The alarm woke me at 6am, about an hour before we were due to dock. I slept surprisingly well, considering that all the cabins around mine were all night making the sounds of "blergh! *flush*" I found the gentle rocking of the 3 metre swell quite soothing. I don't understand some people.
"Flush" really doesn't convey the alarming sounds a ship's toilets make. It's more like "fluSUCKksh gurgle." Last night I heard the noisy and excited kid from across the hall use the one in their cabin. "fluSUCKksh gurgle. WAAAAAAH! MUMMY MUMMY! WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!" Oh good, I thought. The toilet has eaten her. But alas no, it just scared the crap out of her. Which was handy, it being a toilet and everything.
I went up to the deck for an early morning constitutional. The night was still dark so I didn't take my camera. Night? Morning! Who invented 6am? The bastards! The eastern sky was just bright enough to see the horizon, and still dark enough to see the lights of some fishing boats making their nightly catch. The horizon and boat lights went up and down, up and down, up and down, up and down... I took a deep breath. AH! Time for breakfast.
There were few people in the bistro. I don't understand why.
The ferry entered the Mersey River at 6.30, and by 7am we were dock-side. The car was on deck G6, so I knew I'd be the last to be called and therefore did not panic when the call came to go to the garage. I finished breakfast (dumped 1/2 a cup of bad coffee), wandered up to my cabin and finished packing. Eventually I wandered down to the car, drove off the ferry and straight into the quarantine queue. While I waited I turned Ada on and waited while she freaked out and had us going sideways up Hoddle Street until she got her bearings. The AQIS officer asked if I was carrying (in order of dangerousness) fruit, vegetables, dairy products, animals, explosives, firearms or ammunition. No? Thank you, drive on. Time to find a good coffee, but I had to settle on a McCafe. Oh well, it was drinkable.
The Ferry across the Mersey, and the Devonport Lighthouse
While taking the lighthouse photos I was accosted by a strange person. Now this happens to me a lot and I don't know why. It happened in Emerald Lakes during my anorak moment while taking photos of the Puffing Billy train. A Japanese lady saw me taking photos and questioned me at length about my camera, which is a Canon. Built in Japan. This time it happened as I was lining up the lighthouse.
"Excuse me!" she called as she jogged over.
"While I was doing my stretching exercises, God spoke to me and asked me to say to you 'Be at peace.'"
I stared at her, then gave her my brightest, happiest smile. "Thank you! Thank you very much," I said while thinking Please Go Away. "That's kind of you to... uh... pass on the message. Thank you."
She smiled and jogged away.
Good grief. I really am a looper magnet.
So, caffeined up and weirded out, I headed south along the Midland Highway. Devonport to Hobart is about 250km; a long haul by Tasmanian standards but a quick trip by mine. I took it easy and stopped at a few places to look at stuff. There was also a short diversion to Ross, which upset Ada.
Eventually I hit Hobart and headed to Uncle Milan's cafe in Moonah. He has excellent accommodation upstairs, and Split Cafe ("A Taste Of The Adriatic") is downstairs. Milan's goulash, Nada's cooking and Paul's coffee and chai latte make staying there an exceedingly pleasant time.
That afternoon I headed up to Mt Wellington to get photos and to try to look windswept and interesting. I got the windswept part right, and turned blue.
Then it was a relaxing drive through the country until dinner time.
Milan has been trying to "teach you Australians how to eat properly" since he arrived here from Slovenia in the mid 60s. He might be succeeding with the goulash. I tried some.
"Guess what herbs and spices are in it!" he said.
"Uh. Chillie," I mumbled while trying not to breathe through my nose in case my sinuses turned inside out.
He looked surprised. "Well... okay. I suppose I might have over-done that this time. I'll make a mild one tomorrow"
His cafe is getting quite a few customers because none of them have heard of half the things on the menu. I know what they are because I've known Milan for years. One poor pair of uni students read down the list of steak dishes, lamb dishes, and fish dishes. "What's goulash?"
"Beef stew," said Milan.
"Spicey rissoles." I realised Milan had been hearing these questions a lot and had Ozzed up the answers.
"Smoked pork sausage with the right sort of fat that doesn't melt when you cook it."
The pair of students went a little pale. "Uh, I'll have a hot chocolate," said one.
Milan looked genuinely shocked. "But... but there's no meat in that!"
And so full of goulash, good coffee and Cascade Draught Ale, I went to bed.