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Cycling down Jacobs Ladder - Yipee! - Tassie Day 4

Staying at Brickendon Estate, Longford - Visiting Ben Lomond National Park

September 12, 2013
Clear Day, Minus 2 to 12 degrees
Feeling frozen to the finger bones

These guys have been working hard all night keeping Brickendon Estate financial while we were soundly sleeping.large_IMG_0806sheep.jpg

Today we’re heading off for the mountain bike ride of a lifetime??? Well that’s the theory anyway. After coming home from our last trip to Tassie, I noticed this picture of an amazing, European looking, mountain switchback in a promotional photo. But the photo didn’t say where it was. After a bit of researching I discovered that it was known as Jacobs Ladder and was the access road to Tasmania’s ski fields in Ben Lomond National Park.

But first a quick stop at Evandale for a coffee.

I asked the guy in the leather shop which of the three cafes in town served the best coffee. He said none of them and recommended we go to nearby Perth to this trendy cafe ‘Ut Si’. So off we zoom to nearby Perth only to find, in typical Tassie style, Ut Si Cafe is closed for 7 days for a spring clean??? We settled for a nice coffee and shared our first scallop pie of the trip at the Devil Grill Cafe. Yum! Not so much curry with a hint of nutmeg.

Driving to Ben Lomond, following the big green road signs, the road soon became a two wheel track for some kilometres until it opened out into asphalt again to serve the logging trucks. The scenery is stunning.

The turn off to Ben Lomond NP is a steady climb with snow on the side of the road.

Arriving at the beginning of Jacobs Ladder is scary, if not overwhelming.

The rock formations are amazing and tower over the landscape.

It was also freezing with the car temp gauge registering minus 2 degrees - slippery and icy. I would hate to drive up here in the middle of winter. The view from the top is spectacular but, with the wind chill, I couldn’t actually hold my video camera steady without shaking.

We drove on over snow and icy road to the now deserted ski resort. The season finished a couple of weeks ago.

Good time to use the toilet. IT’S FROZEN!. The water in the taps was frozen as well.

We were a bit concerned about getting stuck on the road as there was not a lot of life up there and the road was covered so we were glad to make it back to the top of Jacobs Ladder. IMG_0776road.jpg

Pat didn’t want to drive through this rock formation called Jacobs Gate which begins the descent so I drove the car down to the first corner to get the bike off. I was having second thoughts as I was so cold. Plus my bike was now covered in thick snow and mud from being on the back of the car after the mountain road. But I couldn’t let the opportunity pass. So the bike came off, put on my warm gear and GoPro and rode back up the hill so I could come down through Jacobs gate. This was a bit of a mistake because it stuffed my lungs riding so hard in Minus 2. I was wheezing for the rest of the day.

Jacobs Gate.

Our bikes looking awesome!

The ride down was fun! That's me nearly at the bottom with frozen knuckles.

Back for a quick stop in Launceston (look at the music shop) and then on to the Tasmainian Gourmet Sauce Co at Longford. Funny how marketing has encouraged so many things to have either ‘gourmet’ or ‘eco’ in their name. Then to our lovely cottage at Brickendon for the night.


Posted by peterjday 03:00

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Trip looks good so far,just got home ,so this is my first catch up with your travels.

by Wendy

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