I'm a double cancer survivor, cyclist and walker who does various challenges for different charities, mainly cancer-related.

My latest trip was a three-week tour of Tasmania in February 2015; amongst other things, I've cycled from Land's End to John o'Groats (2003), Rotterdam to Lemvig (Denmark) (2005), walked the Pennine Way (2008) completed the ascent of all 214 'Wainwrights' in the Lake District in only 55 days (2009), cycled 4,500 miles around the coast of Great Britain (2011), cycled all 42 of the accessible Western Isles of Scotland in under a month (2012), twice abseiled 230 ft from the top of The Big One in Blackpool, cycled the WWI Western Front from London to Compiegne via Ypres and Arras (2014) and cycled 750 miles in the Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton (2014).

Altogether I've raised over £70,000 for my charities including The Christie, Cancer Research UK, the Rosemere Cancer Foundation, and ABF (The Soldiers' Charity) and I was mightily chuffed to receive the British Empire Medal in the 2014 New Year's Honours List.

I'm a Rotarian and give illustrated talks about my adventures in exchange for a donation to charity, so if you're looking for a speaker leave me a message. I am also Event Organiser for the Ribble Valley Ride Cycle Sportive, to be held this year on Sunday 14 June 2015 - more details at www.ribblevalleyride.org

You can also follow me on Twitter - @CancerBikeMan and on Facebook - just search for Bill Honeywell

Cancer Research UK is the world's leading charity dedicated to beating cancer through research, whilst The Rosemere does fantastic work for patients in Lancashire and South Cumbria.

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Cycle Tour of Tasmania – February 2015

Day 2


My room mate, Ken, is a touch on the deaf side.  This came as a relief when someone rang me at 3.20 pm. Because this was 3.20 pm UK time, therefore 2.20 am Tasmania time.  I scrabbled to turn it off without answering (it was a sales call anyhow!) and was about to apologise to Ken for the rude awakening when I realised he was still sleeping soundly.  Jet lag doesn't seem to apply after travelling west-east and I quickly dozed off again.

Deborah finishes re-assembling her Hewitt while the neighbours look on approvingly
Getting up at around 7.30, it seemed amazing that it was Friday already, having left the UK so recently - on Tuesday. Talk at breakfast was of folks going into town to visit the bike shop, but encouraged by my brief outing to Mersey Bluff yesterday afternoon, I thought I'd saunter around the headland and then head back along the creek, doing a bit of bird-watching and generally being lazy.

Small Wattlebird
Setting off alone after applying Factor 50 (in deference to the depleted ozone layer down here), I followed the coast path, looking at birds which were all new to me - Galahs, Masked Lapwings, Small Wattlebirds (not very small but very noisy), Silver Gulls (like our Black-headed Gulls but with white heads), then through mixed woodland, where the narrow trunks of the trees were densely packed and quite spectacular in their own way.  

The path winds through densely packed trees
A passenger train runs on the hour













A few little birds appeared, like native Silvereyes, Grey Fantails, plus some which had obviously been introduced - Blackbirds, Starlings, Sparrows, Greenfinches and Goldfinches.  Past the car park at Coles Beach, over the narrow-gauge railway track and into more mature eucalyptus woodland with a Grey Butcher-bird and then the distinctive (and loud) call of a Laughing Kookaburra.  It felt very Australian.  A Beautiful Firetail (grey and scarlet finch) tried to hide in the higher branches of a path-side bush.

Grey Fantail
Sawdust Bridge
Behind the Aquatic Centre a wooden footbridge (Sawdust Bridge) took me over a small tidal creek where a second view of a large log revealed no crocodile-surprises (I don't think there are any crocs in Tassie). 
Re-entering the outskirts of town a massive, noisy bird in the top of a tree in someone's garden turned out to be a Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoo.  

Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoo
The railway museum
I turned towards the railway museum and said 'Hello' to a man in a pickup truck.  He said he was the famous 'Bo' the clown (meant nothing to me), and when I told him I was from Lancashire in the UK he said "Well you won't be goin' 'ome mate" - apparently because I would like Devonport so much that - like him - I would settle down there.  I suggested that Mrs Honeywell might have something to say about that, but it didn't seem to register.

Superb Fairy-Wren

Nothing to eat at the railway museum so I set off back towards the Aquatic Centre to rejoin my outward route.  A Superb Fairy Wren bobbed about and looked stunning, with a head of Kingfisher blue and black. Two or three miles later I was back at Mersey Bluff and called at the Surf Club for a bite to eat.  Ordering the Brekkie Burger was perhaps a mistake, as the huge bread roll, two eggs and multiple rashers of bacon dripping fat everywhere was rather more than I'd bargained for.  As I ate it I sat watching the Silver Gulls sorting out their pecking order - literally - with one dominant bird keeping all others away in anticipation of me giving up on the Brekkie Burger before I could finish it. He was neither wrong nor disappointed.

Rainbow Lorikeet - an invasive species native to NE Australia
Back at the Sunrise Comfort Motel, John Hartigan was still waiting for his bike to arrive.  He'd travelled from his home in Omaha, Nebraska, where he is a retired judge, and unfortunately the bike hadn't been able to keep up with him.  He was sceptical of the promises he kept receiving as he rang the airline, but around 4 pm it finally arrived by taxi from the airport, to his great relief.

This time our evening meal was at the Devonport Croquet Club (I'm sure we'll find a proper restaurant some time!), and on our return we looked for the Southern Cross and found it (I think). 

Tomorrow, Saturday, will be a gentle re-introduction to the art of cycling - upside-down of courese - so we all turned in early to get some sleep ready for the off.

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If you've any comments to make or questions to ask, feel free to add a comment at the end of this blog, and also feel free to share it with your friends.  It gets more interesting once the cycling starts!

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