171km Westbury to Launceston and Devonport
It’s a dream for so many people, this kind of extended travel, and yet it never seems quite enough. There’s always the next deadline pushing us onward. Visas. Seasons. Money. They all send us scurrying along to the next destination before we really feel we’ve discovered the one we’re in.
And so it was with Tasmania. Just 3-1/2 short weeks after we landed we were back on the boat, rocking and rolling over the Bass Strait and trying not to feel queasy on one of the world’s roughest crossings.
“This doesn’t bode very well for our cargo ship voyage,” we said to each other as we put our heads down on the sofa for yet another nap, doped up on motion sickness pills and still feeling a bit wobbly. The doctor in Hobart who filled in our fit-to-travel forms told us most people don’t get seasick for more than 3 days. Our trip to New Zealand by boat will only be a week at most so 36 hours of seasickness is something we’re definitely hoping to avoid!
We pondered this across the waters and then landed back in Melbourne, where we found Pat waiting for us with his racing bike, ready to escort us to our new temporary home. We met Pat in Tasmania and he generously offered us a room when we returned to the North Island (as the Tasmanians call it).
That was Saturday and for the last 3 days Pat’s given us the whirlwind tour to his backyard. We’ve been up in the Dandenong Mountains, had a barbecue with friends, got beaten playing bowling on Wii by 4-year-old Carlo (Friedel is still holding out hopes for a rematch) and checked out Melbourne on Australia Day.
Thanks Pat! How did we ever get so lucky to meet all of Australia’s best citizens?
Now it’s off to Sydney for a few days in the famous city (an air journey this time, the bikes are staying in Melbourne) before coming back here for our ship out. Phew! By the time we hit the road again in another 3 weeks or so, we’ll no doubt be out of shape and puffing up those first few Kiwi hills. All that training in wild and windy Tasmania gone to waste…