Saturday, January 16, 2010

A long long way from there to here

It's a long, long way from there to here...
We FINALLY have an internet connection and I have half caught up on the several thousand e-mails... and we're here on Flinders. Where the bloody hell are you? ;-) I hope to post pictures later today, and the backtrack of days we couldn't post.
The final leg was... interesting. Like most adventures quite a lot of it is best from a distance ;-). When FINALLY BigPond told us that the very expensive device that Telstra's Eastlands mall branch had sold us and refused to help with didn't work, wouldn't ever work, and should be returned (“to any Telstra store”) andthey would send us to Flinders a replacement with working software (did I believe them? no. I was wrong though) we were on the lower Tamar, at Beauty point, with our new-shredded tent, with it's exploded poles and the black swans drifting peacefully past in the now still water. We still had one tent so we had a crowded night (with offers of tents and a bunk in a camper from our various neighbours – this was self inflicted injury... again) and drove to Launceston not Bridport... were the Telstra shop said no, sorry, they weren't taking it back because Eastlands was a franchise. Another half hour on the phone got them to agree to send us a post-paid box and to credit us with the cost. As yet this has not happened. Anyway – we did some of the shopping (some- ie, we forgot stuff) and headed out to Bridport via the Lilydale road – the shortest according to the GPS. It is. It's beautiful... it's also windy steep places and full of roadworks right now. I spent most of the trip in fear that the blue slug would die – awkward as the ferry goes once a week! Anyway my worries were rewarded with a tyre going flat and seeing if it could shred more than the tent. The jack – a little bottle jack – couldn't lift the vehicle high enough. B flagged the first car down, as this was a part of Tas sans large rocks or stumps (put the vehicle on one, and then put the jack in the right spot.) And HIS jack was inaccessable, under a huge load, but he was a big guy and we lifted the blue slug up and onto the jack on the lowest point and changed the tyre no trouble. Of course... it wasn't the right tyre. The rest are 215s... this is 185. Still it got us to Bridport's only 'Servo'
where they didn't have any 215s. Could order for us – but not before the ferry loaded in 3 hours time. So they sold us a used 195... ah well. It got us to the Ferry... which was lying on the mud. When they say Bridport is tidal port... they really aren't kidding. The ferry office said the credit card hadn't gone through and so we paid cash – got a discount too, and a special offer $200 and vehicle and 2 passengers return – as opposed to $500 one way. Still $200 one way, but even with the kids $58 each – (and less $16 discount) – cheaper. We drove on and they closed off the back with a 20 ft container... and then the sea door. The ship was um... agriculturally scented – but we had the passenger lounge to ourselves - We went up on deck onto the bow as the Condor nosed out slowly down the channel, and past the bunch of jeering brats racing her on their bycicles (and my brats yelling 'faster' at them as they approached the end of the berm) and out into the open sea. Soon it was just B and I looking at the wine-dark sea and feeling the wind that had blown over thousands of km of emptiness. Cold.
Soon B and I went down into the rocking belly... and B was sick.
I awoke with the absence of movement and Paddy waking me – we went up on deck in the dawn and saw how the drowned mountains loomed out of the still, clear green-blue sea.
We were in the Sounds... coming in to Lady Barron, Flinders Island.
And that's long enough for now.

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