Blog 215 The Ups and Downs of Tasmania 17th – 19th March 2012


That evening John and Pina invited the gang over for a meal and luckily for us we were invited too. We were treated to delicious home made Italian food, John lived and worked in Italy as a chef for many years and it was a great evening. John’s shed is part garage, part party room and we were in Italian motorcycle heaven. The dog on Kerry’s lap is Patches (or Patchy booyy) and is the apple of John’s eye, it’s easy to see why.

Paul rang from the ship just before the phone signal cut out  and we all chimed in our goodbyes, he was in for a rough voyage as the forecast was not good.

It was still all go for us, after lunch the next day Kerry suggested a run up Mount Wellington as it looked clear. It was a good call as it was gorgeous up there and we got some great pictures. We collected some spring water on our way up, you can’t get much purer than the water straight off the mountains in Tassie. Wesley came too but had to stay in the car at the very top as it was a national park. We were looking down over Hobart which is built on the mountains foothills, you can see the Tasman bridge in some of the pictures.

At 1271m (4170 ft) Mount Wellington is pretty high and frequently covered in snow even in summer. Like anywhere at altitude the weather is incredibly fickle, we had glorious sunshine for the first couple of hours or so then we could see cloud rolling in and obscuring the view. It was fascinating to watch as were literally enveloped in the cloud ourselves. The last two pictures are Karen and Kerry messing about and a mast that looked a bit like a Saturn rocket, with the cloud swirling in all around it it looked like it was taking off. We were treated to an impromptu singing session inside the viewing building as a group of Kiwi’s who were on a singing and walking holiday just couldn’t resist the acoustics in there.The harmonies were amazing and It sounded fabulous.

The cloud was having all kinds of strange effects as the sun was starting to set behind it.             

How are these for spooky ?

This is the two us on the actual summit and the view from the top. A gaggle of bikers appeared and were looking at the bike so we went down to say hello.

The sunset through the clouds was making for some great pictures, Kerry had the same camera as us and we were trading hint’s and tips the whole time we stayed with her.

As you can see from the pictures Kerry doesn’t behave like a person who was so badly injured she almost died. She is on crutches (most days one crutch) but it has been a seven year battle to get that far, her story is incredibly inspiring. A lifelong motorcyclist she was on her second Himalayan trip in Northern India when she was hit by a car. As a result of this she was knocked off the Enfield Bullet she was riding and landed in the road, this in itself wasn’t that serious but what happened next was. She was then run over by a truck which couldn’t stop, the truck went right over her pelvis smashing it into multiple pieces and causing massive internal injuries. All of this was in front of her husband and co riders, she then had to endure a ride in a van to the local clinic and months in various Indian hospitals before she could be stabilised enough to be flown home. The specialist in Melbourne shook his head when he saw the damage but they managed to do a cat scan of the remains of her pelvis and make a 3D model of it so they could work out how they were going to fix it. The plates and braces were already pre shaped and prepared before the operation so they knew exactly what went were. She is still in touch with the surgeon and team who worked on her and is the only person they have treated with injuries that serious who has survived let alone walked again. Like we said she is an amazing lady !

I couldn’t resist the picture of her taking a picture of us, she then played up for the camera as well, it was lots of fun. We all reckon the orange sunset silhouette of the bike would make a good book cover.

We were still taking pictures on the way down despite the fact it was starting to get dark, it just looked so good.

Throughout our time at Kerry and Paul’s along with having fun we also caught up with blogs, tweeked the bike, made shipping enquiries and organised our trillions of photos. Kerry also ran us into the local town to a sail maker to repair the rip in the tent caused by the tom cat.

This was our next day out along the Huon river via Huonville and Franklin which we stopped for a look at. We lunched at Port Huon and were approached by Chris and his wife from the local radio station Huon FM. He was keen to do an interview with us we agreed to return the next day. The photos are all taken around Franklin village itself.

This is a detour we took to look at police point right alongside the river before doubling back to Glendevie. It was a great spot alongside the river, here the road hugged the coast following the little inlets and beaches.

Then we rode down through Geeveston, Dover, Ida Bay and on to the dirt to the end of the road at Cockle Creek. It seemed to take a long time to get there but   looking at it on google earth you can understand why, it’s a long meandering route, the roads are all tiny and your average speed is quite slow because it’s so wiggly. It was well worth it though.

This is the entrance to the Southwest national park.

The end of the road at Cockle Creek is the most southerly point you can drive to in Australia.The beautiful whale sculpture is a reminder of the fact that this area’s main industry many years ago was whaling. The sculpture is of a three month old southern right whale, so called because they were the right kind of whale for oil and whale products to be made from. They were hunted to near extinction in the Southern Hemisphere, there was once a worldwide population of 100’000 southern right wales even today years after the cessation of hunting there are only estimated to be 2’000 to 3’000 and they are still considered an endangered species. Happily there are now occasional sightings of them back in the river again.

The huge flywheel next to Karen is a relic of an old steam driven sawmill that was operating for a century here. Remarkably in its latter years it was operated by a father and his three daughters as all the men had gone to fight in WW2. That’s quite some feat as the huge tree’s were all felled using crosscuts and axe’s in the bush and hauled out using horses and steam winches.

The last couple of pictures are of Ida Bay Railway, the red diesel train takes people for rides through the bush. Something you don’t see every day is the little orange single train/coach combined. We saw pictures of similar things at Strahan, the manager of the railway had a car that ran on the rail tracks as there were so few roads there then.

We wished in hindsight we had bought the tent with us and camped down there for a day or two as it was a stunning spot but of course it was being repaired in town. As it was we only had a few hours to explore this lovely part of Tasmania before It was time for us to head back home (well Kerry’s home) anyway.

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