Darren the sheep farmer I met in Cressy gave me directions to Ross via the Hummocky Hills: “Its gravel some of the way but a good road- farmers mostly. Turn right after a few kilometres , if the road says Powranna you’ve gone too far but you can still get to Ross via Conaia.”
I got lost , taking the Lake River Road, I had traveled uphill a few kilometers when a women in a Range Rover stopped to tell me that the road ahead is a dead end. Oh well it was a wonderful days riding through hilly farmland with a tail wind.
The gravel sections of the road were free of traffic. I watched as a late morning wombat trotted across the road ahead intent on some wombat business. Pink Galahs (my totem bird ), rosellas, sulphur crested cockatoos and white tailed black cockatoos wheeled overhead.
As the breeze fanned the grasses ahead in rhythmic waves it also brought some sweet bush perfumes. The hawthorn hedgerows were in bloom and then when I passed a church with graveyard attached I thought this could be rural England!
I rode back roads until Campbell Town, then the highway for 10 kms to Ross, a heritage town dating back to 1821 it’s full of Georgian buildings. I visited the old empty Methodist Church and climbed to the pulpit – the sense was one of power. Those Methodists didn’t like sex because it could lead to dancing!
For all its twee appeal, there is a sinister aspect to Ross, which was previously a convict processing center: “The Female Factory” on the edge of town, documents the penal history.
After a brilliant day cycling, the clouds are building. The weather forecast is overcast and showers tomorrow but I really don’t mind. I’ll ride more back roads through beautiful Tasmania, I feel very privileged.