Upon arrival into Hobart we all had our bags and crotches sniffed by government employed beagles, and no they didn’t find a random apple on me. The airport workers are very friendly down here, we got a big hello from the peeps at the coffee shop on the way out of the gate.
Hobart is a little airport that has cool Tassie icons made out of brass and beautiful carved wood seats. The “hike” over to Britz to pick up the camper was a fence jumping experience…. two of them! But once we got over there, Gerry and Sporty signed up to drive the Mercedes camper van. There were absolutely no arguments from Posh and I. We were quite happy to sit up the back and talk shit or sleep…. OR interject when some common sense and logic were really needed.
The girls got a walk through by a very dry Tasmanian woman who had a fantastic slow Occa ‘Strayan’ accent. At first I thought she was a mate of Posh’s from Charleville… who else would have an accent THAT thick! Posh didn’t claim her!
The girls got the walk through with a German couple. The German lady asked one very simple question, “How do you empty the waste water”. She was promptly shut down by Ms Occa of the year, “I haven’t GOT to that part yet”. And she continued on with her scripted explanation.
Gerry listened intently during the quick tour and familiarisation of the camper van and she treated it like she was doing her pre-start checks on a boat. We were all called in for a run down on the loo. Before you use it, you’ve got to put this green stuff in it. We declared pretty quickly that there was to be NO number 2’s whatsoever! Only number 1 wees. Apparently, the loo would last 2 days before we’d have to find a dump point and the water tank would need a top up about the same.
Once the run through was all over, Posh asked this very valid question, “Have you ever driven a big bus like this before Gerry”?
Gerry, “Naa, I haven’t”.
It was at this point that I went immediately to a flash back from October last year in Bali. Gerry had confidently marched up to this Balinese boy and hired a moped. The paper work got signed up and it dawned on me that I’d never heard about her EVER riding a motorbike let alone a moped. So Iasked, “So have you ever ridden a motorbike”.
Scary, “What? You’re telling me this NOW”.
Gerry pottered off down the footpath and threw her leg over a bike. She had to ask, “How do you turn it on”? “How do you make it go?” and finally, “Which one is the brake”? Then the Balinese boy had to point out that the kick stand had to be up for it to kick into gear and GO FORWARD! About 10 minutes later Gerry almost put me through a chain link fence down the main street of Ubud… There was lots of ‘Scary’ yelling! I’ll save the sensitive ears out there as to what I actually said from the dinky seat.
Anyway, so Gerry got in the driver’s seat and got her bearings…
The campervan was automatic so not that hard to drive, just LONG! Gerry did seem to get her campervan bearings and pivot points pretty quickly. Happy days! The campervan was a little worn and tired in places, but it was clean. The newer models do cost more but there was absolutely nothing wrong with our ‘Britz Beast’!
And we were OFF! Gerry the captain and Sporty as the Navie (Navman) in the front; and Posh and I as the back-seat drivers. Sporty made a bee-line for a coffee shop that she had already done a few visits to – Jackson and McRoss Bakers. Gerry was driving the Britz Beast pretty well until we had to park it up. We ended up down a side street near the Jackman and McRoss. Her first attempt took out a maple tree branch, after a few “GERRY you’re taking the tree out STOP! She conceded defeat, drove up the road for a 5-point turn and found a stop that was clear of trees… and cars. Sporty jumped out to direct Gerry into the park like a good Navie and our parking abilities brought in a little
audience. When Posh and I opened the side door a little old European bloke was standing there with a smile on his face and asked where we were from and where we were travelling to. He was a campervan Pro! He owned one and said he’d just come home and ‘we’d be right after some practice’.
Gerry vowed that next time she wouldn’t park so far away from the gutter! It was worth the park because Jackman and McRoss Bakers were THE BOMB. We sat in for some pies and a really good cuppa. The pies were homemade, there were actual chunks of lamb in the pie. The display cabinet had a variety of pastries and we got some to go… which took a while because there were so many decisions!
We pitched a bit too far for our first day. We had aimed for Eddystone Point in the beginning and ended up at St Helens. The one thing that we found in Tassie is that it’s not comparable to Queensland roads. If in Queensland it says 88km, you’d normally guess that’d be about an hour drive… BECAUSE all of our roads are pretty much straight. 88km in Tassie can take up to 2 hours because the roads are anything BUT straight and, on some hills, the “Britz Beast” was under the whip… even with Gerry the lead foot driving!