Daily Kilometres: 23.5 (27.3 TT less 4.3 saved through TT re-route plus 1.0 in towns)
Total TT Kilometres: 470.2
Weather: Mostly overcast, cool to mild and breezy, with occasional light showers.
Lunch: Egg & bacon pie, vanilla slice
Dinner: Pizza, ice-cream
Aches: None really
Highlight: None really
Lowlight: The 13km roadwalk from Railton to Latrobe, required because of the closure of the official TT route following a dispute with a landowner, was not much fun. Although it is a public holiday in northern Tasmania, there was still plenty of traffic and quite a few trucks. There was not much verge to the road (more of a narrow rough ditch), but I still retreated there every time I met an oncoming vehicle as I walked facing the traffic. I thought I was OK staying on the edge of the sealed surface when there were no oncoming vehicles, but learned my lesson when a car coming from behind overtook another vehicle and missed my left elbow by a few centimetres at most.
I took my time getting up, knowing I did not have a long day, and didn't leave the cabin until about 8:45am. I was guessing I only had a couple of hours walking to Latrobe, a bigger town than the tiny Railton, so decided to wait until I reached the former before eating breakfast. I miscalculated and it took over three hours of tedious roadwalking (see above), though the forested countryside was attractive, to reach Latrobe. Once there, I detoured into the town and found a very busy bakery open for business, and ordered some lunch, since it was now midday.
Half an hour later, I was walking again, this time along a less busy road that followed the broad Mersey River estuary towards Devonport. I could smell the sea air. After 90 minutes I entered suburbia and then reached the unprepossessing East Devonport port area. Although check-in to get on my overnight ferry to Melbourne supposedly doesn't start until 5pm, I walked down to the passenger terminal and found it open, arriving at 2:30pm and reaching the official end of the Tasmanian Trail.
I did a quick change in the toilets into some less smelly/dirty clothes and sorted out what gear I needed to keep with me on board after I checked my backpack, although ultimately, I decided to keep my backpack with me and just leave it on my booked recliner seat. I boarded soon after 5pm and the ferry departed at 7:30pm.
My ferry arrives in Melbourne at 6am tomorrow and then I have a 4km walk to the main railway station from where I will catch a train departing at 8:30am for Sydney. From there another train to Gosford where Julie will pick me up at 9:30pm tomorrow night, all going to plan.
While I enjoyed the Tasmanian Trail, and it met my expectations for attractive rather than spectacular scenery, I do think it is more suited to mountain bike travel because there are so many long road stretches. Although I had feet problems the whole way, I think they have improved since buying the New Balance shoes at Deloraine three days ago, and generally, I feel I got into the hiking groove properly by the end of the trip. Now looking forward to next year.