TASMANIA RE-VISITED - Nov 2009
(The M.O.T.H.'s Version)
Day 1 OCT 30:
Jogged off to my workplace to pick up the MB2 (Mercedes-Benz / Mobile Bed). Drove leisurely home so Oz could load the fridge, larder, her bags and makeup, then clean the floor. About 5pm we climbed aboard and successfully located the Ferry Terminal via roadworks and peak hour traffic without any hassles whatsoever. We dined on gourmet chicken while waiting in the queue to board. Locating our cabin was a breeze where we quickly dumped our bags so Oz could score a vacant poker machine before the crowd arrived. While she was entrenched, I lashed out and bought the necessary Parks Pass and handed over $53.00 after flashing my Senior Citizen�s card for a discount. I went out on deck with a beer in hand, soon to be joined by Oz who had won almost enough to cover the Pass (unless she blows the profit on the return journey). She then bought me dinner. Yum! I suggested that I should shout her to the movies in return, to which she readily agreed. After the movie I bought us a caf� latte each and we retired to the cabin so she could watch the lightning show out the porthole and I could watch the inside of my eyelids.
Day 2 Oct 31:
After landing ashore in the early morning, we went to the supermarket to get some groceries. After waiting for some time, we found out the shop was already opened as I suspected it was. We ended up buying nothing that we couldn�t have brought with us on the boat! After a leisurely drive along the coast we arrived at some real old joint which is probably haunted by the look of it. Then it was off to Stanley where we had a great lunch of oily fish and soggy chips. I wanted to jog up the �Nut� again but Oz declined the offer to accompany me. Nostalgia overcame us so we decided to head off for another visit to the thriving metropolis of Arthur River. We found accommodation without fuss and settled in for the night.
Day 3 Nov 1:
Today we went on a river cruise. The Sea Eagles were hungry. Lunch was OK.
Day 4 Nov 2:
We got up early and headed east. Made a detour to see a waterfall. We refuelled at Port Sorrel without a hitch and went on to Bridport for a pleasant night by the sea.
Day 5 Nov 3:
It must have drizzled during the night as the ground was damp this morning. We headed south along a major highway, assisted at times by a gentle breeze up to about 50 knots. We made a diversion to see a waterfall and a pub in a paddock with beer drinking pigs. I must admit it was quite pleasant walking through the bush in the wet with trees and branches crashing down around the place. Oz must have liked it too as she wanted to see another waterfall so we went to another further down the highway. Non-oily fish and chips was our lunch today. Bicheno is our stopover tonight.
Day 6 Nov 4:
We awoke to a nice fine day so headed off to a Nature Park. Saw lots of pigeons, devils and a great set of dangly kangaroo�s balls. Oz absolutely loved the huge tiger snakes. To keep the peace, I made a major diversion off the highway south to feed the ever-fangy Oz with some seafoody stuff. Food gives her energy so we set out to search for �Lost Falls�. The MB2 performed like a 4WD up and down the track she sent us on. WE FOUND �Lost Falls�!!! I think that all who visit Tasmania should go out of their way to visit these falls to complete their touring experience. A gourmet hamburger with a couple glasses of red is in order before retiring for the night here in Triabunna.
Day 7 Nov 5:
I was going to empty the crapper this morning but couldn�t open the dump point lid. We were told about a very easy to find bakery in the main street of Richmond which sells awesome curried scallop pies and that we couldn�t miss it. After driving up and down the main street twice, I decided to park in a side street and walk. Upon turning into a side street, lo and behold there was the bakery. The pie was yummy, by the way. We then headed off to Zoo Doo 'Chicken' Farm to take even more bird pics. Next stop was a wildlife park but we didn�t stop as they had no birds. New Norfolk is our chosen stop-over for this evening. Went for a brisk walk before settling in for a feed and a sleep.
Day 8 Nov 6:
We emptied the crapper this morning! First stop was a fish pond place. We had yummy lemon butter pancakes with cream and ice cream for breakfast. What else would you eat at Salmon Ponds? The fish seemed hungry so I lashed out with $1.00 to satisfy their craving. Oz decided she wanted to return to nature so we headed bush. For the next several hours we scaled cliffs, trudged up mountains and descended gently sloping hills, just to see water trickling over rocks. Naturally the terrain was reversed for the return. It occurred to me as I write this that had we encountered one single snake, no matter how small, we could spend the rest of our journey taking pics from the windows of our MB2! One lives in hope� New Norfolk is our stop again this evening as Oz is buggered. Guess I will have to cook.
Day 9 Nov 7:
This morning we backtracked 50 km to where we left off yesterday. We couldn�t find a waterfall that was shown on the map, but did manage to find a small cave with a creek flowing out of it. No snakes were to be seen again this morning. I think the lack of oxygen due to the extreme altitude explains their absence or maybe the huge mozzies have drained their blood. We then headed for the east coast in search of crayfish. We dropped into a seafood shop at Dunalley for lunch and were told that the commercial crayfish season doesn�t start until next weekend. This is when we leave Tassie. Bugger!!! Tomorrow morning we will leave White Beach and head north for more waterfalls and holes in the ground, lobsterless and broken-hearted, but with clean clothes.
Day 10 Nov 8
Today we drove to Launceston. We made a slight diversion off the highway to visit Ross. The lunchtime scallop pie was not as good as the one in Richmond. The Ross price was higher at $6.95 each so should have been better I reckon. Bill DeB dropped into the caravan park on his great big Harley Davidson for a quick chat. There are thousands of Harleys from all over Australia in town for their annual rally. Stir fried Tasmanian scallops for tea tonight. Mouth-watering�
Day 11 Nov 9
Oz had to get up during the wee hours as she had forgotten to shave her hairy legs. God forbid, somebody might have noticed or she might have tripped on the plaits as today she was going to wear shorts. This morning we headed off for the Tasmania Zoo. Lots of bird pics were taken. The thought crossed my mind to kidnap one of their snakes but that soon passed. Later Oz spotted a waterfall sign so off we drove into the bush. We never did get to see it as the road was not suitable for the MB2. Of course it took 30 km of narrow, winding and steep dirt road before we came upon a signpost declaring �suitable for short wheelbase vehicles only� for the last 2 km down to the actual falls. Lunch in the main street of Deloraine was good. Real steak washed down with a mango smoothie. Tonight will be spent in a little out of the way place caravan park outside of Mole Creek. A little stream runs along the edge and there are trout to be seen. I fired up the barbie while Oz kept a very close eye on me.
Day 12 Nov 10
Didn�t get up till 8.30 this morning. We figured we needed some exercise, so headed off to Alum Cliffs. Oz was all eager when she saw the sign saying it was just an 800 metre short walk over gentle slopes. She was huffing and puffing after the first 100 metres. Maybe it was from the extra weight of the big walking stick she was carrying. I think that, deep down, this stick was to pass to me to ward off snakes while she ran away. Alas, no snakes were to be seen again today. We had breakfast at lunchtime at a cheese factory. After going around the cheese sampling display a couple times, a cup of latte went down really well. Next on the agenda was a visit to yet another cave, a welcome relief as the underground temperature was 11 degrees against about 30+ outside. Several hundred pics were taken and that was just by Oz. I considered going for a swim as tonight�s caravan park at Ulverstone is right on the beach, but sanity prevailed. Instead I had fun filling the water tank and emptying the grey water. Oz cleaned the rear window. I am left wondering if it was too dirty for her to take pictures of little baby bunny rabbits or she was being thoughtful� There was a Plover sitting on a fake nest just behind us and Oz got attacked. That was cool�
Day 13 Nov 11
Emptied the crapper again this morning supervised by Oz. We visited the Wings Wildlife Park car park this morning then headed off into the mountains to see yet another waterfall. Then it was off to visit a canyon. I managed not to shit myself out on the mesh viewing platform. Not far off it though. Next stop was yet another waterfall - snakes not needed as it was a gentle trot up and down. Oz spotted a flower garden on the way out this morning so we dropped in on the way back. Devonshire coffee was used as a reward for my patience. We are back in Ulverstone tonight with a still empty crapper.
Day 14 Nov 12
Up bright and early this morning for a leisurely drive over the mountains to Cradle Valley. I am starting to wonder why we don�t see many motor homes on our day trips. Maybe it�s because the rentals are not allowed off the bitumen or stick to the major roads? We caught the shuttle bus to Dove Lake and upon arrival decided to do a lap of the lake. You wouldn�t believe it, but we finally came across a 3�6� to 4� tiger snake sunning itself on the boardwalk. It slithered off into the boonies when it saw the bloody big stick Oz was carrying. She was wearing brown pants anyway so no worries with colour clash. It was a nice easy 6 km walk with lots of pics of the same mountain with a little patch or two of snow taken. I wanted to go back around the lake in the opposite direction to prove that anti-clockwise was easier, but Oz declined. We are back in Mole Creek tonight as it only costs $18.00 a night for a powered site for CMCA members.
Day 15 Nov 13
We went down another hole in the ground this morning. It was a nice cool 9 degrees in there so jackets were worn. We almost made it to Lobster Falls but the walk proved too difficult for Oz, even without a big stick, so we walked back out of the bush. Then it was on to Deloraine for lunch, same as last time we went there. Oz bought 3 cushions because they were cute! We are now back in Ulverstone for our final night in Tassie.
Day 16 Nov 14
First up we drove to Devonport, a mere short 20 odd km drive. We walked miles again today. First to the much advertised Farmer�s Market, which was a real non-event, then down-town and back along the river. Not being content, we walked back to the CBD, bought some shit we didn�t need, but had a very, very nice expensive fishy lunch along the way. I thought I had better lash out and give Oz at least one reasonable feed during the two weeks away. We met our mate Bill with his big gold expensive Harley in the ferry waiting area so Oz got a few pics. We met him again on board. Oz was not interested in our very interesting and exciting �War Stories� so headed for the pokies. And she won again! Needless to say we all missed dinner AGAIN! I was told that I snored but so did Oz. Payback! We had shit seats so never again will we do the trip without a cabin.
Day 17 Nov 15
We drove home. You think this was easy??? F**k no! Two years ago we got off the ferry to be encompassed with road-works and detours. It goes on today!!!
Please Note: Don�t be fooled by the word �Highway� on Tasmania road maps. Apart from sections of the Midland and Bass Highways, all roads are mostly narrow, steep, winding and uphill� Didn�t I mention this fact two years ago?
Tasmania is a beautiful place, so please make the effort to experience it!
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