Covid did its absolute best to ruin this event, but it didn’t count on the resolve of clubbie drivers. It became pretty obvious that this was going to be a really good event when we all gathered in the bar after boarding the Spirit. A night sailing leaving on Sunday 21st had us in Devonport very early on Monday morning, For some obscure reason, small cars are last off the ferry and then we had to queue for ages to get through covid testing before being met outside by Rod (ex Queenslander and now local resident.)
Rod and his wife had prepared a breakfast fit for a king at his property at Bakers Beach, a short but exhilarating drive from the ship. It was another sign of things to come. We also found out that Rod had found another local (that’s a relative term) person and he and his wife joined the group. The plan was to have breakfast and set off for Hobart. To say the mood was relaxed is an understatement, but we did eventually set off to start the event proper. There were 8 cars in the convoy – 2 from S.A, 1 from Qld., 2 from Vic., 1 from ACT. and 2 locals. It goes without saying that we took the scenic route to Hobart. On arrival at the motel that we would be using for the next 3 days we were greeted by Pat Cullinane from Hobart and a local clubbie owner and his wife and S.I.L who offered to put on a BBQ the following night.
Tuesday dawned and the NTN (un)planning started in earnest. A run to Franklin was agreed and the most exhilarating route determined. While there are no rules on these runs, everyone kept the car in front, and more importantly, the car behind in view. I was in a group of 3 and when we stopped in Franklin was amazed when a local ran across the street and asked, “how much should he ask to sell his car”. He owned a Tiger with a blacktop motor in case you are interested. The run back was a little disjointed although those in front had the good sense to stop at Willie Smiths Cidery…. while the rest caught up. That evening we enjoyed the hospitality of the locals, who put in a fantastic effort. Fortunately they lived within walking distance of our motel.
As Wednesday was to be the last day in Hobart, we thought it only right to do the tourist thing and have a look at the city from the top of Mount Wellington. The road to the summit is a bit rustic in parts, and it is easy to get held up by slow cars, as did happen and led to one of our group offering some advice on “slow car etiquette” – all was resolved amicably… We had enquired about getting a run around Baskerville, but had not heard back from them. Undeterred we headed over to the track only to find it all locked up. Ever onwards we headed over to Richmond for lunch before returning to the motel and a dinner of Pizza for our last meal in Hobart. Tomorrow, it’s the transfer back to Launceston.
An early start was required as we had a big day in front of us, with a run up the East Coast to Bicheno for fuel and on to St Hellens for lunch. Once again doddery old Camry drivers slowed some down, but we all got there and enjoyed a fish & Chip lunch.
From the time we drove off the SoT, the weather had been superb, even to the extent that I picked up a bit of sunburn. However, the forecast for this day was for showers coming in from the west late in the day. We set off for Scottsdale and the weather was still holding, however shortly into this leg, there was a little misty spots to be seen on the windscreen. The road was fantastic (as have all the roads we have been on thus far and we pressed on. The further we went, the worse the rain got, and big puddles were not adding to the conditions. We eventually got to a fully exposed ridge, and Huey sent down his worst. Pelting rain laced with a fair quantity of hail coming in on a 45-degree angle made for a test of resolve. We made it to Scottsdale somewhat wet, and the newcomer who joined us at the first breakfast happened to live about 8 minutes drive away, and generously invited s to his place to dry off. By the time we arrived the rain had all but stopped so the decision was to press on to our base for the next couple of days. It was not long before we were driving under clear blue skies…