Thursday July 28
The early morning wake up call on the ferry has us up and showered in a military style operation in the confines of the cabin. Down to the car decks and mount up on the bikes. It’s through the check points looking for plant and food materials and we are finally on Tassie soil.
We are met in the darkness of the morning by Wall to Wall Liaison Officer for Tasmania, Gavin Cashion who must have got up bloody early to meet us. He is on his Yamaha 1900 V twin cruiser. We ride down the road to a lovely café for breakfast and then head down the main Highway towards Hobart. We only travel a short distance before pulling into a small bakery and meeting up with Matt and Todd, their bikes are a red 1200GS Adventure – an identical bike to mine and a Yamaha FJ1200. We cruise down the highway then take a back road from Bothwell and hit some typical Tasmanian Roads. These boys know the roads well and it’s great to be led through some of the best riding country in Australia, particularly after the flat running Georg and I have done lately. We make our way to New Norfolk and the Bush Inn, the oldest continuously licensed pub in Tasmania which overlooks the fast flowing river. A good feed and it’s on to Hobart and our accommodation for the night. We meet up with Gavin and Deputy Commissioner Scott Tilyard for a quiet beer before heading out to the “Drunken Admiral” hotel for a lovely dinner. With Tasmanian Bendigo Bank Rep Louise and her partner Steve, and Sgt Justin (Biddy) Bidgood from St Helens, who has come down to ride with us. Approximately 250 kilometres today of great Tassie roads.
Friday July 29
Our last presentation today, we wake up to drizzling rain, Gavin leads us to a meeting point at the botanical gardens where there are 17 riders and a Police motorcycle escort waiting for us. The rain eases as we ride out over the iconic bridge and onto the Police Academy. We are met by a media contingent, Deputy Commissioner Tilyard and Tasmanian Police Association Executive members. The Gardens here contain memorial plaques to fallen Tasmanian Police officers. The Tasmanian Baton is special and unique. It has been fashioned out of Huon Pine that Gavin Cashion inherited from his recently deceased father. Gavin sent the beautiful timber up to Stan Single in New South Wales who fashioned the baton. I can see the pride in Gavin’s eyes as I make the presentation to Deputy Commissioner Tilyard.
A cuppa with all the Tassie riders and we say our goodbyes and thanks to Mr Tilyard. We have many inquiries about the wall to wall ride with many present committing to next year. Gavin, “Biddy”, Richo– Biddy’s partner from St Helens, Georg, Stephen and me mount up and ride down towards Port Arthur. We stop at the blow hole – that isn’t blowing on the low tide, Devils kitchen and eventually make our way to Port Arthur, the locals have seen this plenty of times and Georg was here not that long ago so Stephen and I go into the site for a quick cook’s tour before joining the others at the Fox and Hounds Hotel. ABC radio want to do an interview, the others don’t mind waiting around in front of the open fire while I do the interview. We mount up and head back into Hobart in the fading light. We re-fuel just around the corner from our hotel, I just make it, I’ve done over 600 kilometres on this tank of fuel and only have about 25 kays left. We are all juiced up and ready for tomorrow. Again we are met by Gavin, Richo, Biddy and other fellow riders, Foggy and Stan, a few drinks in a pub in Salamanca and it’s off for a great feed of steak. Then cruise the strip of Salamanca, the place is jumping with all the young beautiful people out for a good time. We have a night cap and head for our hotel.
Approximately 280 kilometres today, an easy and enjoyable day.