Man Down Under – Tasmania

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Welcome to

Howdy. This is where I (Bernie Harberts) post about my travels by mule, boat and bike.

Mules Cracker and Brick on my recently completed 2,200 mile ramble from NC to ID ramble (Sue Waddell photo)

To join me for an authentic mule voyage, check out the Lost Sea Expedition, the Rocky Mountain PBS series about my 14 month mule voyage across America.

Stream the series on:

My wife Julia’s take on things at Considering

Happy Adventuring!


Stone Soup Travel

You know the story. Old man shows up in a village with a rock and pot to his name. Puts some water in that pot, the rock too, and pretty soon both are boiling. A villager walks up, asks the man what he’s cooking and the man replies “stone soup”.

Then the old man says the soup he’s making would be better if it had some carrots. And you know happens next. The visitor goes home, returns with a carrot,… Continue reading

Traveling at the Speed of Rice

This week mule Polly and I travel through the Uwharrie Mountains at the speed of rice. That’s right. My faithful travel partner (we’ve traveled together from Canada to Mexico and hauled Special Forces troops under tarps, but that’s another story…) hit the road armed with little more than a wood wagon and a bag of long grain.

Polly: mule, friend, rice hauler

Yep, rice.

Rice. The darker colored rice in the background has been roasted in olive oil. Makes it… Continue reading

June 4 2011 "Tasmania" Program

Okay, so the voyage around Tasmania on a $10 bike is over. That doesn’t mean the adventure ends. In fact, it’s the perfect chance for you to come visit a spell and start an adventure of your own.

On June 4, the Caldwell County Public Library hosts the first “Tasmania: a Man, a Devil and a $10 Bike” program. It’s about people and things Tasmanian – from guitar repair master Ian Sommers and the Alpaca Man to draggy compasses and… Continue reading

Tasmania by the Numbers

Tasmania creek crossing. Next time I’m hauling along a kayak (or portable bridge) so I can explore these rivers! (outside Balfour, Tasmania)

It’s official. My voyage around Tasmania on a junk shop bike is complete. I’m back in North Carolina spending some time on the farm. Still, before life in the Tarheel state drags me into another adventure, I wanted to share some last Tassie thoughts and images with you. To that extent, I’ve put together a “Tassie by the… Continue reading

Cast Away on a Whaleboat

Get on the high side! The crew of the heavily reefed Capricornia sit on the weather side to keep the open boat upright. Capricornia is a 30-foot gaff rigged whale boat.

Sheesh! Last time I wrote you I was waxing poetic on Tasmanian country roads. Just to show what wonderful things they lead to, the gravel road I followed lead me to a 30-foot open whaleboat, an overnight stranding that amounted to a modern day cast-away status – and a… Continue reading

Hittin' the Road a Final Time

Set for a final ramble

Sheesh Bucky! The ten dollar bike and I have been traveling around Tasmania for going on half a year now. Which means it’s time to think about heading home to North Carolina.
Yep, on May 28 I depart Hobart, Tasmania for the long wing home.

Still before I hit the road, I decided to take one last ramble over the hills. That means meandering over the mountain range that separates Tasmania’s west and east coasts.… Continue reading

If You Caught 'em Smoke 'em

A mess of Tasmanian fish – among them, two wrasse and a leather jacket.

People wonder. How do you live on a bike without refrigeration? It’s as though the Big Chill is some invisible cord that tethers people to civilization.

For most things, it’s not required. Oats, vegetables and eggs don’t cooling if consumed in a timely manner. Milk comes powdered and the taste of a fine whiskey is only enhanced when drunk at outdoor temperature – especially after 8… Continue reading

Five Photos for 5 Days

Macquarie Heads, Tasmania: Looking due West, you’re looking under Africa at South America – Puerto Madryn, Argentina, Patagonia, to be precise

In less than a month, I return to North Carolina. My half year bike voyage of Tasmania will be over.

To sear some final southern ocean images into my brain, I spent 5 days camped at Macquarie Beach, west of Strahan. Each day I walked the beach looking for something to bring home in my brain. For you, I… Continue reading

Shonky Freewheel Repair

Recently, on a steep descent outside Tunnel, Tasmania, the pedals on my bike, which should stop spinning when you stop pedaling, went into overdrive. Like an imp of satan had taken over the pedaling, the pedals took off at a blazing, ankle breaking speed.

Luckily I don’t have toe clips, those cage-like thing that hold your feet to the pedals. So I just lifted my boots off the cheap plastic pedals and let them thrash around until I coasted to… Continue reading

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