Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Tasmanian relief - PART 2

(See Tasmanian relief - Part 1)

We landed in Hobart without incident. Being one of the first people at the baggage claim left us with the maximum time to impatiently wait for our bags. Our impatience soon turned to concern when the conveyor shut down and we continued to be bagless. Eric and Nita got
their bags, and were looking a bit guilty too. (At the very least one of their bags should have torn open with jocks and socks strewn around the conveyor. Lucky for them, their Karma must be in the black.) We swiftly tackled the last employee in the terminal who could be seen hurrying away from the confrontation bearing down on her. Her answer to our plight? We might see our bags today or tomorrow sometime. Yeah, real bloody handy, I’m sure she wont have to wear the same clothes for two days straight. I have a feeling, from this encounter, that airlines losing bags is so common that the staff cant even dredge up a bit of pretend sympathy.(This qualifies as No. 2)

We weren’t about to dwell on our misfortune so we headed over to pick up the hire car. Remarkably our reservation hadn't been stuffed up. (Must be suffering from a bit of paranoia, waiting for No.3 to hit.) We got a V6 Commodore Omega. 1 year old, 50,000 kilometres on the clock and looking like it had been washed by a kindergarten class using sand and Brillo pads. The cartoon on the hiring agreement shows no scratches or marks. I don’t like discrepancies so I wheeled the reluctant attendant over and start listing all the marks. He soon gets wise to this and writes, wear and tear every panel, on the cartoon to get rid of me. This is really good as I can practically roll the bugger now and still give it back with wide-eyed innocence and no liability. (Don't forget somebody has probably paid for some of those scratches 10 times over. Its a rort, don't get caught out.)

We stayed at a Joseph’s cottage in Hobart for the first two nights. Originally an 1840’s workers cottage with modern facilities installed. Good value, comfortable and close to everything. Very friendly owners will make your stay very pleasant.

For some reason, we left the warmth and comfort of the house and went for a drive up Mt Wellington to freeze our butts off. A little bit of snow still lay around at the top; the first real snow Nita had ever seen. She probably thinks it’s overrated now. Looking at freezing slush while huddling against a rock from the life-sapping, gale force wind, isn’t that great, is it Nita? The mountaintop recorded 138 Kph winds the day after we were there. Wish we’d been there for that. I'd estimate the winds for us were only about 80-90 Kph. That’s what my slitted, shivering eyeballs, and my inability to remain standing tells me. I must admit loved it. I have a perverse love of foul weather and being cold in particular. Jules felt she could have used a jacket, but all our clothes were still on their mystery flight. Remember that? We hadn’t forgotten. I had a T-Shirt and Jeans. Jules wore a nice summery blouse, with big openings that the freezing wind rushed into, filling it like a balloon. HAHAHAHA. Bet she froze, I know I did. To her credit she didn’t complain much. I almost forgot about the view. It was worth the discomfort; don’t miss it.

As we drove around Hobart, I soon realised how much I missed V8 torque from our car back at home. Holden had shot most of the horses that should be pulling this basement model hire car. Needless to say, it struggled to perform to my expectations with four adults, all our luggage and hills you'd swear went straight up to contend with. Full throttle overtaking is exhilarating with a real motor; this thing just made a more noise and went at the same pace. I only managed to get it up to 140 Kph on a nice long stretch before Nita twigged that I was speeding. Engine vibrations through the whole car caught me out. (I remember getting up to at least 180 in a high performance V8 before receiving a slap from Jules in the past.)

Our luggage arrived at 11:30PM that night so all was not lost. The airport gorilla had half wrenched the handle off one bag, but we were so happy to be able to change and shower we didn't care.

(See - Tasmanian relief - PART 3)

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