Leaving Carol and Bruce’s was tough but they would’ve noticed if we had have just stayed there and stayed there. We lumped the brick on wheels up the midlands highway to a place called Ross (that ‘Friends’ guy has ruined that name for everyone). Ross has a an old bridge, a convict factory that has been pulled down and a few shops including an antique, wood fired oven, bakery that claims to have the best vanilla slice in the world. The sign that proclaims this is written with a felt pen on a plain piece of paper in the handwriting of a cranky teenager. I was suspicious. They looked good though and I am always up for a vanilla slice even if it isn’t the self-proclaimed world’s best. They were indeed above reproach and, although I have not tasted every other vanilla slice in the world, I am willing to say it was the best one I can remember tasting ,with its light, crispy pastry and an almost fluffy, not too sweet filling. I also bought a $5 bag of home-grown apples across the street, bargain.
We left the van hitched to the car as we were only staying one night and it was such a small place, so the next day (after reconnecting with the vanilla slice lady) we headed for Deloraine. We got there in time to walk the street and check out the profusion of crafty galleries, including a shop with more alpaca yarn than you can throw a knit-o-matic at. That night there was a weather warning about strong winds and rain so we took in the awning. Sure enough a storm came through about midnight. The next day was full of showers that were pushed through by a freezing wind. We spent the rainy day doing a little driving and staying inside.
On our last day Tim and I went for a bike ride in ‘The Wild Woods’ which was a walking track that started at the end of the caravan park and wound its way along beside the Meander River. It was a great little ride and at one point we stopped at a little clearing beside the river. We both saw something swishing around in the water. It was the wrong time of day for a platypus so I assumed it was a trout. After we got back, I went straight back to that spot with my fishing rod. And after about 15 minutes of throwing a lure around, I actually caught a huge brown trout. My life will never be the same. It was tricky to land him because he swam around a fallen log and I almost had to wade in and untangle him, but I eventually managed to coax him out. What can I say? You are unlikely to ever hear the end of it from me. I am already planning to how I will fit the story on my grave stone.
That was it for Tassie. Deloraine was a lovely spot to finish off for us and although the weather was a little punishing, the town has the charm to balance out the fickle, Tassie Autumn ice age. On the ferry back to Melbourne we met back up with another family on a long term travel odyssey that we first met in Waratah. It was great to have a good chat and compare notes and I owed Peter a beer, so the universe balances these things out. The ride was a fair bit lumpier than the one on the way over but with the help of some motion sickness pills we all survived without chundering. Now it’s back to Victoria– Tim’s favourite state.