Friday, October 30, 2009

The "Marlborough Highway" is a Goat Track!

I’m writing all of the current updates to the blog offline, and hope to be able to update with a bunch of entries when we move from Tarraleah.  Even though there are quite a few ways to get on the net here, none of them actually work reliably, so I’m stuck working offline.
The drive down from the Mersey was “interesting”, as both of my technicians have a habit of saying.  First of it seemed like the entire World Cup, excluding the hosts, congregated in the Deloraine Woolworths and it was good to see how much fun the Swiss (Fun/Swiss – how many times do you see those two things in the same sentence?) were having with the shopping carts.
We hurried out of the Woolworths, eager to get on the road before the Swiss because, although they are speed demons with shopping carts, they drive very properly (i.e. like old ladies) so on a long and winding road being in front would be better.  We headed out to immediately drive into road works where the gravel road had just been watered, turning it into a skating rink.  We got back on paved road pretty quickly, but then either the cloud came down, or the fog rolled in, reducing visibility to about 20 yards on a drive that included many 35km/h (that’s about 20mph) corners.  I took it pretty steady and pretty conservative in the bad conditions, but still managed to catch Matt “Foo” French on the road.  Foo is apparently a bit mad when it comes to driving, and once we got out of the cloud and stopped for a bit of a natural break he was quick to explain how well suited our car was for the road, and how poorly adapted his car was.  Whatever dude. 
Shortly after our stop we turned onto the “Marlborough Highway” which, in short, is a goat track.  Populated by 18 wheeler logging trucks doing 100km/h in the opposite direction and unwilling to yield even an inch to oncoming traffic on a single lane dirt road.  As I said – “interesting”.  We managed to survive the trip, and pulled safely into Tarraleah, our home for the next few days.  We examined our “cottage”, which closely resembles the Palace of Paddling Accommodation – simply one of the best places I have ever stayed when paddling (except they lie about the reliability of their internet connection).    Shortly after we had cooked dinner Her Indoors (not her real name) arrived after a harrowing drive from Hobart on the wrong side of the road.  Apparently some of the Aussie Mothers are hoping that I will be a little less outspoken now that my partner has arrived.  Her Indoors knows better – good luck with that folks!

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