Day 11: Maria Island – Triabunna – Dunalley (74 km): no peaks without valleys

Today’s stage was on a “kilometre counts double” tile of my bike touring Scrabble. Indeed, after having the opportunity to practice my abilities to ride against the wind two days ago, today I had a serious climbing training. If the first 12 km on Maria Island and the next 7 km between Triabunna and Orford were quite easy and flat, then it became another story. 

Maria Island seen from the shore near Orford

As I wanted to to another side-trip to Tasman peninsula, I decided to head towards Dunalley taking a shorter and less crowded road. This road through Wielangta forest, a 200 years old eucalyptus forest, was certainly shorter and less crowded, but it is probably because it is so hilly and in such a bad state that nobody want to take it πŸ™‚

During the 30 km, steep uphills (up to 16% !) and downhills of several km kept coming one after the other. At least, since there was nobody on this road, I could choose the best trajectory to clear them. The most difficult part was certainly going down, due to the very bad state of the road: loose rocks and gravels, big holes,… I nearly fell two or three times. Feeling the rear of the bike bouncing from one side to another at a speed of 50 km/h is quite scary, but hopefully I managed to get the bike back under control.

During some climbs, my speed was below 6 km/h. At least I had plenty of time to enjoy this nice eucalyptus forest πŸ˜‰

At the top of the longest and hardest hill, I got a beautiful view on Marion Bay as a reward, and also a wrap with a thick layer of peanut butter. 

Marion Bay

Peanut butter wrap up of today’s stage: lots of hills, but always smiling!

Finally I reached the end of this infamous road safe and sound. There, a very special artwork was exposed: probably an assembly of pieces of bikes that either had not survived the road, either were abandoned by their disgusted owners. Well they will not have mine!!


I then quickly arrived at Dunalley, a small village from where I will start my side trip to the Tasman peninsula, quite tired after this difficult day. I camped for free on the terrain aside Dunalley’s Hotel. I was there for not even a quarter when Kath and Ed, the two fellows from Yorkshire, arrived on the “campground”: it seems that we are following each others! Well I will certainly not complain about that, since these two are the funniest people that I have met so far in Tasmania, with a lovely typically British nonsense humour and a very communicative laugh. Seing them reminded me the good moments shared with my brother during our travels.

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