Monday, February 24, 2014

Tasmania Part 1

Plumbing Boy & I took a 2 week trip to Tasmania last week of Jan, 1st week of Feb.  It's been a place we've both wanted to visit for quite a while, but for different reasons: he wanted to go dirt biking, camping & hiking, I wanted to check out all the amazing produce, do some walks & a bit of site seeing.

We took the ambulance - I did tell you PB bought an ex-ambulance didn't I? It was a couple of years ago now, it's a Holden Ute, extended, with an ambulance back on it - apparently it came out of Queensland.  He uses it for camping & dirt bike riding, as his bike fits in the back therefore negating the need to tow a trailer.  It has a few nicknames - the beast, the chariot & the Beluga as one of PB's mates recons it reminds him of a beluga whale!

We were loaded to roof in the back with the dirt bike & its various accessories (2 big bags of riding gear including boots & helmet; body armour, tool bag & fuel can), lots of camping gear, fridge, food & our personal gear.  We caught the Spirit of Tasmania over & when the security guy on the dock wanted to check the back for stowaways, we both laughed & said good luck finding a space!!!!

The sail over was uneventful although I did wake up & could feel the boat rolling from side to side & back & forth, but didn't take a sea sickness tablet as were were well in bed before passing through the heads & reaching the open seas.  I suffer from seasickness, but generally so long as I can lay flat for the first couple of hours I'm OK.

Our first day on the Apple Isle was spent sorting out car problems.  First we had to wait for an auto electrician to open as the ABS braking system kept getting stuck on in the 5 - 10km range so didn't leave Devenport until 10am ish (having arrived at 6am).  Then after an hour or so of driving we had a flat rear tyre, which revealed not only was it flat it was shredded & its opposite wasn't in much better condition.  We limped to Launceston & with a bit of local assistance we had 2 new tyres installed on the rear & the spare put back where it came from underneath.

Next stop was an over due visit with Wanna!!!!  Who cooked us a fabulous BBQ dinner with which Wanna & I consumed far to much wine, but we had a lot of laughs & was great to meet the rest of the family!!!

Don't ask me what I'm doing with my arm, but we were in fits of hysteria here & PB took 30 odd dodgy photo's of us cracking up!!  I think we were both in struggle town the next morning, but neither of us decided to be Mayor!!!

We hit the road for the east coast & friends @ Lagoons Beach camping ground where we stayed the next 2 nights enjoying some R & R.  Plumbing boy went for a dirt bike ride with a guy he'd never met before but pre-arranged via dirt bike world; I hung out with our friends & their kids (12y/o twins - boy & a girl & their 10 y/o sister) swimming, reading , eating & enjoying a few bevvies.

Our friends had to work on Tuesday so they packed up & went home (20 minutes away) Monday afternoon leaving PB & I to ourselves for the night.  Went for a twilight swim & watch the sun set on the beach.  Lovely!!!  I'd been for a run on some very soft sand that morning, but it wasn't enough to knock me out & I had a rather restless night listening to PB snore.  Lets just say I purchased ear plugs & medication from the chemist (which didn't really work) & listened to an awful lot of meditation & music during the nights to try & drown him out.  I also spent quite a few of the days when we were driving catching up on sleep.

Broke camp, packed up gear & headed for Bicheno to where our friends live in &; hung out there for the afternoon having a long lunch, checking out the local dive shop, & seeing the sites.  Ended up staying the night with our friends taking a sunset walk up the local peak after dinner.

Next stop was back up the coast to the Bay of Fires about an 1.5 hours north of Bicheno to find a camping spot along the beach.  Stocked up on supplies on the way in St Helens & found a superb place at Swimcart camping ground, so close to the beach the waves almost drowned out PB's snoring!!!

\The first night was freezing!!  Thankfully I'd packed my winter coat & luckily PB found a beanie in the car for me!!  I had defrosted by morning & enjoyed watching a surfer from bed!  BTW the only people we saw swimming without wet suits in Tasi were us!!!

I spent the morning chilling out reading my book after a 11km morning run with a KILLER HILL; while PB went for a dirt bike ride.  Went for a drive into town for some local produce which I enjoyed with some local Champers (PB beer) while watching the sun set.

The next day we spent chilling out in the morning then went for a long walk involving some steep beach & some rock hopping to Bindalong.

Chilled out for a bit then played Frisbee on the beach til it was time for dinner.

Broke camp in the morning & after helping PB pack up most of the gear I set off to run back into St Helen's which we estimated to be around 13kms & meet PB at the wharf where there were public HOT SHOWERS!  12.8kms according to my phones GPS & another BLOODY BIG HILL later made it into town pretty sweaty, very thirsty & very very much looking forward to a hot shower.  $4 later I was was all clean & feeling refreshed.  Back to Bicheno to our friends for dip in the ocean (very quick for me); the boys took 2 of the kids & their surf boards & managed to stay in for an hour (although they all except PB & I were wearing wet suits)!!!

The next morning we'd arranged to go scuba diving in search of the weedy sea dragon endemic to Australian temperate waters.  Having done most of our diving in tropical water, we'd never seen them before & were lucky enough to see 2 on the first dive; PB saw another 2 on the second dive which I didn't do because I was too BLOODY COLD!!

 We also saw a cute little draughtboard shark (above), a couple of spotted rays & a yellow seahorse.  Rounded off the day with a farewell BBQ with our friends as we planned to leave them for good in the morning!!


Ute said...

Cool story, bro! :p

I had no idea you had a Holden Ute/van thingy. Excellent and cheap way to get around.

Great photos. Glad you had a good time. x

AlleyCat said...

hahahah Thanks Ute!!! Guess I did forget to blog the beluga!! :-)

Memphis Steve said...

OK, after reading all of this my brain is fixated on the beluga. What a cool truck for hauling the bike around! Awesome find.

AlleyCat said...

LOL. Yeah, the beluga's not too bad. I don't like driving it much as it's a bit hard to see changing lanes etc. I'm so used to being able to look over my shoulder for a double check in traffic........the beluga, well, lets just say I only drive it in the left hand lane!!! It does have a reversing camera, but I don't know how to turn it on let alone use it!!!

Memphis Steve said...

I know what you mean. My 4x4 is like that. if not for the big side mirrors I couldn't see to change lanes and backing up is a challenge because everything I need to avoid hitting is down below the tailgate.

Wanna_B_slimmer said...

What a great write up!!! How could I have missed this!!! What a hot looking chick you caught up with when you got to tassie!! lol

Dont leave it too long before you come back!!! Your photos make it look just as stunning as it really is!

AlleyCat said...

hahaha - need new glasses????

defs a hot chickee babe!!!!!