I've told a little porky here - to tell the truth we're not in Tassie anymore, we crossed the straight yesterday and I'm sitting in Melbourne waiting for the washing machine to do its work.
Yes our 2012/13 accidental Taswegian Tour has ended. It has been a very successful tour, nothing serious went wrong and importantly we kept the rubber side down and made it back to the boat in one (alright, two) piece(s).
Highlights of our tour were meeting the people along the way - I have already mentioned in previous blogs some of the new friendships forged along the way, and culminating with catching up with some long term family friends previously from Albany and now living in Davenport - great to see you again John & Judy.
While we appreciated the wilderness areas we passed through, Sandi and I enjoyed the less advertised and more multi use areas of the state this trip. The north east around Scottsdale was beautiful. We were fortunate to visit Bicheno a week before the fires although the wind was pretty strong and I expressed concern then for the houses built in the bush on hillsides.
Our hurried approach to Hobart was rewarded when the Sydney to Hobart line honors winner crossed the line in front of us.
My Wellington was special and the region south of Hobart was lovely.
New years eve was spent at Derwent bridge in a little comfort and the next day saw us ride from there to Strachan largely in the rain - the rain is your friend, as they say - certainly made for a smooth ride.
The Fatman took us across the Pieman and we explored the Western Explorer, rougher than described in my atlas but still great.
We clung to 'the edge of the world' at Arthur River where the driftwood is substantial and Sandra thought the dunny was 'great'!
The road to Smithton was one of my favourites with a loaded bike, and featured open sweeping corners in the sunshine (friday was 37').
Ye Old B & B was lovely and Dave and I exchanged a few ideas. The riverside walk was too much for Sandra after dinner and keno so I enjoyed it alone.
This time we climbed 'the nut'. At Stanley and it is steeper than it looks.
We rode into boat harbour and considered staying there for good - another lovely place with a sheltered swimming beach and spectacular views.
Saturday we rode around some farming areas enjoying the roads and scenery and visited the Ridgely are late in the day. Circular road is worth a ride and feels like a little European farming district.
Cradle Mountain was too hot and might catch fire so we scurried back to the north coast for the night.
Camped alongside Darren and family and Sandra befriended some of the local mothers (penguins) in the dark.
It was here I scored a few points by taking my lovely wife 4km up the road to the nearest ablution block to save her from 'roughing it' with the rest of us.
Sunday lunch at Katelyn Lodge down at Nietta was a welcome relief from the heat (32 degrees!) about which the locals were exclaiming, before we slithered our way (the tar on the road had melted!) back up through Forth and into Devonport for Judy's fruit mince pies and a comfortable bed in the Avan.
I reckon we'll be back to Tassie, certainly the best Christmas break I can remember for a few years now.
Today we relax (and shop) in Melbourne, then turn the BMW west across 'the paddock' and face up to WA's legendary weather.