This morning I knew that I had a short biking day ahead of me. Consequently, I took nearly the whole morning to prepare my gear for the travel to New Zealand. Several people had warned me about the very rigid biosecurity rules and the painful checks you had to go through when arriving in the country: all the camping gear (shoes, tent, rain jacket and pants) and the bicycle have to be free of mud. At least my tent, rain pant and rain jacket look as new right now! 😏After this extended cleaning exercise, I walked in the little city to enjoy the funny topiaries displayed in many private and public gardens of the town. I would really like to know how this collective movement began!
Then, I went to a local micro-brewery called 7 Shed in hope to finally discover some good Tasmanian beer. I had a great time there with the owners, who had travelled in Flanders to visit Belgian hop fields and breweries. I was not disappointed by the tasting: most of their beers were quite delicious and I ended up buying 2 bottles to offer to my host in Melbourne.
Afterwards I had an easy ride to Latrobe, the last little town before Devonport. There, I completed my Tasmanian gourmet tour with the visit of the House of Anvers, a chocolate confectionery opened in 1989 by Belgian Igor Van Gerwen. Beer and chocolate, that’s the way to go for any good Belgian guy! For sure, I was going to find good chocolate there! Unfortunately, there were not that much products to taste, but the little museum displaying items related to chocolate was quite nice to visit.
I had also another delicious ice cream (chocolate and hazelnut) and I bought some chocolate to start my journey in New Zealand (yes, this is allowed!) and to offer at my last stop before leaving Tasmania. Indeed, when I was in Cockle Creek at the other end of Tasmania more than 20 days ago, Dale and Christine proposed me to visit them when I would be back Devonport before leaving Tasmania. I took all my time to cover my last kilometres in Tasmania, on a lovely road along the Mersey River, on a bright sunny afternoon.
I arrived at Dale & Christine’s place at 16:30 and we enjoyed the delicious early dinner they had prepared for me. We enjoyed every minute we had to talk together about our lives, my journey around Tasmania and New Zealand (@ Dale & Christine: the kayak journey I told you about is the Whanganui River ;-)). I couldn’t have had a better way to end my Tasmanian adventure, thank you so much to both of you! It was so enjoyable that it was really difficult to leave, and I had to ride the last five kilometres to the ferry terminal in “time trial with a 40kg bike mode” in order to catch the ferry. Giving full throttle I did it surprisingly fast and was there in no time, but I forgot one of my water bottle at my host’s home. Who knows, maybe I will get it back somewhere somehow, which would actually be fantastic because I would mean that I would see them again!
It is with a pinch in the heart that I watched the Tasmanian shore vanishing in the distance in a beautiful sunset. Someday, I will be back! (as Arnold the Terminator says 😉 )
Back inside, I spent the rest of the evening updating this blog while listening to a talented young singer playing nice old famous songs with his guitar, and it was really what I needed for this special evening, because most of the songs he played are some of my favourite ones.
- Cat Stevens – Father and Son
- Simon & Garfunkel: Mrs Robinson
- The Beatles – Here comes the Sun
- Simon & Garfunkel: Homeward Bound
- Neil Diamond – Sweet Caroline
- Eagle Eye Cherry – Save Tonight