Saturday, June 24, 2017

To Tasmania!

Finally, after what seems like days on the plane (oh, was) we arrived in Melbourne. Our friend Campbell picked us up at the airport in our recently repaired ute and we spent the night with him and Janeen. The next day, we headed into the Melbourne to kill some time at the movies (saw My Cousin Rachel...very good; worth a look) and board the Spirit of Tasmania for the 10.5 hour crossing to Devonport, Tasmania.

The boarding process started at 4:30 with inspecting vehicles for contraband produces, weapons, and such. Shortly after 5:00 we were driving onto the very large ferry and taking our position for the evening.

Once parked on deck 6, we took an overnight bag and headed to the accommodations on deck 7. Here we found not only our room but two movie theaters, a couple bars, a place to get packaged food, game rooms, and lots of places to sit.

We enjoyed our time with a glass of Tasmanian cider (and wine). Very good.

Shortly before we got underway, I went outside to get a view of the city. It is now around 7 pm (we sail at 7:30) and it is quite dark. Once we leave port, there is really nothing more to see.

Outside, there is support structure of the ship and the lifeboats. The only folks out here are smokers since this is the only place to go if you want to smoke.

Inside we had a very comfortable room...clean, quite and warm. We got an outside room with a porthole but there is really no point. There is nothing to see in the winter time during a night crossing except darkness.

We awoke about 5:00 am (jet lag and all that), had a nice hot shower and dressed. After a sandwich and coffee we were called to our ute about 6:30 or so and we headed into a very dark Tasmania. Without the GPS we'd never have even the remotest clue where we were.

But now, finally, we were in Tasmania. From being dropped at the Northwest Arkansas Airport on Sunday afternoon, we'd flown about 19 hours, crossed the international dateline, spent the night in Mount Macedon, and taken an overnight ferry to Tasmania. It was now Thursday. Three days of travel and one day lost with the dateline crossing. This is the most remote place we've ever been.

Of course, Devonport is not our destination. We then spent all day driving south.