Monday, August 14, 2006

Elijah's Big Adventure Day 6

Hobart to Devonport via the East Coast

Had we not learnt our lesson about leaving early? We intended to get away as early as we could, to make the most of the east coast, but we didn't check out until the official check out time of 10am. Well I guess that was as early as we could!

We headed east out of Hobart, intending to make Sorell our first stop for a change and a breastfeed. I'd seen this part of the highway on the map, but hadn't thought much about it. It looked like the highway went over two bridges in quick succession. Well, it turned out they weren't the kind of bridges I was expecting. It's actually a causeway and I'd never driven across one before. This is the view from Sorell back towards Midway Point. The bridge has two lanes (one each way) for vehicles and a walking/bike path at a lower elevation. It almost felt like we were driving on the water.

We stopped at Sorell on the side of the road so that the Daddy could take some photos of the area (which are in Elijah's gallery) and Elijah could be fed and changed.

We drove on towards Orford, which is on the east coast, and were surprised to find the road meandering alongside the Prosser River. There was a point where the guard rail was a rock wall, which looked incredible, but unfortunately, there was nowhere safe to pull over and take a photo. Instead, we pulled over at an unmanned Tourist Information station and I took a few photos of the river. You can just see the bridge across the river in this photo. You have to cross this bridge to travel north up the coast.

All along the east coast we stopped whenever there was something worth stopping for, which was quite often! We pulled into a camping area to take some shots of the beach. Being from Queensland, originally, then living in Canberra for years, the highways don't run right along the coastline, so we were spoilt for spectacular views. Elijah didn't get to see much of it, as he slept in the carseat until we stopped at Swansea.

We were trying to find somewhere to stop for a breastfeed and picnic lunch for us when I decided to turn down a random side street, which lead to a dirt road, which brought us to the beach. We ate lunch, then woke Elijah for a feed. We were the only ones there for a while, but then it got quite busy! I took Elijah for a walk to smell the beach and his Daddy took some photos. This was the first time that Elijah had ever seen a beach!

As we headed north, there was a real dichotomy of landscape: There were farms to our left and a very rural feel both sides of the highway, but only a few metres away to our right was the coastline. This picture, taken north of Bicheno, doesn't quite capture what we saw, as the most interesting landscape was again not safe to stop at to photograph.

Our next major stop, which wasn't intentionally a major stop, was at St Helen's. We were planning to do a quick nappy change and photo op stop, but Elijah decided it was time for a feed as well, so he fed at the Waterfront.

From here, we turned west and headed for Launceston. What we didn't realise was that this road went through the mountains and we had a very slow and windy path to travel. It wasn't a good time of day for that kind of driving: twilight. And then as it got darker, it became even more difficult to see the road as it wasn't lit. It got to the point where we just wanted to get to Launceston, but unfortunately, this took much longer than it looked on the map. I estimated about an hour or so. I think it took us around two and a half and that was without stopping! Thank goodness Elijah asked for a feed at St Helen's as we don't know where we could have safely stopped to feed him on that road! There were a couple of towns, but they were few and far between.

We stopped at Launceston to refuel and change a nappy and then decided to power on to Devonport. At least that was ordinary highway driving. We got to the Gateway around 8pm and the Daddy went out to look for dinner while I fed Elijah. After such an exhausting drive, we pretty much crashed out in bed for the night.

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