Day 67: Strahan to Devonport

Photos to follow


This morning I went with the flow, but it’s flowing on the Gordon river into the most remote wilderness untouched by man. We went out of the harbour area through a very narrow gap which is quite treacherous to enter when the sea is rough. Today was plain sailing with the sun shining and no wind. My seat was in the middle of the boat downstairs with Peter and Jan travelling in “business class” upstairs. Jan came looking for me and on my visit upstairs Peter, whose got a great sense of humour, said something to the effect that he summed me up as a man with money but that he was clearly wrong. Had a good laugh that the lady at the info centre thought I wouldn’t have enough and didn’t give me the option. On my second visit upstairs I was politely asked to leave. Peter said he called security but Jan felt sorry for me and smuggled out cheese and biscuits.🤣

When going up the river the reflection of the trees were spectacular in the still, clear, brown water. This area is well known for its Huon Pine trees that grow very old. They said this one was over 1000 years.

At the turnaround point deep into the river, there’s a rainforest where we went on a guided walk. Small things were pointed out and never before saw mushrooms shaped like this. And beautiful little flowers produce a very special type of honey.

On the way back Jan and I had a deep conversation about life and how it’s not always plain sailing. Amazing how quickly you can emotionally connect with likeminded people. Peter said he loves Billy Connolly and we both reminisced about his tour of Australia on a trike many years ago. That also subconsciously played a roll of choosing Australia as a biking destination for me. Peter remembered a joke of Billy’s. He said it gets so cold in Scotland that the next morning when you wake up there’s a small little ice cube lying next to you and when you throw it in the fire after a while it goes “poof!!!l” and the whole room stinks! 🤣. Maybe it’s because we were both rugby players that we cherish a bit of toilet humour. Had some lovely salmon for lunch (yes, they do feed the poor diwnstairs as well!), visited Sarah Island where the prisoners lived in very poor conditions and floggings were common. Whole tour and experience of the island expertly presented by an actor. Very well done.

When you walk away from there you certainly cherish freedom and to have choices in life and execute on it. Once there, they didn’t have many and misery was bestowed on them. A story that stuck was a hanging that took place. Three guys from the island got sentenced to death in Hobart and were returned for the execution to teach the other prisoners a lesson. The whole hanging procedure apparently turned into a carnival atmosphere with laughter and singing and the condemned kicking their boots into the crowd shouting damn the devil! Maybe they had choices after all with pain a definite but suffering optional. But life must certainly have been misery if you’re looking forward to your death. Just for the record, no further hangings took place there after that party.

Docked back at 2.30, got geared up and left for Devonport. The ride was again absolute bliss and almost a copy of the day before. I only stopped once for a splash and dash (and this didn’t involve a petrol pump) plus a redbull and a rollie next to a bridge. I don’t know how many gear changes I made, but sometimes my arms were getting stiff with all the changing and breaking. When I saw a little bit of a straight it was bliss to relax for a moment and then it was again full-on attention needed with skills tested. Arrived at the overnight ferry for Melbourne at 5.30, gave the bike a hug and after dumping my bags in the cabin, I celebrated with a Moo Broo pale ale (almost same as a Coopers) but this time a little gin on the side as a chaser. The adrenaline was pumping big time for quite a while. Arranged with Sarge and Brooke to meet up the next evening in Melbourne with another couple. Listened with only 4 other people to a guy playing live music while having my dinner. He was really good. Wondered what it feels like if you’re really talented, good enough to fill a hall and only 4 people turn up. He gave it his all and I clapped as loud as I could. It doesn’t cost anything to show appreciation and he appreciated it.

Had a final rollie and glass of Tassie Pinot Noir on deck and the ship gently rolled me to sleep  😴

What a day!




One thought on “Day 67: Strahan to Devonport”

  1. Pete and I enjoyed your company so much,Klaas. Love reading your blog and wish you a safe trip home with the wind at your back all the way 😍😍

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