The Itinerary

The Itinerary

Monday, March 9, 2015

March 7, Bay of Fires

Saturday, March 7 - Day 31 - Launceston Side Trip to  St. Helens and Bay of Fires

It took forever last night for Carolyn to load the blog and she is sound asleep when Dick turns the light on. It is a grey morning and the air is cool and damp.

Breakfast is at 8AM, our choice, and is the same selection as yesterday, again, our choice and quite good. Our plan for the day is to head Northeast on a scenic "tourist" road to St. Helens and then the Bay of Fires since we didn’t do that on the way up.

Even though it is misty and threatening rain, we are off by 9AM and after a small miscue as to route we are heading in the right direction toward Lilydale and then on to Scottsdale. We get into some rain, but nothing too heavy. The drive is through forests that look Jurassic and small towns such as Branxholm and Derby that are, quite literally, from another time a place.


The further East we go the lighter the skies get. We turn off the highway to visit a tiny village for its memorial to WWI soldiers. Janie had mentioned it was interesting. After the war, the village planted 9 trees in memory of their fallen men. By 2001 the trees were deemed a hazard and were going to be removed. A local artist cut each of them up to represent something in the life of each of the soldiers. It turns out to be very interesting and moving.  We never cease to be amazed at the price paid during WWI by the Commonwealth countries!  

We have heard of the Pyengana Cheese Factory and that is our next stop. It is in the middle of a beautiful sunlit setting in the middle of nowhere! All they make are two kinds of cheddar of which they are giving out samples....very good. But we were looking for a Brie Blue Cheese so we settle for vanilla bean ice cream cones. They are delicious and would give Blue Bell’s a run for its money.

We finally break out of the hills and into St. Helens but do not stop, instead head for Binalong Bay looking for a place to picnic in the National Park along the beach. We find said place overlooking the Bay of Fires and enjoy our lunch while visiting with an Australian couple who are caravanning the coast of Australia. They live in Perth and have been on the road for nine months and think it will take another nine before they get back home.
Several locals also stop us as we are walking around and point us toward they favorite view spots.

The water is beautiful and, coupled with the white sand beaches and bottoms, is something special to see. The name Bay of Fires comes from a lichen that encrusts the rocks around the shore. It is many shades of yellow and orange and could give the illusion of fire, maybe.

After lots of pictures of the white sand and blue-green water,

we turn back to St. Helens where we get some cash from an ATM and gas up the car. Prices are consistent within a penny or two per liter everywhere we have driven in Tasmania. Now for the drive back to Launceston. We go up and over St. Mary’s Pass and then pick up the route we took two days ago. It is not a bad drive and there is very little traffic. We make the 180km in two hours and twenty minutes. A quick stop at the store for some fruit and we are home to work on the blog and enjoy the evening. Tomorrow we head down to Hobart.

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