Thursday, January 1, 2009

Hobart 6th Dec

By the time I got up out of my bunk Uncle Albert (sorry Brian) had already gone. he told me that he was here to help crew a tall ship that was in Hobart harbour and would be here until Monday (great).

The first thing I decided to do was hire a car. There was no way that I was going to survive in Hobart for another 3 days without some sort of transport. I also needed it for going to meet friends of my friend Brent (who is from tassie and I met in Perth). I arranged to pick the car up at 5 that night and would have it for 2 days.

In the mean time I decided to do another walk around Hobart starting with the harbour:

Tall ship, Hobart harbour

I then did a leisurely walk around Salamanca market which is held near the waterfront every Saturday. It was actually quite good for a market and had a good selection of arts, crafts and food stalls. I indulged myself in an ice cream. Of course as soon as I bought it it started to rain! Luckily it was just a shower and quickly passed over.

After the market I strolled up to battery hill in the hope that there might be something to see up there. But there wasn't so I just came back down again to the market and the waterfront.

As I got there a number of motor bikes came round the corner - some dressed up in Santa gear. Then some more arrived, then more and more and more and more! I asked one of the bikers what was going on. He said its the Hobart annual bikers toy run. Every year over 5000 motorbikes come to hobart to give toys to the salvation army for giving to needy children. There were bikers from all over Tasmania and Australia. There are even bikers who come from across the globe to take part in it. It was an amazing sight to see all these bikes streaming down to the harboutfront.

Elmer biker

I watched bikes pass by for a good 10 minutes

While it was an extremely good thing to do I have just one small criticism of it. All these bikers seemed to be bringing nothing but cuddly toys. Cuddly toys may look good on a front or back of a Harley but they are not exactly great for a 10 year old to play with. I met one of the bikers in the Sydney hotel the following night who echoed my concern. He at least had brought some toy cars.

Perhaps a couple of Barby dolls would have been better?

After all the bikes had passed and I had walked around admiring all the different machines I still had time to kill before I picked up my car. I happened upon the Hobart museum which was free to get into so I decided what the hell.

It was a good wee museum with a lot of different exhibitions including the usual stuffed animals section, painting section and a good exhibit about the Antarctica.
(no photos - my camera batteries died on me!)

After the museum I went to pick up my car. I got a slight shock when I picked it up. Instead of the manual car I thought I was getting I was given an automatic instead. I have only ever driven an automatic car once before in my life which was in the USA a long time ago. It is very weird to drive an automatic when you are used to a manual (see below)

I had a pleasant night with Brent's friends Christine and Alan who gave me a couple of ideas for things to do with my remaining days in Tasmania. They were also able to give me several pointers for things to do in South America as Alan lived in Buenos Aires for quite a number of years.

I got back to the Bar at about 11 and had a couple of drinks while watching another middle of the road cover band before retiring. Brian had gone to see a jazz band (nice!) and did not arrive back until after I had gone to bed.

I passed an old woman on the streets of Hobart who was carrying a large rucksack on her back. She looked as if she was off on a hike - except she had purple slippers on (weird indeed!)

Differences between driving Automatic Cars and Manual Cars:
1. There is no gear stick in an automatic car. Any attempt to change gears will only result in placing the drive lever in neutral or worse reverse!

2. If you have just missed your turn off NEVER EVER try to brake hard so you can turn round if you are not used to an automatic car! There is no clutch pedal in an automatic car. What there is in an automatic car is a very large brake pedal. Trying to put your foot on a non existent clutch will only result in both feet going on the very large brake pedal. This can have major consequences such as severe seat belt induced whiplash!

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