Adventure Australia Best Life pregnant skateboard sophee smiles sophee southall Tasmania Travel



Simply 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 assessment of my current charity expedition on this lovely (however brutal) a part of the world…


Complete journey distance: 1389km (1012km longboarding, 38km mountaineering, 3km kayaking, 336km driving or bus)

Journey period: 5 weeks

Being pregnant timing: week 16 to week 20 (i.e. month Four to five)

Longest continuous leg: 42km (Freycinet Nationwide Park to Bicheno)

Common package weight: 30kg

Variety of moist climate days: Three

Variety of accidents: 6 (two sprained ankles, again sprain, broken foot arch, spider chew, ingrown toenail and some minor cuts/bruises)

Expedition value: lower than $1500 (together with flights, gear, clothes, meals and lodging and so forth.)

Pre-expedition coaching: none. I hadn’t spent greater than 30 minutes on a longboard/skateboard earlier than arriving in Hobart.


What was one of the best stretch of street for longboarding?

The street connecting Devonport to Stanley alongside the northwest coast provided the most effective general expertise. Hugging an countless 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 noticed 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’, higher generally known as the Elephant Move and Esk Freeway which converge at St Marys, was as near unattainable as they arrive. This stretch of street was significantly intense – a white-knuckle nightmare stricken 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 move, I needed to stroll backside first – preserving my eyes on oncoming visitors – and catch my baggage because it raced in the direction of me. I made it about three quarters of the best way down earlier than 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 correct restaurant meal all the time I used to be in Tassie. Are you able to consider it?! However, I did take pleasure in a number of blissful takeaway moments. The fish and chips at Wynyard Seafoods on the Wharf have been the most effective I’ve ever had. Flavoursome fish in a light-weight jacket of batter, crispy chips that have been mild and fluffy within the center, and a beneficiant serving of chunky selfmade tartare sauce – I used to be in heaven. The gourmand haloumi and grilled vegetable burgers at Fractangular (a hippie bush doof) have been additionally to die for. This was the sort of meals I’d dreamt about consuming in Tassie – superb produce served with ardour and a artistic edge. Lastly, I’ve to offer 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 within the oven (my hubby is from Coventry).

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How’d you handle the entire meals state of affairs whereas on the street?

It was tough. Not solely as a result of I couldn’t carry greater than a few days value of provides with me, but in addition as a result of I used to be pregnant and needed to feed my bump high quality, nutritious meals. Having to journey with none type of refrigeration and hop between fuel stations and small city IGAs made this a troublesome process.

My every day meals routine became one thing like this…
Breakfast: a bowl of muesli with a bit of fruit served with UHT or powdered milk
Lunch: Three-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 one thing cheeky (e.g. a scone)

I received bored of this uninspired routine in a short time! Every time I ended for greater than a day in a correct Big4 Vacation Park, I put their kitchen amenities to good use and ready correct meals (poached eggs, avocado and rocket on toast – yum!). I didn’t actually get round to consuming a lot meat on the journey – it was simply too troublesome. Strolling previous different campers, with their Webber BBQs, fancy steaks and bottles of Tasmanian wine, was torture. Gray Nomads positive know how one can camp in type.

What have been a few of the funniest moments throughout your journey?

The primary LOL second befell whereas I used to be skateboarding alongside the Esk Freeway. A woman pulled over and requested me if I wanted assist as a result of she thought I used to be a teenage runaway – a teenage boy the truth is. I didn’t realise I used to be wanting fairly so tough! For sure, the woman was fairly shocked as soon as she found I used to be a thirty-year-old pregnant lady.

My second match of giggles occurred within the depths of Cradle Mountain / Lake St Clair Nationwide Park. So far as paid campsites go, Cradle Mountain Discovery Vacation Park is nicely and really ensconced in nature – it feels such as you’re within the stomach of a wild beast! One morning, when the sky was nonetheless as darkish as ink, I heard one thing huge brush up towards my tent. The creature was wheezing loudly prefer it’d simply run a marathon. I assumed, what the eff is that…a wild pig? I heard it shuffle away into the space, till… “AAAAHHHHHHH!” A blood-curdling screech minimize the calm night time air. I raced outdoors with my torch and found a person in a match of laughter. An enormous wombat had waddled straight into his tent in search of a heat mattress.


What have been the perfect signature Tasmanian experiences you encountered?

Once I look again over my journey, three distinct moments stand out. Firstly, my time in Freycinet Nationwide Park, which included a hike as much as Wineglass Bay Lookout adopted by a sundown kayak alongside the peninsular’s pink granite rocks and white sandy seashores. It was utterly magical. I can see why this valuable a part of the world is shortly turning into an ‘it’ bucket record vacation spot…it’s as if the Nice Ocean Street and Whitsunday seashores gave start to an ideal lovechild. Simply north of Freycinet, the Bay of Fires provided an analogous spell-binding expertise.


My downtime in Launceston was one other spotlight. This lovely city felt like a mini-Melbourne full of tradition, character and creativity. It’s residence to numerous heritage buildings and sits in probably the most unimaginable location, the place the Cataract Gorge collides with the Tamar, South Esk and North Esk Rivers. From Launceston, I additionally beloved my fast aspect journey out to the Bridestowe Lavender Property, the place I fortunately demolished a lavender ice-cream while wandering by way of the superbly manicured fields.


Climbing via Cradle Mountain to Marion’s Lookout, bump in hand, was a stupendous expertise. This journey playground is just like the land of the gods – so grand and impossibly lovely. The three-Four hour return trek took me by means of huge grasslands peppered with waddling wombats, humble waterfalls blanketed by lush forest and spectacular lakes nestled amongst dramatic mountains. I’ll be again for sure.


What have been one of the best shock moments throughout your journey?

Whereas I used to be longboarding alongside the Tasman Freeway, a few drivers pulled over and requested me if I used to be heading to Fractangular. I stored considering, “What the frac is Fractangular?”, till a woman lastly defined it was a three-day music pageant (i.e. hippie bush doof) simply outdoors of Buckland. By the top of the day, I used to be volunteering on the entrance gate and dancing the night time away to strobe-synced digital beats. It was epic!


What have been the worst moments throughout your journey?

I had a ‘minor’ meltdown on the finish of my first week on the street. Each nerve-racking expertise main as much as that time lastly made one thing snap inside me and I simply wanted to cry. It was darkish and I used to be wild tenting on the aspect of a freeway midway up a mountain. Surrounded by roadside litter and hyperactive nocturnal animals (somebody had kindly knowledgeable 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 assist and I used to be satisfied a film referred to as Wolf Creek Tasmania was going to be made about me sooner or later. On prime of all that, my thoughts and physique have been exhausted and eventually registering the shock I’d put them by way of. I’m completely happy to say, after a superb night time’s sleep, I used to be able to hit the street and crack on.

For probably the most half, I didn’t thoughts when issues went incorrect with my gear. I loved placing my engineering expertise to the check and having to assume creatively on my ft. Having stated that, when issues went haywire after a lengthy onerous day on the street, my response wasn’t so – er – mature. I’d’ve kicked my baggage tub and unleashed a string of curse phrases on a couple of events. It all the time made me really feel higher.

Lastly, having to do u-turns or settle for lifts as a consequence of poor street circumstances was all the time an enormous downer. It made me really feel like I used to be dropping momentum and turning right into a failure. In these 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 misplaced time or distance.


What was the toughest factor about longboarding round 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 round Tasmania felt harmful and it was arduous work. However, I didn’t let that cease me! I attempted to handle the dangers as greatest as I might to make sure I accomplished the duty at hand safely.

Somebody provided an amazing analogy throughout my journey: “Tasmania is sort of a scrunched up piece of paper. At first look, it seems to be small and knobbly. However, for those who have been to iron it out flat, you’d uncover simply how huge it’s.” I’d should agree.


What was the scariest second throughout your journey?

All of them got here again to security – feeling like my security and my youngster’s security have been being threatened. These moments introduced up a cocktail of horrible feelings – anger, worry, hopelessness – which sat uncomfortably in my throat and on the pit of my abdomen.

I had a few encounters with dodgy characters on the street. As a solo feminine traveller, it’s a tragic undeniable fact that you turn out to be a magnet for that sort of unwelcome consideration. All I might do was depend on logic and instinct in these situations. On one specific event, when a person turned my relentless shadow (even whereas I used to be in the general public showers), I knew I needed to act. I discovered the closest camper van and made pals with a few gray nomads. I requested if I might pitch my tent subsequent to them and spend time chatting to place off the unwelcome stranger. By the top of the night, they’d put the phrase out and I used to be surrounded by a military of Winnebagos forming a hoop of defence round me. It was very candy and it did the trick!


What have been an important gadgets you packed?

I might have been in a proper pickle with none of the next:

> 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 loud night breathing drives me nuts!)
>> A Nikon 1 J5 digital camera (it’s light-weight, takes high quality pictures and permits me to switch 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 chilly)
>> SPF 50+ sunscreen
>> A Lorna Jane Cross Over Tank (which stored me cool and cozy) plus On a regular basis Full-length Tights (which held me collectively in all the proper locations!)


What have been probably the most ineffective gadgets you packed?

I might’ve gone with out:

> My second pair of low cost skate footwear (the soles melted away inside every week)
>> Make-up (what was I considering?)
>> A deal with and rope for towing my baggage up mountains (because of the legal guidelines of physics, towing was inconceivable and I needed to push issues alongside as an alternative)
>> Insect repellent (what mosquitoes?)


Was there something you would like you’d packed?

What sort of Aussie doesn’t pack a hat for a summer time journey? This one. Apparently I assumed I’d be climbing mountains and exploring villages in my helmet! A sturdy grocery bag would’ve come in useful, too. My meals went rogue and hit the street a number of occasions.

Did you could have any fortunate charms or particular rituals? 

My husband, Ben, and I each carry a bit of 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 spouse and child when his mouth couldn’t sustain together with his mind. Relying on Waby’s hair, it could seem like him or me. It was comforting to have my ‘mini Ben’ with me, whereas I used to be longboarding round Tasmania.

On the finish of every night time, I mounted a twine clothesline inside my tent and hung pictures of my hubby and pug, Chaos, with little picket pegs. I beloved falling asleep and waking as much as their humorous faces.

Telephone sign allowing, I all the time made a factor of calling Ben every night time. We spent the time discussing our day and it made us really feel like we have been nonetheless in every others’ worlds.


What did you study in mild of your journey?

Talent sensible, I learnt find out how to longboard, pitch and pack a tent like a professional, and skim a map…I imply actually learn a map. From a behavior perspective, I learnt methods to discover happiness within the little issues, be affected person and organised, and stress much less (all of which I wrestle to do again residence). It’s superb how thrilling the considered chatting with a grocery store teller turns into when you’ve been alone in the midst of whoop whoop for a few days!

When it comes to greater life classes, I found:

Regardless of how remoted and weak you are feeling, there’s all the time somebody who cares about you and needs that will help you. Most strangers actually are simply associates you haven’t met but. On the finish of the day, no human is an island – we all need assistance and human connection at occasions (even unbiased lone rangers like me).

It’s liberating whenever you lastly select to embrace your eccentricities – to like them and put them to good use. What appears loopy, egocentric and cussed to at least one individual seems creative, brave and impressive to a different. Life is so a lot better if you concentrate on the brilliant aspect and encompass your self with individuals who raise you up. Pessimists serve one function: motivation (#provethemwrong).

Worry must be stored in examine – it’s a conservative beast which may put you off experiencing a whole lot of pleasure, private progress and fulfilment in the event you give it an excessive amount of management. If one thing each excites and scares you, it’s in all probability value doing…so long as you’re well-prepared for the large dangers.

It’s quicker and simpler to stroll round Tasmania than deal with this formidable panorama on a longboard.

Nothing is unattainable and the norm exists to be challenged. By the top of my journey, I found pregnant ladies are able to extra than simply ‘taking it straightforward’ and nesting. Our instincts and our bodies are fairly darn superb.


Is there something you remorse or want you’d finished in another way?

Extra gourmand Tassie meals recent from the farms; extra time dropping myself to bop at Fractangular; and, much less time spent doubting myself.

Did certainly one of your legs get greater than the opposite?

No – I don’t have one Arnold Schwarzenegger leg and one lanky limb. My pure board place is common however I used to be capable of grasp goofy and share the love between each legs.


Any ideas for others planning a solo and unsupported endurance journey?

>> Think about time to cease, odor the roses and recuperate each mentally and bodily. Don’t be too formidable together with your day by day distance expectations and slot in a great quantity of down time.

>> Don’t let your have to seize the journey break the second. Having the chance to finish a solo endurance journey is a particular expertise – a luxurious – and it must be absolutely appreciated with out distraction as typically as attainable. Think about using a help crew to movie/photograph/share the expertise when you actually should.

>> When your thoughts begins enjoying tips on you, stealing your motivation and tempting you to name it quits (it’s solely pure to really feel this manner at some level!), keep in mind why you began the journey within the first place. Hold your self fired up and targeted. Push the doubt apart and provides it the fowl.

>> Depart room for spontaneity. Be ready with regards to the essential issues however don’t overthink the small stuff. It’ll all work out in the long run.

>> Don’t let different individuals’s doubt, fear-mongering and negativity get the higher of you. Take their opinions with a grain of salt, do your analysis and belief your intestine. Guidelines are supposed to be damaged and goals exist to be realised.

>> Be frugal and sensible together with your packing. Much 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. Will probably be an fascinating expertise 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 journey – our first baby – will enter our lives someday on the finish of July. We’re equal elements terrified and excited. Being a mum is far additional out of my consolation zone than longboarding round Tasmania, however hopefully the expedition has helped put together me for the chaos indirectly (keep tuned).


A last phrase of thanks…

I’ve described my longboarding expedition as a solo and unsupported journey, however that’s not totally true. Whereas I wasn’t accompanied by a help crew 24/7, I definitely relied on the assistance and kindness of others all through my journey.

Firstly, thanks to my sponsors who backed not solely me and my massive dream, but in addition what the journey stood for (constructive psychological well being, feminine empowerment and a love of the good outdoor). Your merchandise have been a lifeline, preserving me sane and protected on the street.

Big4 Vacation Parks
Lorna Jane
Nutcase Helmets
Mountain Designs

Additionally, an enormous shout out to everybody who donated to beyondblue, together with my family members however particularly those that don’t know me from a bar of cleaning soap. It takes a particular and beneficiant individual to help an entire stranger.

Which brings me to my subsequent thanks…to all 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. Regardless that I used to be flying solo, I used to be by no means actually alone due to you.

Lastly, an enormous shout-out to my husband, Ben Southallwho managed the fort whereas I used to be away. You took on the position of my largest fan with out query and located methods to maintain me and our bump protected from afar (you attractive beast!). Fact be informed, 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 weblog proper now. So, thanks for being the fan behind the flame and inspiring my ADD (journey deficit dysfunction). Subsequent time, let’s do it collectively.

Would you contemplate an journey like this on the open street? What’s your dream vacation spot and mode of transport? I’d love to listen to your ideas, drop me a line within the feedback field under


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