Campervan pecking order – St.Helens, Tasmainia

So in every newly formed ‘hen house’ with chooks from different ‘zones’, it’s important that a pecking order is established… for survival!

From the ”Chook Roost” (Campervan) pick up Sporty and Gerry signed up as the drivers and perched up in the front of the van.  So initially they thought they were No.1 and No.2 in the pecking order because they had established themselves and driver and navie.  They took early control!  Both of them, up front in the cab making decisions and talking between themselves.  We couldn’t hear a thing in the back because the gas stove rattled like a 2-year-old trapped in a pots and pans cupboard.  

Then all of a sudden, the van would pull up when we were mid conversation. Visibility in the back is also pretty limited so we had no clue where we were even pulling up.

Our first road trip pit stop was when we pulled up at Wicked Cheese. Sporty/No. 2 got out into a swarm of mozzies. And we sat in the back watching her trying to get in the back door… when she realised it was locked and there was no way we were letting her AND a swarm of mozzies inside she took off running around the camper van.

Posh and I sat in the back laughing and all we heard was, “BITCHES”.

The random pull overs happened all the way to St. Helens. No. 1 and No. 2 would get out of the car and wander off with us still in the back…

Posh, “What are we doing”?

Me/Scary, “I dunno. Did they say anything”?

Posh, “Na…. (calling out) What are you bitches doing”? (Bitches being a term of endearment for this trip… but maybe not when Sporty was trapped outside with a swarm of mozzies).

Gerry, “I need a pee and I thought we’d have a look and get some cheese”.

Poor old Posh (she’s actually the youngest of us) ended up putting her boots on 4 times for the random stops to St. Helens. After the fourth time she gave up and just kept them on.

So the rest of the pecking order was No. 3 (Me/Scary) and No.4 Posh. I made No. 3 because I wasthe ‘Indian Runner Hen’ because Posh would say, “Get up there and ask ‘em what they’re doing”? or “Get up there and tell ‘em we reckon ….. (blah blah blah)”.  Which worked… so firm alliances and pecking orders were established on the first day to St. Helen’s.

My other job was to research a camp spot and call ahead to book in. I used the “thl Roadtrip” app they recommended at Britz Hire and Posh mainly smashed google and we’d work out the best spots to pull up. We had criteria to fill… which was a very important job:

  1. It had to be a powered site (but not essential).
  2. It had to be close to walking distance to pubs/restaurants.
  3. And finally, it had to look like it wasn’t a scene out of the movie, “Deliverance” OR it was run by a creepy “Sweet Tranvestite” from the Rocky Horror Show, an ordinary Transvestite would have been fine… just maybe not a creepy beefcake, Craig McLachlan kinda one.

Anyway, I called ahead to the Big 4 at St. Helens and they ticked our 3 criteria. They had a powered site for the 4 of us – $64.00 bucks. They gave us a flyer to the “Wharf Kitchen and Bar” and of course they were in walking distance.

Gerry parked the Britz Beast up and we were listing like a boat over to one side. Sporty and Gerryplugged us in and set us up for the night. Posh and I started setting up the inside and putting backpacks and bags away into pockets and shelves around the place.

The amenities at the Big 4 at St. Helens were awesome, clean hot showers and a big play area for kids and they even had a massive pumped up jumping thing.

THEN we rugged up and walked down to the little harbour to the ‘Wharf Kitchen and Bar”. When we got there we had to scamper through a serious meeting of locals who were funnily enough talking about tourism in the area. SO like 4 rats we got to the back of the restaurant and our waiter James served us.

This was when Posh and I really recognised that a No.1 and No.2 alliance was at play! 

Posh and I chatted to James and he asked what beer we’d like, and I got flirty and said to him, “Well, we’re in Tassie and ‘cause your name sake is James, we’ll have to go James Boags of course”.  This got a smile out of him and he was happy for a chat. Sporty and Gerry ordered a Red wine and James left the table.

The conversation then went to what sort of fish they were offering with their special and Gerry says, “Well just ask Justin”.

Scary, “Who’s Justin”? Posh simultaneously, “Who”?

Gerry with a look of total certainty says, “The waiter guy”.

Scary, “His name is James”.

Posh, “Where were you a minute ago”

Scary, “That was the flirty joke about James Boags, ‘cause his name was James”.

Sporty, “We didn’t hear that”!

Gerry, “When did you say that”?

Posh, “Ahh see No. 1 and No. 2, not up with 3 and 4. Ya just all up in your own conversations”.

And so, the pecking order gags started!  Posh and I decided that we’d try and overthrow 1 and 2 the next day to get up the pecking order. We figured the two city chicks would end up losing to a challenge from two South-West Queensland Bush chooks.

James came back to take our orders for dinner, and he was on for a chat about how he ended up in Tassie and we told him we were from Queensland and he said, “Oh ok, that explains a lot”! We were not quite sure how to take that, or maybe we just stood out against the quieter (slightly weird) Chinese tourists at the other table.

The food was very fresh and exceptional. We had oysters and bread as entrees. For mains Gerry had pork belly, Sporty had the market fish, Posh had Asparagus and some other veggie dish and I tried the Gummy Shark for the first time. Gummy Shark wasn’t anything like flake, it was beautiful white fleshy fish.  We rolled home after dinner, full to the brim with food and wine.

Oysters 3 ways! At the Wharf Bar and Kitchen.

Now getting to bed was like a second full time job…

I set up Sporty’s and Posh’s beds. Sporty was on the forward seats and her bed was rather easy.

Posh’s on the other hand was rather difficult. It’s wasn’t a princess and the pea; it was more like Posh and the puzzle! The seat cushions didn’t make sense and were all different heights. Once we go it as best we could, I climbed up into the loft bed, Scary and my bunk and I found two flat cushions would have fitted to make Poshs bed properly… so we thought for sure we’d nail it the next night.

We were all in bed early at 9.30pm, we were all pretty stuffed from a previous late night of wine and Duck and Lychee Curry at Sporty’s place. Sporty’s better half… and I say better half because Jesus Christ she can COOK!

It was very lucky that we went to bed so early because at 12.30am………