There is something about riding on the highway with passing vehicles and taking in the terrain around you.

I arrived in Triabunna after a short bus ride and a great chat with a girl about all things environment! Nick was waiting for me at the station with a huge HUGE hug and big smile. As we walked my bike and gear back to the sleeping location I was greeted by four other peeps and more hugs (ahh shit do I ever love hugs). In total the tour consisted of Ang, Nick, Michelle, and Mary-Anne. It was sweet to have riden with them for the entire week as we had a lot to share together.

Tragically, I was to late to help them present the OZ version of the Otesha skit. The next day was actually they’re day off so we headed to Maria Island (close by) for a ride along a rocky roadway to a beautiful beach. I could hear Erica’s voice saying to me that riding on the track (read: road / path) wasn’t smart on thin walled tires but I did it anyway. Upon returning to the ferry about 5 minutes before I got there my tire blew. Phewfff.

The next day was our first ride out to complete the journey and to get things started I blew my tire once (replaced it with a fresh one = problem solved) and then had some serious issues with my panniers but fixed that later in the day thanks to Nick, a piece of metal found on the road, and duct tape around my water bottle (that’s right Wheats I still use your trick). HAAA HAA.

The terrian was freakin beautiful and smokey because of the degree of the forest fires that are ravaging this country-side. It’s tragic and real here as they are going through serious droughts and fires are ripping right through the country at fast rates.

Along the week long treck there was some really amazing steep hills, amazing connections, and lots of shared love. It was nice to at least share stories from our various tours, compare notes, and talk about different environmental issues.

Along the way I had the pleasure of meeting Helen Gee an amazing activist, writer, and energetic women. The night we stayed with Bob & Helen was full of lively discussion, understanding of the issues (on my part), and interesting perspectives. I felt super lucky to have been a part of those conversations and experience. She is heavily involved in fighting Tasmania Old Growth cutting.

I think seeing the massive wood-chip pile while heading to Maria Island was a big shocker (sorry not photos folks). Why a shocker? More because all the old growth they are cutting down is going towards the manufacturing of pristine toilet paper used to wipe my ass. It’s tragic and not right. Frankly, it slapped me in the face and hard. I decided that wherever I go from now on I’ll be using recycled content cause I don’t want to support that type of industry. What’s worse is that they chip it in Tasmania, ship it to Asia to be manufactured, and then ship it back to Australia for use? What a waste of energy and resources! And people who are protesting these actions are getting sued (20 in fact currently) by the Gunns corporation for their actions. Sure this doesn’t effect Canadians or others but actually it does. All our TP (toilet paper) has to come from some tree being cut down unsustainably and really we go through a lot — at least I do probably cause I’m just full of shit — HAA HAA). Why not use recycled and help increase jobs in that sector?

We also stayed at another farm where the owner not only works for ABC (Australian Public Broadcaster) but also a cherry and other fruit farm. We spent an afternoon picking cherries (most went into our bellies and others went into a bag for our big event in Hobart).

Mmm cherriesOur ride into Hobart was heavily attended with 20 odd riders joining the ride from Richmond and beyond. It was really fantastic to see that much support and a great attendance at the last presentation of this tour (where I was a human prop — YEAH).

I managed to sneak in some old skool actions from our BC tour skit including foreign guy inside the fridge (me), hammin’ up the mirror at the department store (me), and toilet actions. It was pretty funny to be a part of and I had to stop myself from peeing my pants in laughter. It was nice to see how much they appreciated (and constantly recognized) Otesha’s original work on the skit. Also, how much they had changed it to be something different and more OZ. One effective action I saw them do was to actually pour a litre of water out to demonstrate the 1-2 drops that are available for human consumption. The first time I witnessed it I just about cried. It’s also ironic how in these situations (draught) one takes the issues of water saving more seriously!

What’s next Mr. Bill? I’m heading for my first solo hike into the bush (Canadian Translation – forest) for a week at Pine Valley. I’m pretty stoked about doing this as I’ve never really done it before (tragic considering how close I live to K-country. But I figure it’ll be good “me time” for great reflection, connection to the forest, and all the rest.