Bugger, overcast. Three things to do today, ride over Elephant Pass, visit a new friend in Derby and get to the ferry on time. Elephant Pass was great but apparently we should have left before breakfast so we could stop for pancakes on the way up. The rain held off and after a few more rolling hills we stopped of at a little cheese factory and the Holy Cow Cafe at Pyengana and sampled the cheese and enjoyed a proper malted milk.
We headed for Derby for coffee with Ulyssean “St Clem” who had been camped in tent city near us. He adopted his nickname from the old church he is converting into his residence.
After coffee we were back on the road heading for Scottsdale. A couple of klms out we hit our first shower of rain and only just made it into the edge of town and under a covered shelter in time for it to absolutely bucket down. Wets on and we headed for Launceston, well that was the plan. Half an hour later we rolled into Bridport on the north coast. Oops, must have missed a turn in Scottsdale while following and overtaking a logging truck in the rain. After quick check of the map, a few choice words we were back on the road along the north coast with all thoughts of Launceston gone.
During a lunch stop at George Town near the mouth of the River Tamar, we got talking to some locals. Low and behold, one has a brother in Birkdale. I give up. May as well holiday at home.
Lunch over, we retrace roads of a few days ago and return to Devonport via Exeter again arriving about five o’clock. After locating the terminal and looking for a coffee shop, we find the rest of the AWRA crew also returning tonight. Lining up for the ferry we are close to the front of the queue but it rains while we are waiting to load. Finally the queue starts moving but it’s only to line us up in another queue. Shades of Melbourne here. Sure enough, we sit for another hour or more talking to the Honda reps with the new 2006 Goldwing and getting wet from another passing shower. Finally we get to ride up the wet, slippery, steel ramp and are loaded. We we settle into our cabins and seats for the overnight run to Melbourne in relatively calm conditions despite some threats of 13 metre waves. I think he was just trying scare Carol.