there, I thought they were good.

They have a freezer case filled with pet food, including food for puppies.

You will often see eggs on the floor. 

All photos belong to Jaro Franta.  

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Jaro's bike ride to Bruny Island.....

Bruny Island and Adventure Bay today....  another beautiful nifty one-sixty.

People warned me about sections of dirt road on the B66, but a local resident whom I talked with on the ferry said that a long section on the north island was paved over recently, leaving only "The Neck" - the causeway connecting to the south island - as dirt road. 

But the Neck is only about 3km long, and the dirt is mostly hard-packed, so not too bad at all - especially since bikes can pick their line, in the absence of traffic....

Adventure Bay, Bruny Island...

Didn't see any penguins, unfortunately...

All photos on this and the last blog belong to Jaro Franta.  

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Jaro met an Australian cyclist......


The finest Aussie on two wheels - a team member with Appleby Cycles in Hobart.

This was a chap whom I met today, while cycling the loop from Hobart to Longley, Sandfly, Margate, Blackmans Bay, Kingston Beach, Taroona, and return by way of Sandy Bay. 

Salamanca bike stands in Hobart.
The route was going to be about 50K, according to a suggestion I found on a web site last year.
But this friendly fellow showed me some nice scenic routes, that added another 10 or 15 K.

Kingston Beach....

After riding and chatting for about 20K, we stopped by his house, where I met his wife and two kids.  I mentioned that I was looking for souvenir cycling jerseys, so he decided to give me his team jersey from last year, which was too big for him - fits me well enough! 

The jersey is a wonderful gift.  It features a map of Tasmania on the back, plus of course Appleby Cycles and I guess their mainstay product line, Specialized, (love their shoes, with Boa ratchet lacing system!).  Having visited a few bike boutiques in Tassie, I certainly noticed the high price of cycling accessories here - that jersey would be worth over a $100 new!  My souvenir shopping is done!

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Jaro’s bike ride to Mt. Wellington….

Mt. Wellington is history!     
Got into Hobart yesterday afternoon after a 4.5h bus ride from Devonport, by way of Launceston and the central part of Tassie - which looks a bit like southern Alberta or Saskatchewan.  After getting to my room and assembling the Cervelo, I started the ride around 2:30 PM.

It's a 22K ride to the top of the summit of Mt. Wellington (1270m) climbing right from downtown Hobart.
The first ~9K is on a relatively busy 'B' road, but the remaining 12K is on a fairly quiet 'C' road (paved all the way to the top).  The climbing is fairly easy, with a steady grade of about 6% - no really steep stuff, like some of the roads in the north near Devonport.
Earlier, when I arrived at the hostel, there were a few Asian tourists at the front desk, asking about getting a taxi ride to the top of Mt.Wellington - apparently its $100!

The ride was similar to Mt. Ventoux ("le geant de la Provence", 1570m climb from Malaucene, and almost exactly the same distance) - only Wellington has more impressive views, with the coast and Derwent River bridge. Last year, this climb was the first stage (prologue) of the Tour of Tasmania.
Similar to Europe, the road was marked for the last 8K to the top, with markers every K, and various names and words of encouragement near the end.
All photos belong to Jaro Franta.  

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Jaro is now leaving Devonport, going to Hobart…

Every bike ride starts on the bike path along Formby street in Devonport.

To go east from town, one needs to cross the Mersey River bridge to East Devonport.

Old lighthouse at Mersey Bluff, north tip of Devonport....

The road along the Mersey river estuary, from Ambleside to Latrobe, is the most popular cycling route around - nice quiet road with fairly little traffic - and traffic that is used to seeing bikers on that road.

Latrobe viewed from a hill just to the north-west of town.

Latrobe, the Platypus Capital of the World.

All photos belong to Jaro Franta.  

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Bus trip to Richmond......

One day, I took the bus out to Richmond.  I caught the bus downtown, and it was about $10.00 for me to take the bus out there and back.  Richmond has an old jail, very nice old buildings, and a beautiful bridge. 

This was the bus ride out to Richmond. 

It costs about $7 to visit the jail.

This is a restaurant, but I ate lunch in the bakery.  Lots of tourist shops.