A drive of my own

For a rainy Saturday, here’s a story from Tasmania, picking up where I left off on March 13:

After our excursion up the east coast of Tasmania seeing the beaches, I took off the next day – ON MY OWN! Chris’ old car was still serviceable, and he didn’t mind if I might have any accidents with it. I had practiced, with both Chris and Di in the car, a couple days before, so I felt as ready as I ever would.

The drive likely would’ve taken a normal Tassie driver about 15-20 minutes, but I poked along doing my best to keep to the left side of the road. Destination: Marian Bay.

In the protected shoreline of the bay there were a number of black swans, very regal and elegant looking. A very small community populated some of the shoreline with a single lane road and bridge going over a causeway to get to the furthest point. I was really glad no one drove towards me as I was crossing it!

At the very end of the road leading to Marian Bay is a nature preserve – lots of sand dunes and wildlife – and paths leading from the small parking lot to a number of spots on the beach. Rolling dunes covered with a prickly grass and lots of evidence of wombat activity – their poo is in little cubes! – the better to stay in one place and be noticed!

Just as I came to the top of the ridge of sand closest to the beach I almost stumbled over a very elegant older woman – tall and thin and wearing a long flowing skirt, sun bonnet and carrying a parasol. During a short conversation I learned that she had been helping a young girl (maybe aged 8-10) all day. They created two large scale sand sculptures – Tony and Sue. Actually, I’m not real sure if it should be spelled TONI or TONY – hard to tell which gender it was. But Sue was the mermaid – complete with seaweed hair and shell scales and bikini top. Toni/y was framed with quite a bit of seaweed and had a lot of detail but was not as big as Sue. All in all, quite a nice addition to the beach! And it looked like the tide wouldn’t hit it for quite some time. (Pics up soon.)

I almost made it to the very tip of the beach where the inlet for the bay started. Along the way I came across some sea critters (can’t quite remember what they were but shelled and fairly good-sized) that looked to be still alive, stranded by the outgoing tide. Not wishing to see them perish, I did my level best to throw them as far out in the surf as I could. Didn’t see any wash back in, so I’m hopeful they are still enjoying a watery life.

On the way back home to Chris and Di’s, I stopped to fill up the tank. Pulled into the little gas station/quick stop shop and before I could get out of the car there was a gentleman ready to ‘fill-er-up’. Pete, the gas station owner, was a little more than curious – he recognized the car but not the driver!

After I explained who I was and why I had the car and that this was my third trip to Tasmania, he proclaimed me almost a resident!

Overall the driving was uneventful, which was really good. Only drove one other time after that, but felt fairly comfortable with the process.  And NOW, back at home, I’m catching myself thinking about which side to stay on!

Relevant pics are now online.

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