Tasmanian Trail – Day 5 – Victoria Valley to Jones River

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Overnight the temperature plummeted. We woke up to about 1 or 2 degrees. Darb’s garmin (GPS device) displayed -2 degrees. We stayed in our sleeping bags for longer than other mornings. Imagine how harsh the conditions were for the convicts at the probation station!

Once up, Eric got the fire going again. We jumped from warming our hands on the fire and then preparing breakfast.

Click here for a short video taken in the morning.

Once we got going we visited the remains of the convict built dam just down the road from camp.LRM_EXPORT_20170308_075314

The penal settlement prisoners, hand built this trench and dam to power a watermill to grind the grains they grew.

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Photo by Tony Ryan.

You can read more about it here.

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Photo by Tony Ryan.

We set off for the day towards Ouse, rolling predominantly down along gorgeous rolling hills into the Derwent Valley.

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Photo by Tony Ryan.

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The Derwent Valley’s climate and pasture is great for farming industries which have high yields and free from most contaminants. Sheep farming prodominates with cattle farming alongside the rivers.

The valley’s wines are gaining popularity worldwide and the area is well known for its Chardonnay, Reisling, Pinot Noir, Cabernet, Sauvignon and sparkling wines. It is also home to two-thirds of Australia’s hops and is Tasmania’s premier hop growing area.

As we traversed through Stringybarks and Whitegums, we reached a recently cleared area where we were wowed by the views.

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Photo by Tony Ryan.

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Then we cruised through some dry but delightful farmland.LRM_EXPORT_20170308_103534LRM_EXPORT_20170308_103716LRM_EXPORT_20170308_103639

We then coasted into Ouse as these cockatoos buzzed around overhead screeching loudly.LRM_EXPORT_20170308_104326.jpg

Ouse was a welcoming relief as we were quite hungry by now. We sat under a tree and enjoyed the food rest.

Ouse is the settlement where convicts James Goodwin and Thomas Connolly broke out of the South West Wilderness four weeks after their escape from Sarah Island.

We paused and reflected again at the local war monument. How lucky are we today to be so free!?LRM_EXPORT_20170308_104700.jpg

Next stop was Jones River camp. Darb had phoned ahead and asked permission from Sue and Jimmy whom owned the land. Jimmy allows shooters to operate on his land so it was important for our safety to gain his permission. Thanks again Darb for all your hard work you have put into this trip.

Not far out of Ouse, we climbed up Lake Repulse Road to the top of a hill.LRM_EXPORT_20170308_132541

Once at the top we looked down onto Cluny Lagoon. The views were absolutely spectacular!LRM_EXPORT_20170308_133050LRM_EXPORT_20170308_133121

There was also a really good sign about the Tasmanian Trail and the Aboriginal land burning practises.LRM_EXPORT_20170308_132637

After a nice rest we rolled downhill for a while, it was very pleasurable wth the view of the Derwent River. Click here for a short video of the descent.

At the bottom we came to Repulse Dam power station.LRM_EXPORT_20170308_135617

We crossed a lovely wooden bridge and climbed up the steep road. Darb and myself joked with each other about how sore our legs were feeling.LRM_EXPORT_20170308_140340LRM_EXPORT_20170308_140410

We turned off into a shady bush track which was a bit rough but nice retreat from the sun.LRM_EXPORT_20170308_140439

This track lead us to the Broad River. Sometimes this crossing can be too deep and an alternate route would need to be taken. As we crossed, we topped up our water bottles.LRM_EXPORT_20170308_140514

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Photo by Tony Ryan.

We then followed some nice tranquil gravel roads towards Jones River camp.

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Just before we reached our campsite, these majestic horses galloped across the paddock as we rode through.LRM_EXPORT_20170308_143557

Jones River camp had great facilities. A shelter, table and seats, a nice fire place and plenty of flat grass to pitch the tents.

We made the most of it and all contributed to a well deserved delicatessen picnic. A lovely afternoon of eating and relaxation was enjoyed.LRM_EXPORT_20170308_144900LRM_EXPORT_20170308_144952

Eric found a piece of wire and used his wisdom to fry some salami over the coals. Honestly this made the salami absolutely delicious! Well done Eric.LRM_EXPORT_20170308_145349LRM_EXPORT_20170308_145413

Today we rode 51 kilometres and climbed 806 metres of elevation gain.

We went down more than up again today and the riding conditions were very favourable so I would rate today as 6 out of 10 on the tough-o-meter.Day 5 Victoria Valley to Jones River

I played with the compact before bed.LRM_EXPORT_20170308_150034

Click here for a link to day one of this Tasmanian Trail blog.


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