We hadn’t visited the penal colony of Port Arthur on our trip, so with this being our last day with the bikes (May 9, 2009) we decided to head down for the tour.
Port Arthur is a 90 minute ride from Hobart and we set out in overcast conditions – the clouds would obviously disappear because, aside from a couple of hours of drizzle on the West Coast, the weather had been perfect.
Our first hitch for the day was heading past the Hobart Airport on our way to the Causeway at Sorell.
A huge backlog of traffic at a standstill indicated an accident ahead – sure enough, a boat being towed hadn’t been secured and it flew off and hit a car.
After a 10 minute wait we were on our way.
Yes ladies, it’s GK – Isn’t he beautiful!
Then the 2nd hitch occurred – those clouds didn’t play according to the script and the rain came. Quite heavy it came, too.
We didn’t like that!
We made it as far as Dunalley, a small fishing village built around a man-made canal.
As we headed over the bridge the Dunalley pub called out to us: “In here lads – there’s a fire, beers and great food!”
We didn’t need to be told twice and pointed the bikes into the carpark – into the pub for a few beers and a counter meal waiting for the rain to let up.
Port Arthur ruins we didn’t get to see
We’d organised with Ian to drop the bikes back at 4.30 pm but with our new plan of not heading down to Port Arthur we hoped to ride straight from Dunalley back to Hobart and drop them off at 3 pm.
Now look, I pride myself on being a loud mouth, don’t care about your feelings, obnoxious Australian idiot.
Riley Starts having An Influence
But bloody Riley has started having a positive influence on me………and I don’t like it one little bit!
Riley is calm. I’m not.
He’s charming. I’m not.
He’s kind. I’m kind of a dickhead.
Everyone loves Riley – he’s absolutely charming, stylish, can fix anything, knows everything, you can even have a lovely conversation with the guy if you want.
Riley’s 2 Fatal Flaws
But he has 2 fatal flaws.
# 1 is very obvious in the photo below – yep, that’s right: He’s bloody ugly!
# 2 is even worse than the first – you see, he’s English!
Riley atop a BMW
Anyway, back to the story about Riley’s unwanted influence…..
Here’s what happened.
I called Ian up to see if we could drop the bikes back early and, believe it or not, I heard myself say this:
“Hello Ian, I was wondering if it would be terribly inconvenient……….”
Yep, that’s right. I said “…..terribly inconvenient….”
Methinks a little less time needs to be spent with Riley or I’ll start showing some manners and start being considerate – and that’s just not me!
Ian assured me it wouldn’t be “terribly inconvenient” and to come on up. So the lads saddled up and back to Hobart we rode.
Dropped The Bikes Off
After dropping the bikes off to Ian and having a bit of a yarn with his lovely partner Helen (and thank you Helen for saying I was the funniest one of the group. As you said to me quietly that day, “The others don’t seem that smart……”), Ian was good enough to drop the 6 of us back at our hotel in his van.
Like I say here, fantastic service from a great bloke.
Once the lads had a shower and shave, we headed off for dinner at Annapurna, an Indian restaurant in the groovy section of North Hobart. The food was plentiful and beautiful.
From there we headed to the Republic Bar (this used to be called the Empire Hotel when I was a kid growing up in nearby Wignall St – it got its fame from being the place ex-Test cricketer and author Max Walker grew up in).
After that it was a whirlwind of booze, bars and broads for the lads……….oh wait, that was just me!
Most of the lads, and I won’t be naming names, were tucked up in bed by 11 pm whilst a couple of the lads staggered back to The Quest in the wee hours.
And that was the Tassie Bike Tour of ’09.
But wait, we haven’t left yet and getting to the airport on time presented its own challenges!
Stay tuned for the wrap up.