Bill has blogged from Tasmania today that a car journey from the North East to Hobart took a great deal longer than expected.
Rain and swollen rivers from the same weather which brought the massive flooding to Queensland, reaching Tasmania in subsequent days, have caused disruption there also. St Helens on the east coast was cut off from the usual road access.
My friends turned back when unable to continue south via St Helens, only to encounter the road blocked by a large fallen tree. As they say, "This being Tasmania, soon two vehicles came along which carried chainsaws and people able to use them." No car should therefore be without a chainsaw. The trip to Hobart ended up being eight and a half hours instead of about three and a half.
They stayed at a comfortable motel which I know from a fairly recent foray to Glenorchy, the only - and unlikely - suburb in Australia where I ever encountered a mugging, years earlier, not to me personally but to two individuals in my company.
What I remember, when called away to see to matters, is not being able to drink my newly served beer in the hotel bar. Fortunately the muggees were only slightly damaged, but arrests and convictions of the attackers resulted, and half the night was taken up with giving statements and the bureaucratic aftermath. To add insult, a colleague drank the beer. He is now a distinguished professor at a Victorian university AND STILL OWES ME THE BEER.
A happier note: friend Don, under the Santa beard, on Christmas Eve had as an excellent elf helper, one young Downs Syndrome lad. After I took the pic and gave prints, Don handed over a framed image to the elf who was delighted and keeps it beside his bed. Good move, Santa. Don, I self-censored the other pic taken moments before, when you almost fell out the side of the ute. Dignity is important, after all. Hope you made it safely back to the North Pole.