I posted here in February when we had 140 days to run to departure (91 working days for me) and were getting started on preparations. I’ve been meaning to post an update for ages and thought that last weekend as we approached the 50 day countdown would be appropriate. That didn’t happen for various reasons and we are now at 45 days to departure and I have fewer than 30 working days remaining. Barring any surprises I’ll teach my last class next Wednesday and be into my last lot of marking by the end of next week. It’s all becoming very real.
After 25 years at USQ I’m retiring at the end of this year. As it happens I will have sufficient accumulated leave, mostly long service leave with a few weeks of recreation leave, to cover the second half of the year. My effective finishing date is 4 July. At this moment as I’m drafting this, that’s 91 working days away.
The Salamanca Markets in Hobart were on Majella’s radar from the time that she began planning this trip. They operate only on Saturday so we needed to have a large part of a Saturday available for that activity. Because Hobart was the obvious point for arrival and departure and we were planning a circuit round Tasmania the markets would need to be at the beginning or end of our trip. We arrived at 6:00 pm on our first day so the markets had to be scheduled at the end of the trip. There was the additional advantage that any purchases would not need to be carried around Tasmania for 2 weeks.
Our plan for today was deceptively simple. We were to drive to Port Arthur to visit the historical site. We finished with a few interesting side excursions.
Our drive to Port Arthur was expected to take a bit more than an hour after allowing for coffee along the way. We had agreed to leave around 9:00 am and drove out just before that time. It was my turn to drive as we headed east and south through Sorrell and Dunalley. We recalled the latter name because of the terrible fires that had razed much of it in January 2013. The road wound about a little but was mostly smooth going.
St Helens to Richmond, where we will stay for our last 3 nights, is only 225 km by the direct route but we were planning a scenic drive down the east coast. That would increase the distance and require time for sightseeing. The final section yesterday from Scottsdale to St Helens had involved some tight twists and turns over the mountains and some needed extra sleep for recovery after that and yesterday’s early start . We set departure time for 8:30 am. Most were up and moving early in any case so we easily made our scheduled departure time.