Australia 4 May: Launceston, Tas - Bicheno, Tas

A taste of Tasmania

Tasmania!

Today we started quite early as we had to catch our flight from Melbourne to Launceston, Tasmania. Drishalu had already taken one of our vans on the overnight 'Spirit of Tasmania' ferry and we rented another car in Launceston, where the rest of the team landed a few minutes after 9am. After a short briefing we were on our way to Bicheno.

After a shopping expedition for supplies to last us through our Tasmanian sojourn, our boys team ran on the sealed roads south out of Launceston.

This was the first opportunity for Steve to 'road-test' the new camera he purchased yesterday in Melbourne.

Most of our team have never been in Tasmania before, so today was a real treat...

An important part of 'running'...

The route we were running was really beautiful – for long parts of the run our only companion was nature.

People are really friendly in Tasmania, we got a lot of hand waving and encouraging honking today.

This morning we farewelled Tom who is flying back to New Zealand tomorrow – and once more welcome Rathin (from Canberra) who is joining us for our Tasmanian leg. Having left us last Sunday in Wagga Wagga, he's the first of our team to already be running his second stint of this vast relay...

Our girls team ran over the mountain on the unsealed 'Old Coach Road'.

From her back-seat vantage point, Zina from Moldova was enjoying the beautiful Australian landscape...

grand old gum trees...

... many sheep and black cows.

The weather here is a bit cooler then in the mainland – even the horses are dressed ☺

This is Stacey – not only one of our National coordinators but also State coordinator for both Tasmaina and South Australia – making some more phone calls.

We arrived in the charming coastal hamlet of Bicheno at around 4.30pm...

... where we were welcomed at Pasini´s Cafe by Gary Price (representing the Mayor) and a friendly group of locals.

We were given very delicious refreshments and enjoyed a great chat.

We were very happy to meet with three local ocean swimmers – they are getting ready for a swim in Fiji. They were happy to meet with our team member, English Channel swimmer Abhejali (from the Czech Republic).

We also found out that we can watch penguins here after dark. But it was a “penguin low season” – so we saw only one ☺

There was just time to enjoy the last of the day's sunlight at 'The Gulch'...

... with its unusual orange-red lichen and magnificent ocean vistas...

... a perfect ending to our first day in Tasmania.