Just in case you’re curious and need to know what it’s wish to skateboard/longboard over a 1000km round Tasmania, right here’s an trustworthy evaluate of my current charity expedition in this lovely (however brutal) part of the world…
“MILES FOR SMILES LONGBOARDING CHALLENGE” STATS
Complete journey distance: 1389km (1012km longboarding, 38km climbing, 3km kayaking, 336km driving or bus)
Journey period: 5 weeks
Pregnancy timing: week 16 to week 20 (i.e. month Four to 5)
Longest non-stop leg: 42km (Freycinet National Park to Bicheno)
Common package weight: 30kg
Variety of wet weather days: 3
Variety of injuries: 6 (two sprained ankles, back sprain, damaged foot arch, spider chew, ingrown toenail and some minor cuts/bruises)
Expedition value: lower than $1500 (including flights, gear, clothes, food and accommodation and so on.)
Pre-expedition coaching: none. I hadn’t spent more than 30 minutes on a longboard/skateboard before arriving in Hobart.
What was the greatest stretch of street for longboarding?
The street connecting Devonport to Stanley along the northwest coast provided the greatest general expertise. Hugging an infinite string of picturesque seashores, quaint seaside villages and floral fantasias, it served up a visible feast. The roads have been comparatively flat, clean and quiet – I even spotted an honest bike lane. Reaching Stanley, an enthralling old-world city with hanging hills and luxurious ocean views, was icing on the cake.
And, the worst?
When it comes to roads which can truly be tackled on a longboard, the ‘Vicious V’, better generally known as the Elephant Move and Esk Highway which converge at St Marys, was as close to unimaginable as they come. This stretch of street was significantly intense – a white-knuckle nightmare affected by steep inclines, sharp descents, blind corners, relentless visitors and nonexistent street shoulders which melted away into cliffs. On my approach down this treacherous mountain cross, I had to stroll bottom first – protecting my eyes on oncoming visitors – and catch my baggage as it raced in the direction of me. I made it about three quarters of the approach down before a cop automotive kindly picked me up and delivered me to a protected stretch of street.
What was your greatest meals expertise?
I didn’t have a proper restaurant meal the complete time I used to be in Tassie. Can you consider it?! But, I did take pleasure in a number of blissful takeaway moments. The fish and chips at Wynyard Seafoods on the Wharf have been the greatest I’ve ever had. Flavoursome fish in a light-weight jacket of batter, crispy chips that have been mild and fluffy in the middle, and a generous serving of chunky selfmade tartare sauce – I was in heaven. The gourmand haloumi and grilled vegetable burgers at Fractangular (a hippie bush doof) have been also to die for. This was the type of meals I’d dreamt about consuming in Tassie – superb produce served with passion and a artistic edge. Lastly, I have to provide a shout out to the fruit scones at Oliver’s Bakery in Ulverstone, which I fortunately devoured like a pregnant woman with a half-British bun in the oven (my hubby is from Coventry).
How’d you handle the entire food state of affairs while on the street?
It was tough. Not only because I couldn’t carry more than a couple of days value of supplies with me, but in addition because I was pregnant and needed to feed my bump quality, nutritious food. Having to travel without any type of refrigeration and hop between fuel stations and small city IGAs made this a troublesome process.
My day by day food routine became something like this…
Breakfast: a bowl of muesli with a bit of fruit served with UHT or powdered milk
Lunch: 3-5 Cruskits with peanut butter, tomato and tinned tuna
Dinner: an enormous tin of combined vegetable or minestrone soup
Snacks: 2-Three per day – a bit of fruit, handful of path combine, muesli bar, small tin of baked beans or something cheeky (e.g. a scone)
I received bored of this uninspired routine very quickly! Each time I ended for greater than a day in a correct Big4 Holiday Park, I put their kitchen amenities to good use and prepared correct meals (poached eggs, avocado and rocket on toast – yum!). I didn’t actually get round to consuming a lot meat on the trip – it was simply too troublesome. Walking previous other campers, with their Webber BBQs, fancy steaks and bottles of Tasmanian wine, was torture. Gray Nomads positive know how one can camp in fashion.
What have been a few of the funniest moments throughout your trip?
The first LOL second passed off whereas I used to be skateboarding along the Esk Freeway. A woman pulled over and asked me if I needed assist because she thought I was a teenage runaway – a teenage boy in reality. I didn’t realise I was wanting fairly so tough! For sure, the woman was fairly shocked once she discovered I used to be a thirty-year-old pregnant lady.
My second match of giggles occurred in the depths of Cradle Mountain / Lake St Clair Nationwide Park. As far as paid campsites go, Cradle Mountain Discovery Holiday Park is nicely and really ensconced in nature – it feels like you’re in the stomach of a wild beast! One morning, when the sky was still as dark as ink, I heard one thing massive brush up towards my tent. The creature was wheezing loudly like it’d just run a marathon. I assumed, what the eff is that…a wild pig? I heard it shuffle away into the distance, till… “AAAAHHHHHHH!” A blood-curdling screech minimize the calm night time air. I raced outdoors with my torch and discovered a man in a fit of laughter. An enormous wombat had waddled straight into his tent on the lookout for a heat bed.
What have been the greatest signature Tasmanian experiences you encountered?
Once I look again over my journey, three distinct moments stand out. Firstly, my time in Freycinet National Park, which included a hike up to Wineglass Bay Lookout followed by a sundown kayak along the peninsular’s pink granite rocks and white sandy seashores. It was utterly magical. I can see why this valuable part of the world is shortly turning into an ‘it’ bucket record destination…it’s as if the Nice Ocean Street and Whitsunday beaches gave start to a perfect lovechild. Just north of Freycinet, the Bay of Fires provided an analogous spell-binding experience.
My downtime in Launceston was another spotlight. This lovely town felt like a mini-Melbourne full of tradition, character and creativity. It’s house to countless heritage buildings and sits in the most unimaginable location, where the Cataract Gorge collides with the Tamar, South Esk and North Esk Rivers. From Launceston, I additionally beloved my fast aspect trip out to the Bridestowe Lavender Property, where I happily demolished a lavender ice-cream whilst wandering by means of the perfectly manicured fields.
Mountaineering by means of Cradle Mountain to Marion’s Lookout, bump in hand, was an attractive experience. This journey playground is like the land of the gods – so grand and impossibly lovely. The 3-4 hour return trek took me by means of vast grasslands peppered with waddling wombats, humble waterfalls blanketed by lush forest and spectacular lakes nestled amongst dramatic mountains. I’ll be again definitely.
What have been the greatest surprise moments during your journey?
Whereas I used to be longboarding along the Tasman Highway, a few drivers pulled over and asked me if I used to be heading to Fractangular. I stored considering, “What the frac is Fractangular?”, until a woman finally explained it was a three-day music pageant (i.e. hippie bush doof) simply outdoors of Buckland. By the end of the day, I was volunteering at the entrance gate and dancing the night time away to strobe-synced digital beats. It was epic!
What have been the worst moments during your journey?
I had a ‘minor’ meltdown at the finish of my first week on the street. Every aggravating expertise leading as much as that point finally made something snap inside me and I just wanted to cry. It was darkish and I was wild camping on the aspect of a highway halfway up a mountain. Surrounded by roadside litter and hyperactive nocturnal animals (somebody had kindly informed me it was snake breeding season they usually have been notably frisky this time of yr), I felt utterly weak. The shortage of telephone sign didn’t help and I was convinced a movie referred to as Wolf Creek Tasmania was going to be made about me in the future. On prime of all that, my mind and body have been exhausted and eventually registering the shock I’d put them via. I’m glad to say, after an excellent night time’s sleep, I used to be able to hit the street and crack on.
For the most part, I didn’t mind when issues went incorrect with my gear. I enjoyed placing my engineering expertise to the check and having to assume creatively on my ft. Having stated that, when things went haywire after a long arduous day on the street, my response wasn’t so – er – mature. I’d’ve kicked my baggage tub and unleashed a string of curse words on a number of events. It all the time made me really feel higher.
Lastly, having to do u-turns or settle for lifts on account of poor street circumstances was all the time an enormous downer. It made me feel like I used to be dropping momentum and turning right into a failure. In those moments, I needed to step again, take a deep breath and give attention to the positives – on what I’d already achieved – and provide you with options to make up any lost time or distance.
What was the hardest thing about longboarding around Tasmania?
The roads. Most of the time, they have been mountainous, uber gritty, beneficiant on the blind corners and stingy on the street shoulders. I’m not going to lie. Longboarding around Tasmania felt harmful and it was arduous work. But, I didn’t let that stop me! I tried to manage the risks as greatest as I might to make sure I accomplished the activity at hand safely.
Somebody provided an amazing analogy during my trip: “Tasmania is like a scrunched up piece of paper. At first glance, it looks small and knobbly. But, if you were to iron it out flat, you’d discover just how vast it is.” I’d need to agree.
What was the scariest second throughout your trip?
They all got here back to safety – feeling like my security and my baby’s safety have been being threatened. These moments introduced up a cocktail of horrible feelings – anger, worry, hopelessness – which sat uncomfortably in my throat and at the pit of my stomach.
I had a couple of encounters with dodgy characters on the street. As a solo feminine traveller, it’s a sad incontrovertible fact that you grow to be a magnet for that sort of unwelcome attention. All I might do was rely on logic and intuition in these situations. On one specific occasion, when a person turned my relentless shadow (even whereas I used to be in the public showers), I knew I needed to act. I discovered the nearest camper van and made associates with a few gray nomads. I requested if I might pitch my tent next to them and spend time chatting to put off the unwelcome stranger. By the end of the evening, they’d put the phrase out and I was surrounded by a military of Winnebagos forming a ring of defence around me. It was very candy and it did the trick!
What have been the most essential gadgets you packed?
I might have been in a right pickle with none of the following:
> Reflective security gear together with my Nutcase Helmet, vest and flag
>> Bungee cords (they held my entire world collectively on the street)
>> My telephone (i.e. my life) and Maps.Me App
>> A collapsable tenting bowl and spork
>> Headphones (I’m a light-weight sleeper and the sound of snoring drives me nuts!)
>> A Nikon 1 J5 digital camera (it’s light-weight, takes quality photographs and permits me to transfer pictures straight to my telephone for modifying and sharing)
>> A top quality pair of Vans skate footwear plus some low cost thongs
>> A top quality jacket by Mountain Designs (which protected me towards the rain, wind and cold)
>> SPF 50+ sunscreen
>> A Lorna Jane Cross Over Tank (which stored me cool and cozy) plus Everyday Full-length Tights (which held me together in all of the right places!)
What have been the most ineffective gadgets you packed?
I might’ve gone without:
> My second pair of low cost skate footwear (the soles melted away within every week)
>> Makeup (what was I considering?)
>> A deal with and rope for towing my luggage up mountains (because of the laws of physics, towing was unattainable and I needed to push things along as an alternative)
>> Insect repellent (what mosquitoes?)
Was there something you would like you’d packed?
What kind of Aussie doesn’t pack a hat for a summer time journey? This one. Apparently I assumed I’d be mountaineering mountains and exploring villages in my helmet! A sturdy grocery bag would’ve come in useful, too. My food went rogue and hit the street a number of occasions.
Did you might have any lucky charms or particular rituals?
My husband, Ben, and I both carry just a little selfmade doll every time we go on solo adventures. It’s referred to as “Waby” as a result of Ben by chance mashed collectively the phrases wife and baby when his mouth couldn’t keep up together with his mind. Relying on Waby’s hair, it will probably seem like him or me. It was comforting to have my ‘mini Ben’ with me, whereas I was longboarding round Tasmania.
At the finish of every night time, I mounted a twine clothesline inside my tent and hung photographs of my hubby and pug, Chaos, with little picket pegs. I beloved falling asleep and waking as much as their funny faces.
Telephone signal permitting, I all the time made a thing of calling Ben each night time. We spent the time discussing our day and it made us really feel like we have been nonetheless in each others’ worlds.
What did you study in mild of your journey?
Talent sensible, I learnt how one can longboard, pitch and pack a tent like a professional, and skim a map…I mean actually learn a map. From a behavior perspective, I learnt how one can find happiness in the little things, be patient and organised, and stress much less (all of which I wrestle to do back house). It’s superb how thrilling the considered chatting with a grocery store teller becomes when you’ve been alone in the center of whoop whoop for a few days!
When it comes to greater life lessons, I found:
Regardless of how isolated and weak you are feeling, there’s all the time somebody who cares about you and needs that will help you. Most strangers really are simply pals you haven’t met but. At the finish of the day, no human is an island – we all need help and human connection at occasions (even unbiased lone rangers like me).
It’s liberating once you lastly choose to embrace your eccentricities – to love them and put them to good use. What appears crazy, selfish and cussed to at least one individual seems to be creative, brave and impressive to a different. Life is so a lot better if you give attention to the shiny aspect and encompass yourself with individuals who raise you up. Pessimists serve one function: motivation (#provethemwrong).
Worry must be stored in verify – it’s a conservative beast which may put you off experiencing lots of joy, personal progress and fulfilment in the event you give it an excessive amount of management. If one thing both excites and scares you, it’s in all probability value doing…so long as you’re well-prepared for the huge dangers.
It’s quicker and easier to walk round Tasmania than deal with this formidable panorama on a longboard.
Nothing is inconceivable and the norm exists to be challenged. By the finish of my journey, I found pregnant ladies are capable of extra than simply ‘taking it easy’ and nesting. Our instincts and bodies are pretty darn superb.
Is there something you remorse or want you’d achieved in another way?
Extra gourmand Tassie food recent from the farms; extra time dropping myself to bop at Fractangular; and, much less time spent doubting myself.
Did one among your legs get greater than the different?
No – I don’t have one Arnold Schwarzenegger leg and one lanky limb. My natural board place is common but I was capable of grasp goofy and share the love between each legs.
Any ideas for others planning a solo and unsupported endurance journey?
>> Factor in time to cease, odor the roses and recuperate both mentally and bodily. Don’t be too formidable together with your day by day distance expectations and slot in an excellent amount of down time.
>> Don’t let your have to capture the adventure spoil the second. Having the alternative to finish a solo endurance journey is a particular expertise – a luxurious – and it must be absolutely appreciated with out distraction as typically as potential. Think about using a help crew to film/photograph/share the experience in the event you actually should.
>> When your mind starts enjoying tips on you, stealing your motivation and tempting you to call it quits (it’s solely natural to feel this manner at some level!), keep in mind why you started the journey in the first place. Maintain your self fired up and targeted. Push the doubt apart and give it the chook.
>> Depart room for spontaneity. Be ready in terms of the essential issues but don’t overthink the small stuff. It’ll all work out in the finish.
>> Don’t let other individuals’s doubt, fear-mongering and negativity get the higher of you. Take their opinions with a grain of salt, do your research and belief your gut. Guidelines are supposed to be broken and goals exist to be realised.
>> Be frugal and sensible together with your packing. Less is extra. Multi-use is magical.
What’s your subsequent huge journey?
I’m off to North Korea (DPKR) for a half marathon occasion in early April and may’t wait to raised perceive this nation and its tradition. It is going to be an fascinating experience to say the least. After that, I’ll be heading to Romania with my hubby to discover the Transylvanian Alps and assist tourism operators in Alba Lulia with their digital advertising.
THE massive adventure – our first baby – will enter our lives someday at the end of July. We’re equal elements terrified and excited. Being a mum is far additional out of my consolation zone than longboarding around Tasmania, but hopefully the expedition has helped put together me for the chaos in some way (stay tuned).
A ultimate phrase of thanks…
I’ve described my longboarding expedition as a solo and unsupported journey, but that’s not solely true. While I wasn’t accompanied by a help crew 24/7, I definitely relied on the assist and kindness of others all through my journey.
Firstly, thank you to my sponsors who backed not solely me and my massive dream, but in addition what the journey stood for (constructive mental well being, feminine empowerment and a love of the great outside). Your products have been a lifeline, preserving me sane and protected on the street.
Big4 Vacation Parks
Additionally, an enormous shout out to everyone who donated to beyondblue, together with my family members however especially those that don’t know me from a bar of cleaning soap. It takes a special and beneficiant individual to help an entire stranger.
Which brings me to my next thanks…to all of the pretty individuals I encountered in Tasmania: cheers for the hugs, selfmade cookies, useful ideas and type hospitality. Thanks for sharing your tales with me, inviting me into your world and sharing the challenges of mine. Despite the fact that I used to be flying solo, I used to be never really alone due to you.
Lastly, an enormous shout-out to my husband, Ben Southall, who managed the fort while I used to be away. You took on the position of my largest fan without query and found methods to keep me and our bump protected from afar (you attractive beast!). Fact be advised, you’re my biggest inspiration and if I hadn’t met you that day on Daydream Island, I in all probability wouldn’t be scripting this blog right now. So, thanks for being the fan behind the flame and encouraging my ADD (adventure deficit disorder). Next time, let’s do it together.
Would you think about an adventure like this on the open street? What’s your dream vacation spot and mode of transport? I’d love to hear your ideas, drop me a line in the feedback box under