After leaving Launceston, I felt we were thrown into the Tasmanian twilight zone. Brunie, Wynyard, Rosebery, and Zeehan were but specs on the map, and tiny “sweet” restroom stops along the drive. I was struck by how much the area reminded me The towns villages grew smaller. The distance between the towns was considerably longer, and I couldn’t find a coffee shop for the life of me. I half expected some little man playing the banjo to greet us as we motored west through little towns along Highway A10.
The radio reception stopped working. At various points along the way we could pick up either an Israeli talk station or theTasmanian political-voice-your-opinion-in-a-very-monotone-voice radio station. There were several adds and invitations for quilting bees and line dancing lessons on both channels. At one point, we seriously considered attending one of cooking and canning lessons in the little town of Zeehan. What one will do for a little excitement in Tasmania.
One rainy (it’s always raining) afternoon we stopped outside of Zeehan at the “Tasy Tourist Center” to inquire as to when the heck the rain was going to stop, and ask for recommendation for what tourists actually do when it rains non-stop on their “adventure vacation.” The tourist center looked like a house, so we walked up to the front entrance and rang the bell. A sweet gray haired lady answered the door, holding an equally gray haired poodle. She kindly informed us that the reception office was around back, wished us a pleasant evening, and slammed the door in our faces. Odd? A little. But we shrugged and made our way through the bushes and over the wire fence to the fuchsia painted, plastic garage door. Yes, RECEPTION was clearly painted across the top. I buzzed the bell and we proceeded to spend five minutes stamping our feet like horses to stay warm while various thumps and bangs came from inside the ‘office’. Guess who finally popped out from the raised door? She had taken the time to add a scarf to her leopard print pajamas and slapped on some orange lipstick, but it was our dear lady from the front door. Her attempts at fashion were much appreciated, especially since she was just smiled and said, “my, you girls look cold and wet.” Bless her sweet, pajama clad, little heart.
We tried to be strong bushwalking explorers…but the rain won the battle in the end. We couldn’t take photos, stay warm to last through a hike, and were having serious issues with the heat inside of Deedee. One evening we had enough with the hard core, back of the car camping and huddled by a roaring fire in Strahan, a quiet fishing village on the west coast. We came in with intentions to dry off by the fire before moving onward. However, we soon started conversing with some local, boisterous sailors. After a dozen pints of Boags beer, additional logs on the fire, and some Abba in the background, we decided to spend the night in good ol’ Strahan. Many of the sailors kindly offered their boats to us for the evening. Their offers were temping but we declined and spent the night in the deserted carpark down the road. When we awoke the next morning and stiffly climbed out of DeeDee’s trunk with our sleeping bags and various paraphernalia, the entire carpark was crowded with the day’s entourage of farmer’s market displays and fruit buying locals. Just another day on the road, huh?