Waking up to the sun shining the tent and warming up the stunning landscape, that we’d not fully appreciated in the fading light of the drive in, was awesome, made only better by how similar to Scotland it was. Trying to keep planning minimal we settled on a rough clockwise circle of the island and started it by heading east from the campground, past Sheffield – with the view of Mt Roland dominating the view to the south for a while – and through the rolling cropland that led to the West Tamar valley. As soon as I started running my GPS logger off the car’s power inverter, it started playing up so, annoyingly, I don’t have a good record of exactly where we drove on the island and, more annoyingly, I’ve got to try to remember where I took most of the 1300 photos I have from the state. Based on that, I think we hit the Tamar valley at Exeter then headed up the coast to Green’s Beach.
Still high from our day of body-boarding at Torquay we had to try out the Tassie waters, which turned out be not nearly as cold as expected. There was no surf, but it was still a nice spot to chill out in and wade out in the waters that only reached head-height a few hundred metres away from the shore. Tassie was defined by a few recurring experiences, starting with washing in public places for want of anywhere better. Green’s Beach has a beach shower across the main street from the shop, so we brushed shame aside, got out the shower cream and lathered up, and damn it felt good to be clean, if not slightly cold for a minutes.
Doubling back down the valley coast and across the Batman bridge, we hit Georgetown – the 3rd oldest settlement in Australia – but it was a bit short on free camping and an abundance of locals who liked to stare at people who weren’t from around these parts so we moved along and checked out a beach on the north coast a few km away. That didn’t work but, after what almost turned into an hour of bush-bashing on unmarked tracks in the hope of an ok wild-camping spot, we ended up in Beechford, a quaint village which, for being tucked away at the end of a coastal road, surprised us with a fairly decent camping area sheltered by the dunes. We got a decent bonfire going to keep us warm in the cold, damp wind for a while before the weather got the better of the fire, and us.