Sunday, February 10, 2008

Getting Down to H-Town

Day 137
Bicheno to Hobart
Time: Three Hours
Distance: 179 kilometers
Avg Speed: As fast as you can go in a coach on winding roads
Terrain: Duh, hills!
Location: 42° 54' S, 147° 18' E

It’s official – we’re tired. The second bus ride in four days is a sure sign that four and a half months on the road have caught up with us. Rather than continue on and risk potential meltdown, we decided to get a room in Hobart for the week. Our host at the Bicheno Backpackers was kind enough to help us with our search for accommodation and had a roomed booked for us before we hopped on the bus. If you ever find yourself on the east coast of Tassie, be sure to stay with Hannah and Matt! They are lovely people and made our short stay very enjoyable.
The bus ride seemed to pass quickly and we reached Hobart by early evening. Within a few minutes we had our bikes and panniers ready to roll. We have become well practiced with the bus routine. With an address in hand, we began to plot our route through the city. A woman standing near us jumped into the conversation and gave us first hand directions by memory. Thanks to all of the friendly Aussies, we have had little need to read maps during our stay. Ten minutes later we rolled up in front of the Astor Hotel.
Chris waited with the bikes while I climbed up the red carpeted stairs. I found my way to the reception desk, picked up the phone and waited. An animated voice answered on the other end and quickly said “wait right there”. A few seconds later our host, Tildy, came down the stairs.
I don’t think I can actually describe our host to do her justice. She is, to say the least, unique. Tildy, you see, is no ordinary hotel owner. She is quick witted and full of energy. She is vibrant and full of life. Tildy fires off the questions in rapid succession and is on to the next thought before you have a chance to even think about an answer. You can tell she is a very good egg and we are really looking forward to our stay here. She even has our itinerary planned for the week. Night one: a glass of wine and a movie that’s artsy but still understandable. Night two: Dominoe’s pizza and Bridget Jones’ Diary on the portable DVD player. Night three…

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