Today marked my fourth day as a Taswegian and the boys’ sixth.
After dropping Harvey, Noah, Ethan and the cats at the airport on Monday, Jack and I started on our longer journey to Dilston via car. We drove to Moss Vale in the Southern Highlands and then got up early on Tuesday to finish the trip to Melbourne. A great traveller, Jack slept the entire journey except for when we stopped (and then he barked uncontrollably).
Once we hit Melbourne this is where things got sticky. Stuck in peak-hour traffic, I missed the turn off to Port Melbourne and it took me an hour to get back again, but all was OK because I’d arrived with plenty of time up my sleeve. Once at the port I walked Jack before he was cooped up in the ferry kennel for 12 hours. I could have walked for longer; unbeknown to me Harvey booked Jack and I on the ferry for Wednesday night, not Tuesday, so when I turned up with a dog in tow they weren’t sure what to do.
They asked me to wait while all the passengers checked in, to see if I could fit. So I waited, Jack barked frantically and Harvey went into a mad panic trying to organise somewhere for us to stay if I couldn’t get on the ferry. More than two hours and several worried tweets from Harvey (sorry to my Melbourne tweeps) later, the Spirit of Tasmania staff closed the check in and one person hadn’t turned up. We were on!
I locked Jack in his kennel for the night and set off to find my cabin, relieved I’d be seeing my boys the next day – an exhausted. We left the ferry at Devonport in torrential rain, passed through quarantine without a hitch and hit the road (after a quick stop for petrol as the car was very empty after driving round and round Melbourne’s roads trying to get to the port). Just before Deloraine a flock of tiny birds flew into my windscreen and one ended up under a wiper. Welcome to Tasmania, I thought wryly. After disposing of the poor bird and assuring myself this was a minor hiccup, Jack and I headed to our new home.
As I turned into our long driveway I saw the removalist had arrived – two days early. I could sleep in my own bed after a week living out of a suitcase! Harvey, Noah and Ethan welcomed me with lots of hugs and kisses and then I played with the kids and Noah gave me the guided tour, while Harvey helped the removalists unload our belongings. We all settled in right away and I got to work the next day.
For our first weekend in Tasmania we decided to head beyond our home on the East Tamar Highway and see what was at the end of the road. Along the way we discovered an apple and pear orchard 1.5km away (it also has other produce, including pumpkin which I made into a delicious soup) and the Hillwood Strawberry Farm (no strawberries yet, but yummy strawberry wine). We drove to George Town, then headed to Bridport and wandered along Eastman’s Beach (see the photo of Noah and Ethan), before driving past the deep red, fertile earth of Scottsdale and through the mountainous forests (see photo) back to Launceston.
Tomorrow we’re planning an early-morning trip to Evandale farmer’s market before our new friend Lillian visits for a barbecue lunch. This is the life!