Day 174: Off to Tassie

Sun 3rd February 2013

A keyboard player's view of guitarists!Before we left home, people told us that one of the joys of travel was meeting people and making new friends. And so it has proved to be – yesterday with met with Kristina, Dhipa & Anthony, and Facebook has played  a positive role in helping us stay in touch with some of the other people we have met. Best of all, we are now going to go and spend a few days in Tasmania with Graham & Chris whom we first met standing in the line to check-in for our flight from Cancun to Cuba on Day 2 of our trip. We then bumped into them 3 more times in different towns in Cuba and decided that it must be fate.

Sunset from Myf's apartment in MelbourneWe’ve been looking forward to going to Tassie since those early days in Cuba and have since heard many good things about the scenery, the food and the wine. As we’re only going for a few days, we opted for the (cheaper) hand-luggage only tickets – though we did borrow a small case from Myf (after checking that it complied with the permitted dimensions). Also, whilst we really did appreciate being collected from the airport when we arrived in Melbourne, we can’t justify it for this trip and so it is the Skybus to the airport for us. Even on a Sunday, it is all very efficient and less than an hour after setting out from Myf’s apartment we are at the airport. (Once again, online check-in saved us from a long queue at the airport).

Graham and Chris relaxing on the deckThe flight from Melbourne across the Bass Strait only takes 1hr 15mins and we are met by Graham at Hobart airport (needless to say, this is significantly smaller than Melbourne airport). Their house is in Kingston just south of Hobart – though on the 30 minute drive we start to learn that the geography of Tasmania is complex and that there can be significant differences between the routes taken by cars and crows.

In the music roomGraham & Chris’s house is set on a slope with views out over a wooded valley. It is a two storey house with the downstairs dominated by a large music room filled with keyboards, drums and amplifiers and lined with artwork from albums (which reminded me of Lazy Cat Potteries back in Omauru in New Zealand). Upstairs is a big living room with large picture windows and patio doors out on to decking and then to the wilderness garden beyond. Strolling round the garden we come across quirky art pieces that they have clearly collected over the years. Very different from our garden but somehow familiar and reassuring.

Sometimes I sits and thinks...As we sit down in the warm sunshine and start chatting we immediately picked up where we had left off in Cuba. The rest of the afternoon and evening was spent catching up, swapping stories and talking about some of our favourite places. Since we last saw them they had spent a month in Mexico having Spanish lessons, from there they went on to Puerto Rico and then a ‘Blues Cruise’ on the Caribbean before heading on to Europe for a month or so. The Blues Cruise in particular took our fancy with a choice of concerts every night from Blues musicians. If we ever go on a cruise liner, it will be for something like this.

And we talked long into the nightSimilarly, Graham and Chris want to go to Chile and Argentina for their next trip. As they picked our brains about the things we had done, we got to relive some of our memories of those places. The sun set and night drew in and still we talked – when we ran out of stories of places we’d been we started on those places we wanted to go. Fate or not, we are very lucky to have met Graham and Chris. Hopefully, tomorrow we will stop talking long enough to get out and see if the good things we’ve heard about Tasmania are right!

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