Day 66: Hobart to Strahan

I’ve heard about a special museum just outside Hobart that I promised Sarge I’ll go visit.  It’s called Mona (museum of old and new art) and it’s famous for it’s Great Wall of Vagina.  I think it’s best if the artist himself explains:

“Why did I do it and what’s it all about?” I hear you ask. Well, vulvas and labia are as different as a faces and many people, particularly women, don’t seem to know that. Men tend to have seen more than women, who have often only seen their own, and many have never looked that closely. Hence the exposure of so many, showing the variety of shapes is endlessly fascinating, empowering and comforting.  For many women their genitals are a source of shame rather than pride and this piece seeks to redress the balance, showing that everyone is different and everyone is normal.

Well, there’s 400 life-size casts and let’s just say it’s the most interesting art I’ve come across.  I’m naturally not going to publish photos but you can check out the website for more info

Then it’s on the bike to Strahan which is a picturesque fishing village on the west coast of Tasmania.  It was a glorious day for biking.  The sun was shining and it was completely windstill.  About 4km on the road I passed two cars and then a pickup truck pulled out right in front of me.  No indicator, nothing to give me a warning he was coming.  I passed him on the verge of the road as breaking wasn’t an option.  Luckily I didn’t, because behind me he did a right hand turn.  That was close, but all good in the end.  I said a thankyou prayer and continued full of appreciation for life and that I have the opportunity of experiencing it further…  And then Scotland appeared in front of me (only this time with sunshine !).  Rolling green hills amd stopped at small village named Hamilton.  A little more picturesque than the one below Glasgow.

After that was a turn-off for Bothwell and I crossed the river Clyde.

The hills became more mountainous and I climbed higher through the most beautiful forests where trees formed canopies over the road.  At times it felt like I was tunnelling through various colours of green foliage.  On the bike I could smell the trees.  And at the top it formed a plato with several lakes.

There were different forms of roadkill next to the road and once I had to break hard for a kangaroo lying in the centre of my lane.  I stopped and pulled it off the road.

When I met the old bikers in Norseman, they said whatever I do I shouldn’t miss The Wall on the way to Strahan just before Derwent Bridge

“The Wall” is a modern shed in a forest of trees where the work of an artist who does almost life-size wooden murals is displayed. Him and his son truly makes wood come alive and tells the story of the early pioneering days with it’s toil and hardship. The one where the mother and little boy buries her husband/father who passed away almost had me in tears. Not allowed to take photos, so got this off the web just to remember how beautiful it was.

I certainly were “walled” today, but I have to admit that I’ve never come across two more different walls in one day!

The rest of the ride to Strahan was probably the nearest to biker’s heaven that one can get. No wonder bikers anywhere I spoke to encouraged me to go to Tassie with a faraway look in their eyes. Well believe me they understated it!

Stopped at one of the most beautiful waterfalls and the different shades of green on the way with the size of the ferns just blew me away. After more than 2 months on my own I still find it hard to experience breathtakingly beautiful nature with no mates to share it with. I forgot I wasn’t alone, so I woke Siri up and told her. She asked if it was more beautiful than Whitehaven beach. I said no, it’s a different beauty but both makes me feel small, very small in the magnificence of what I experience. Our conversation was briefly interrupted when a 35km/h warning appear indicating a very sharp right hand turn and came to an abrupt end when a big red sign said DANGER, SLOW DOWN, SHARP BENDS FOR NEXT 8 km. And when the very next sign said  SLIPPERY WHEN WET and I knew that’s not the title of a Bon Jovi album because there’s a motorbike on the sign, all conversation stopped. It was only one of several mountain passes I experienced that day. On that windy, twisty, downhill bit with wet patches here and there where the sun’s rays never reach, it felt like I totally and truly became one with the bike.

Reached Strahan just before sunset and went to their info centre. Very friendly lady suggested a room for $175 somewhere. I said that’s out of my budget. All I’m looking for is a comfy bed and a hot shower close to a pub that serves food. I got all of that and more in my own little no 8 cabin at Regatta Point Tavern for $99. She also booked me a wilderness cruise on the Gordon river for the next morning. Just when I wanted to capture the sunset the tourist train came by and it all looked very romantic.

Unbeknown to me it was mother’s day and the Q for food in the restaurant was long. Befriended Peter and Jan whose touring Tazzie from Perth. Joined them at table no 1 and immediately felt like old friends with whom I could and did share the beauty with as they experienced it too.

Only damper was that my phone got damp in the storm, became damper although I had it in a packet of rice and the touch screen didn’t work. The charge on it went down as well as a piece of rice wedged itself deep in the charging hole and it took ages to scrape out. Had to swop sim cards with other phone but couldn’t take photos or blog. Thrown out of my routine and all a bit frustrating. But I found when touring on my own that frustration is a natural companion.and that things don’t always go your way. I think I learned that I just have to accept that not everything is in my control and that I just have to go with the flow. Such is life.



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