Tasmania Trip 2013 Day 1

Friday 8th Feb

This was to be an epic travelling day needing a ridiculously early start, rising at 1.30am, and reaching our destination in Hobart Tasmania at 1.30pm. A direct flight, had it been available, would have had us there in one hour flying time! We could have flown to Singapore in the same amount of travelling time.

We hit the road at 2.30am and made the two and a half hour drive to the Adelaide Airport by 5am ready for our 6-30am flight.  The bag drop was simple since we had done our check in online. This flight was on time although the pilot made a harsh touch down in Melbourne at 8-15am.

Unfortunately we had a two and a half hour delay in Melbourne for the Tasmanian leg and this was exacerbated by a passenger’s non-appearance, causing a further 35 minute delay while his bags were unloaded. Eventual take off was 11-50 after an 11-15 schedule. We finally landed in Hobart at 1-30pm.

The next task was to locate the Britz hire depot to collect our camper, not hard to find but a 1km walk from the terminal. Would have been nice if they had picked us up since they knew our flight and was some effort to drag all our luggage that distance.

By the time all the paperwork was finalised and we finished orientation we left the depot at 2.30pm. The destination was a nearby caravan park for the night since we planned to go to the Salamanca Markets next morning. Here came the first snag, unbeknown to us this weekend was a long weekend for the Hobart Cup Horse racing and a biennial event ” Wooden Boat Regatta” as well as the Launceston Festivale. Finding a vacant place in a caravan park was turning into a more difficult assignment than we had expected.

On the way out of town we came across a massive accident where a car appeared to have fallen from an upper level road over a cliff onto the road below. Rescue services were everywhere trying to free passengers and it didn’t look good, very unsettling. We had only just commented that Tasmanian drivers appeared to be quite reckless and impatient. This was supported again later in the weekend.

Eventually we made it to Richmond, about an hour north of Hobart. This was not a bad park in a pretty setting overlooking the township of Richmond. We managed to park the van in the appropriated site after brushing a small tree branch and losing a piece of flashing high on the right rear of the motorhome. Picked it up and stowed it away and after checking the prior damage report found that it was marked as previously damaged so that relieved the anxiety of any insurance issues. There would probably not have been any because I had taken out full liability protection to take care of such an eventuality.

Once settled we had a look around the park which was well occupied, due to the long weekend and found that it was not doing too well and was awaiting a Mortgagee sale later in February.

To relieve the travel we stress we visited the Richmond Arms for a quiet drink and a meal. The barman here had never heard of a Portergaff and you immediately realise that same country doesn’t always mean things are the same. The weather, however, was almost identical to South Australia with no rain for the past 2 months and the entire state looked brown and dry to me with dozen of bushfires across the island.

I felt the stress of this day’s travel once I finally sat down to relax. Hopefully the trip to Salamanca Markets next morning would be less stressful.

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