Travel by Bicycle

Ian Summers Explains Leeches Interview

Recently, while I was camping in the Tassie bush, the leeches had a go at me. Curious, I decided to start asking Tasmanians what they knew about these critters. In St Mary’s, the first town I got into after my walkabout, while looking for a fuel bottle for my Optimus stove, I ran into Ian Summers.

Ian Summers steps into “Cranks and Tinkerers”, his monument to things past

Ian operates “Cranks and Tinkerers”, an incredible collection of things mechanical, literary,… Continue reading

Trapped by Tasmanian Leeches

Okay, so leaches do some funny things to your head. In a moment, you’re going to hear an update I recorded while holed up in my hammock. It was the third day of rain and I’d pitched what I now call Camp Leach. Yep, thousands of the inching buggers were vying for my life blood so I cooked a quick lentil meal then crawled into my hammock.

In a moment, you’re going to hear what it’s like to sleep in… Continue reading

Leech Week Part One

First a hearty “howdy” after almost 2 weeks ramblin Tassie’s bush wilds. From the comments on the latest posts, it seems y’all are freezin’. Sure would be nice to hear how nice and warm it is in Tasmania, right?

Well, you’re not gonna. It’s been flooding here and I’ve been battling leeches. Yep, real honest to god blood sucking, anticoagulant injectin’, rash leavin’ critters – that no one talks about.

This end bites: the business end of a leech

Suddenly… Continue reading

Still Ramblin'

Bruny Island lighhouse: a fine place to ramble out to. (Bruny Island,Tasmania)

I’m still ramblin’.

A few days ago I mentioned I was headin’ up the road for a few days – just to see what’s around the next Tasmanian bend. Well, I’m still out there. Should be back in a few days – unless, like my buddy Kenny and I are bad for doing, I just keep going for a spell longer.

Come to think of it, ramblin’s just… Continue reading

Gone Ramblin'

Ramblin’ road: a perfect road for wandering (Catamaran, Tasmania). You can take a closer look on the map below. Click on “Satellite” for the best view.

Ramblin’.

That’s what my buddy Kenny calls it when we take off on our mules with no destination in mind.

Which is precisely how I plan to spend the next few days. Only I’m heading out on my $10 bike instead of a mule. ‘thinking of heading up Tasmania’s East Coast for a look.… Continue reading

Shy Albatross

For the past month, the Southern Ocean has been my back yard. Aboard the “Miss Carmen”, my junk shop bike and I have voyaged from Hobart, Tasmania, south to Port Davey then north to Bruny Island (for a closer look at these places, check out the map below. You can zoom in to get some incredible detail).

Miss Carmen and my $10 bike (Southport, Tasmania)

Mornings at sea, after the day shot was finished (when the crayfish pots were put… Continue reading

New Year Fossil WIsh

In a moment, you’ll find out about the funny looking rock between my fingers.

It’s the age old tradition. You go to a foreign land. It’s New Years Eve. There’s a fountain in the town square. You throw in a piece of local currency. You make a wish. You go back to drinking champagne.

Or, if you’re like me, you don’t see the sense of throwing good money into the drink just because others are doing it.

Spoilsport.

Then there’s… Continue reading

Remains of the Bait

The remains of the bait: a barracouta head after a night on the Southern Ocean floor. Crayfish and sea lice have stripped most of the meat from the skull.

The longer I stay in Tasmania, the farther I’ve strayed from my original objective – travel Australia’s southernmost state by horse or mule. Instead of traveling overland, I find myself drawn back to the sea. But that’s okay. It’s hard to jump aboard a crayfish boat for a stint at sea… Continue reading

Message on a Tin Can

First, a damn big thank you to everyone who’s subscribed to the Postcard from Tasmania service – that’s where I send folks a real postcard, complete with genuine postmark, from Tassie. I mean really, didn’t you feel better when that Tasmanian devil card showed up in your letter box? The postman sure was amused and hell, it paid for my pint down at the southernmost pub in Australia. Made everyone’s day and I hear one even ended up on a… Continue reading

Sounds Like a Tasmanian Crayfish

Home in Carolina, the sound that cheers me most is the sound of a mule heading up the road, wagon in tow. It was a sound I’d hoped to replicate here in Tasmania.

Instead, I’ve ended up listening to crayfish.

Georgie and the cray: Georgie works the pots aboard “Miss Carmen”. Here, he’s holding up a large cray or “dog” as they’re called. Behind him are the cliffs off Port Davey.

Yep, instead of hitting the road in a equine… Continue reading

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