Monday, December 23

Emotional breakdown


Our Tasmanian road trip was almost over before it began.  On Saturday morning, bright and early, we loaded our car with luggage, a picnic hamper and an eski.  Next stop, Crackenback, in the Snowy Mountains.  As we attempted to start the car an ominous electronic ignition failure light began glowing on the dashboard.  It was soon clear that we were going nowhere fast. 

Garry was devastated.  In recent months we've spent thousands on a major service, washed and vacuum every inch and saved Supermarket discount coupons by the fistful.  However, three hours later, after collecting a hire car, our fallback plan was in place.  Hertz were happy to give a brand new car with less than 800kms on the clock.

We finally made to our first night's accommodation about 5pm.  I'd booked a superb farmstay B&B ten minutes south of Jindabyne called the Crackenback Farm. When I booked the venue months ago a slew of professional images on its website seemed too good to be true.  We therefore pleasantly surprised to find the real thing every bit as impressive in real life.  Think upmarket rustic and you'll picture our first night on the road.

The following morning after a divine cooked breakfast we made our way south via the Alpine Way, and on to the Hume Highway.  Our boat was due to depart Port Melbourne at 9pm.  We wanted to arrive no later than 7pm.  We broke up the journey with several brief stops including a ride up the Kosciuszko Express chairlift at Thredbo, a wander through the Murray 1 power station visitor's centre and numerous scenic lookouts.

Our road trip is already proving highly educational.  During a brief stop by the shores of Lake Jindabyne we learnt that Australia's highest peak, Mount Kosciuszko, was named by a Polish explorer, Paul Edmund Strzelecki.  He named it in honour of Poland's national hero, General Tadeusz Kosciuszko.  How do we know this?  A rather prominent statue stands proudly on the lake's foreshore gesturing out into the wild blue yonder.

We timed our arrival into Melbourne to perfection.  Less than 20 minutes after reaching the Port, boarding began, and much to our surprise, the Spirit of Tasmania departed 40 minutes ahead of schedule. We felt rather smug to be sailing away as the heavens opened, coating the receding city skyline in a dark, murky mist.

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