Lets start with a throw back to Waratah because something very special happened. I went out after dark with a lure and actually caught a brown trout in the reservoir. First time ever for a freshwater fish for me. Very happy. I ate it for breakfast the next day and was blown away by how delicious it was. I actually went out early the next morning and caught another, but since I seem to be the only one here who eats fish, I threw it back.
Next big thing.— Stop reading if you’re easily scared or a worry wart or you can’t handle high drama.— Ok just us left? We had to drive from Waratah to Launceston. There was two ways to go. One was north to retrace our steps by going past Ulverstone and near Devonport and then dropping down to Lonnie (that’s what us locals call Launceston), and the other way was to go east over some windy roads back past Cradle Mountain, over a range and down through Sheffield then over to the big L (no one calls it the big L’ just me). Anyway we had the water tanks full because the Waratah camp could not guarantee us a watered and powered site, so we filled the tanks before we left Stanley. However we lucked in and got a site with power and water so didn’t need to use our own water. I did consider draining the tanks before we left Waratah but I thought no she’ll be right I have enough other stuff to do and where will I put over 100 litres of water anyway. The road was pretty as a picture and windy as corkscrew as long as the corkscrew had 60 metre drops at it’s edges. We did a lot of climbing up narrow windy roads that seemed to never end and on our way up one particularly steep part the car lost all power. It didn’t conk out, it just wound down and was on this 45 degree hill, just around this corner, in the middle of the road idling away. It’s a special feeling being out near Bumseat West, around a blind corner, on a narrow road that you’ve just seen huge semi-trailers hurtling down, gripping the steering wheel with your foot flat to floor going nowhere. I didn’t like that feeling and I have to admit I didn’t handle it well, I believe I might’ve sworn in front of the poor children. At the time I was thinking—well they’ll probably be rammed by a truck soon, so they’ll forget all about the swearing. Monja got out and guided me as I let the whole thing roll back to a tiny flat spot at the edge of the road that was about 10 metres behind us. Mum would say that god had put it there, but my reply would be why didn’t he just stop the bleeding car from losing power? Any way I kind of managed to get most of the van on that bit but if one of those trucks had have come past we would’ve had trouble. Within two minutes of us getting it out of the way two helpful passers by had stopped to watch the impending horror. NO, only joking, they were actually the most helpful people ever. One lady got her phone out and was ready to make a call in case we didn’t have any signal and the other guy was our knight in shining armour. “Open the bonnet” he says and then put his head under it and sniffs. “Smells like yer gear box is overheated” then he lays on the ground reaches underneath the car and feels the gearbox (I wouldn’t even know where it was) “Yep” he says “that’s got to cool down.” Then the conversation turns to how much weight we are carrying— ahh the water tanks are full! The poor car is having to pull this heavy lump up these hills and having the same lump pushing down round every curve while I’m riding the brake with all I’ve got and shutting eyes when these huge trucks are going the other way. I opened the bottom drains on the tanks and left the car idling so the fan would cool it down. Our rescuer was named Adam and he was a bus driver on his way home from a job. He told us we were only five minutes from the crest of the mountain and it was all downhill form there. He stayed with us and took the kids and Monja in his car (to reduce the weight in ours) and insisted on following the car to the nearest town once I got it going again. Again mum might say god sent him. And on this point I might not argue so hard, as, if he wasn’t an angel, his actions we certainly angelic. So apart from our psyches being slightly damaged, everything else was just fine and we had a long stop in Sheffield to eat a pie, drink a coffee and recover our senses. Lovely little town by the way.
We had a real treat in Lonnie as the Montagues were there on holiday. How lovely it was to have some other familiar, lovely kids to keep ours entertained and distracted. We met up at a cool little coffee shop and spent the day going through museums and art galleries with a kid focussed lunch at the lair of the evil, multinational clown.
The next day we went to the quaint little cottage they were renting in historic Evandale (a heck of a lot of towns in Tassie start with the descriptor ‘Historic’) and went for a drive. First to Lilydale, where we had a delightful little stroll to see the falls, and had a very scrummy and reasonably priced lunch, then we motored back to Cataract Falls to see the peacocks and ride the chairlift.
The kids both had a fantastic time with the Montague kids, especially Lou who loved playing with Stella and acting the big sister for the cuteness overload which is little Bonnie. It really was so good to have a break from each other. It gets pretty claustrophobic when you’re moving every few days and living with just the family in such a compact environment. Thank you Nic and Connor, you guys are the best.