Australia has been called The Land of the Long Weekend. And long may it stay so says the Unsporty Woman! Not so say business owners who still have to pay staff even though they are producing nothing… but this is a running blog so I will leave this subject well alone.
A public holiday. What for? This weekend it’s Labour Day or Eight Hour Day to celebrate better working conditions and more family friendly working hours. What does a hard working nation do to celebrate less work? Have a day off of course.
Two weeks ago we had a half day public holiday on a Wednesday. What for? For a horse race! Launceston Cup. Did I go to the races? No I didn’t! I went for a run! Pauly had to work on the farm but finished mid-afternoon (after working more than eight hours) then we headed into Launceston to have a trial trail run (try and say the last three words quickly!). We had hoped to get to Greens Beach for a trial on the 6km headland track that connects the two beaches we will run for Convicts and Wenches, but the Farmer just couldn’t get away early enough. Instead we opted for a run in Launceston’s Cataract Gorge.
I’ve posted about running in the Gorge before, but this time the places we ran were new to me! I was born in Launceston and grew up just a stone’s throw away from this iconic Australian landmark, but I had never set foot on some of the tracks I will tell you about. The Gorge truly is a hidden piece of wilderness right on the edge of Launceston’s CBD. You could be shopping down town one moment, then after a five minute car journey be on the edge of the wilderness, then with a bit of a run be out in the middle of the Gorge feeling like you are miles and miles from civilization.
We are so spoilt to have this place to run!!!
After parking at the First Basin we ran up the Duck Reach Track.
There are lots of lookouts along the way and it’s rather steep in places! That’s mountain-goat steep.
Then it was finally back to the paths more travelled. While we were running we saw hardly a soul; not so back down in the main part of the Gorge. There were several bus loads of tourists as well as locals out enjoying the scenery, the afternoon off and the last of a wonderful hot summer.
As we were running I heard the familiar thump thump thump of a wallaby in the undergrowth several times but didn’t seen any (no snakes either thankfully). This curious local (pictured above) was taking a peek at the tourists just metres away from a parked coach in the main car park. It was funny that most people were busily looking at their phones, consulting maps, looking down towards the water that they didn’t see him sitting cheekily nearby. I pointed him out to a passing tourist who was quite shocked to see him – quickly grabbing their camera to take a snap. It pays to look up and take things in!
A perfect end to the run was a trip to the King’s Bridge Pub.
First a glass of wonderful Tasmanian Janz sparkling wine.
While we were sitting outside enjoying the food, warmth and a relax after our rather strenuous trial trail run a tourist stopped to ask – in faltering English – directions to the Gorge. It was just a short two minute stroll to one of the entrances we told her. How lucky are we to have such a wonderful spot to run in??? We locals don’t really appreciate how fabulous it is. Visitors to Tasmania include it as a must see on their itineraries.
And how much does it cost to enter? NOTHING! It’s free for everyone, local or visitor.
How far did we run for this trial trail run? Just 5kms. How long did it take us? 50:34! With all the ups, rough parts and of course happy-snap taking to show you, it made for a slow run. A slow run but a wonderful run. Are we ready for Convicts and Wenches? I don’t feel ready but next Sunday we shall give those 25kms our very best shot!
Go Team Huey, Dewey, Louie and Daffy! (Part of the newly formed team to be known as the Quackers – more on this later).
Happy running 🙂