Tasmania Trip (7)
On the previous day I had had some trouble with my camera but today it finally cashed in its chips and so, sadly, this will be the last page of this travelogue.
On the way to Stanley on the North West Coast of the Island we passed many fields of flowering opium poppies. I cajoled my camera into taking a couple of pictures. By this time it was hard to get it to cooperate. Tasmania has quite an industry in the production of opiates for pharmaceuticals.
There was much lovely scenery on this leg of our journey but I could not take any photographs.
We arrived in Stanley and booked into our motel which had a magnificent view of the Nut - a weathered volcanic plug. In the afternoon a shower came through the area producing a rainbow. How I would have loved to see a full bow! It would have made a magnificent photograph but one must make do with what one has.
When we were in Hobart we had decided that by this time we would appreciate a day off the bike and so we booked a day tour in a 4 X 4 through the forest. From Hobart we had been assured that the operator never took more than 6 passengers even though he was licensed for 7. I was swayed by this assurance because I did not fancy a whole day in a 4 X 4 carrying 8 people (7 passengers plus the driver) I was rather hoping we might be two of four passengers.
When Bernard, the operator, arrived, he had five other passengers in the vehicle and it was intended that Melon and I be numbers 6 and 7. A disagreement then ensued during which I reminded him that I had received an assurance that he would take no more than 6 passengers and he pointed out that he was licensed to take 7. I pointed out that I was a tourist and not a sardine and declined to go. He departed.
Melon and I were moping around feeling miserable shortly afterwards and I was wondering what we were going to do with the day when the telephone rang at the reception desk of the motel. The receptionist informed us that it was the tour operator who had recalled his employee from his day off and they would be taking two Land Cruisers. He would be back to pick us up in about 15 minutes. I had my doubts about how pleasant it would be since we had obviously got off on the wrong foot. I need not have worried; there was no trace of rancour only understanding, a professional welcome and a dry sense of humour. It is just impossible to stay angry at someone who is big enough to do that. There would be few men bigger than this man. If the roles were reversed, I doubt if I would have had the maturity to do what he did.
The guided tour through the rain forest was just magnificent and the knowledge of the tour operator both in terms of where to go and also in knowledge of the natural history of the area was faultless. There were numerous short walks accompanied by his explanations of what we were seeing. The only downside was caused by my bone-headed neglect to bring showerproof clothing on a rain forest tour - DUH.
The gourmet lunch prepared by Bernard and his employee under a shelter in the forest with a selection of Tasmanian cheeses, barbequed seatrout and fillet steak together with beer and/or Tasmania wines and soft drink was an experience in itself.
I consider myself pretty hard to please as a tourist but I have to say that a visit to that part of Tasmania would be incomplete without going on that day tour. You could spend weeks fossicking around by yourself without finding all the spots he took us to and then you would not have the fascinating explanations that he could provide.
I only wish I could post some pics from this tour but the only one I could coax out of my camera was this one and my camera was then kaput without even a sigh. There is nothing particularly good about the picture either, it is just a view we passed on the way to the rain forest.
The North of Tasmania is not quite as spectacular as the West but still well worth exploring. Before we left the Isle we made a little foray into the North East around Scotsdale. That area to was lovely but the East is going to have to wait until another day. I hear it is lovely.
After returning to the mainland by ferry it was off home along the coastal route from Melbourne to Adelaide and then home to Perth I wish I could record the journey here but there is no point without pictures.
Before leaving this travelogue I have one more indulgence. While riding motor cycles for long distances along pretty straight roads boredom starts to be a problem. I cannot claim much (any?) prowess at writing poetry but since I can print what I like on my own page, I leave you with this verse I created on the way back to Perth.
As I rode across Oz I pondered a while
And an interesting thought brought a smile,
If God were a dreamer
He would dream of a beemer
And angels would travel in style.