Sunday, 16 January 2011
Over to Tasmania
The day after the last post we decided to head to Melbourne early and try to get the alternator looked at. Thus we hopped over the Yarra Ranges which were discharging water to the plains at an alarming rate and arrived at a non main dealer VW garage. They referred us to an auto electrician down the road and they suggested we left the van with them for the day on Friday.
Thus we needed a pitch for the night so headed down the Mornington Peninsula to look for a space. For the first time on this trip we were faced with a long strip of municipal campsites jammed between the road and the beach which encircled this eastern side of Port Phillip Bay. Despite the heavy rain few people had left and we were unable to get a pitch so instead took a modest but comfy motel room.
On the Friday we dropped the van off, waited out the rain over lunch in an Italian restaurant and then hopped on the train in to Melbourne as the sun emerged to plan our full day on the Saturday. Finally back at the garage all was well apparently until we took a test drive where in fact we had lost all gauges and the speedo. Fortunately a quick fix saw us on the road again - the proprietor assuring us that all would be well. We drove down towards Brighton on the coast, took another morel room for the night and wandered round to a bar for a few beers in the evening sun.
On Saturday, the day of sailing, we parked near the ferry terminal noting with some annoyance that we still had a minor electrical glitch and then walked in to Melbourne centre to enjoy the Immigration Museum, the old trams and a walk along the swollen river admiring the soaring city architecture and older colonial buildings squeezed in between.
Early evening saw us lining up to drive on board where our cabin was situated right beneath the bridge with a wonderful view of all the action. The two hour sail out of the bay gave the sun time to set as we sat outside with a cold beer before retiring to enjoy a bit of telly and sleep soundly for a 5am wake up call.
This came on time and gave us time to enjoy the approach to Devonport as the sun rose. We disembarked and turned west stopping shortly to make calls home as it was a reasonable hour back home before we stocked up in Burnie as strict Tassie quarantine rules prevent the importation of fruit and veg.
We then meandered along the coast enjoying the lofty views from old volcanic outcrops at Table Cape with its lighthouse and Rocky Cape before staying the night at Black River.
Today we have continued west stopping to climb the Nut at pretty Stanley, pass Cape Grim ( inaccurately named ) with its 62 wind turbines and stop for the night at Green Point in Anne Bay, Marrawah where a trio of windsurfers were enjoying the terrific conditions.