FRIDAY 31 DECEMBER HOBART
Today, we planned some time out, at the Constitution Dock area in the city, where the Taste of Tasmania Festival is being held. This is also where the race yachts berth.
The Taste of Tasmania is an event that started about ten years ago, to take advantage of the drawcard of the finish of the Sydney-Hobart yacht race, and showcase Tasmania food, produce and wines.
I ate a very early lunch before we went, not being sure what I would find to like at the Taste stalls.
We drove to the Constitution Dock area, even managing to find a nearby parking place – much easier than I’d expected. Hobart is such a privileged city, like Sydney, having this dock area right at the centre of town. Here, of course, it is a very historic area, with some buildings dating from the early days of settlement.
We walked around a little and had a quick look at some of the race yachts. Could see the sailing ship “Young Endeavour” that acted as a radio ship for the race, coming in.
John was anxious to get into the Taste area, along Princes Wharf, on the southern side of the Dock area, to get his lunch! He bought a cooked quail, and after that, a “hot dog” roll, with a special kind of bratwurst type sausage in it. He had a Tasmanian apple cider; I had a coffee. We both had a delicious icecream.
Some of the food, and sampling menus on display, were really innovative and most attractive. However, I was reluctant to sample widely, being intolerant of reheated meat products. I also thought the conditions for preparation and storage were a bit dicey, here, though I was really tempted by some of the offerings at the Turkish stall!
After John ate, and we looked around, we walked back to the yachts for a proper look.
We watched “Hi Flyer” come in from the actual race, being towed to berth, so we did get to see a finisher of sorts! She was one of the smaller boats that had gotten caught in tough conditions down the east coast. She did well to get here at all – they looked rather relieved, I thought!
We looked at “Cadibarra 7”, the ONLY yacht to finish this year’s Melbourne to Hobart West Coaster race – she arrived earlier today. Now they had certainly had really atrocious conditions for sailing!
It was quite windy down at the Dock, and very cool – it will be a cold night for the festivities.
About 4pm, we drove back to the caravan park. The place was really crowded and the amenities was full of people getting ready to go out and party. I was glad we were staying in!
We had a light tea – John was still feeling full after his gourmet treats. Soup and salad only.
We watched football on TV – Carlton Vs Collingwood – a treat for John the Carlton follower. It was a special Millennium match, put on out of season. Carlton won by miles. I read for most of it!
Just before midnight, we opened a bottle of sparkling burgundy – it was a Xmas present from me to John, as he really likes it. Toasted the coming Year 2000, as midnight ticked over. The world did not end!
We walked up to the top of the hill, with our glasses of wine, from where we could see quite a bit of the fireworks display in central Hobart. It was cold up there and we did not stay too long.
We continued to watch New Year TV coverages, until about 1.30am. The TV still worked. There did not seem to be any disasters, we think the world is still out there!
We did not win the $21million, but did get a bottom division win on our ticket, and also on the syndicate one.
We hope it will be a great year of travelling to come, in 2000 – and that life will continue to be good to us in the 21st century.
OUR STATISTICS FOR 1999 (1998 in brackets for comparison)
* Kms travelled for 1999: 32450kms (29848kms)
* Kms towed van for the year: 10827kms (8220kms)
* Cost of diesel: $3061.47 ($2532.21)
* Average fuel consumption: 8.1kms per litre (8.3kms per litre) Approx 12 litres per 100kms
* Dearest diesel: $1.15 – Mt Dare (93cpl – Seisia)
* Cheapest diesel: 56cpl – Toowoomba (63cpl – Charters Towers)
* Accommodation costs: $4757.35 ($4845.10)
* Dearest accommodation: $64.80 – motel Alice Springs; $26 powered site Yulara. Cabin on Spirit of Tasmania – ??
* Cheapest paid accommodation: $5 – National Parks; $10 – powered site Boulia
* Average cost of fuel and accommodation per week:$150.36. Budget allows for $200. In 1998 was $141.87.
* Number of different places stayed at: 56 (46)
* Longest stay in one place: 3 weeks and 5 days – Healesville. (5 weeks – Atherton)
* Number of times we moved camp: 60 (53)