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Monday, March 16, 2009

A burnt toe, an encounter with the local yokels and Ben Lomond

Yes, it’s just another normal few weeks in the lives of Dazz and Leanne…

It was just another day at Lake Leake (Wednesday, a week and a half ago), nice enough to do some washing, but not nice enough to climb Mount Amos (read ‘windy’) when the kettle of hot water ended up splashing on Darren’s toes instead of heating the washing water from a chilly 10 degrees up to something more bearable. The first aid box was pulled out and thus ensued a twice daily routine of cleaning and changing dressings. That was the end of bushwalking plans for the next little while, but only the beginning of our recent adventures.

A few days later our quite little camp spot became a bit busier for the long weekend. One particular group of guys were staying in a shack and seemed to spend their days drinking and riding a motorbike up and down the road between the camp and the lake (sometimes with a helmet, and sometimes without). Apparently the police had been asked to have a drive through on the Friday night, in hope of settling them down, but we were asleep and happily oblivious.

Saturday afternoon they were back on the bike and had taken to riding in circles in the turn-around not far from our van. Although the noise was annoying, we were busying ourselves on our computers with the heater keeping us cosy. Just after dinner one of the guys, beverage in hand, strolled past our van towards the pay phone, but stopped in the middle of the road, apparently taking ‘Lake Leake’ a little too literally.

The hero of the house had just stepped outside and, feeling very protective of his bride who happened to notice what was occurring through the window, pointed out that there was a toilet just up the hill. He immediately realised the error of his way (i.e. making a comment to a drunk) but it was too late. Drunk dude took offense at someone ‘having a go’ at him. We quickly decided that the best case scenario would be that they would rock our roof once it got dark, and had no idea what the worst case scenario would be. Before long he returned to slowly walk past our van with his other mates, staring menacingly. Feeling quite intimidated, the hero of the house told his bride to call the police, while hurriedly putting kayaks on the roof and hooking up the van.

We pulled out just as they were returning from the direction of the pay phone, relieved to be on the move, but not sure if they would follow us, or if they were calling in reinforcements to meet us along the track. The turnoff from the highway was about 6kms away, and we thought we should wait for the police to explain what happened so they didn’t stop at other caravans and bring the wrath of the drunks onto innocent campers. We weren’t followed, the police woman was very understanding towards us, and we had a very restful sleep 30kms down the road at Campbell Town that night.

The toes held up admirably under the stress of packing up and driving (after having spent the previous four days up), but were still in no shape to be put in a boot. Pity, because by now the weather had cleared beautifully to cloudless blue skies…

We went to stay with some friends near Launceston on Sunday and did manage to make the most of the perfect afternoon by driving up Ben Lomond. The invalid hobbled around the village and sat in the car listening to the radio while the rest of us climbed to the summit.

By Monday evening the toes were beginning to get a different sort of pain, so we decided to go to the hospital and have it checked out to make sure it wasn’t getting infected. As we took off up the driveway the fan belt started screaming at us! Back down the driveway we went and jumped in our friends’ car and off again. A few hours later we arrived home with some antibiotics and instructions to go to the beach because paddling in sea water was going to be the best thing for it.

Our friend Deb was arriving on Wednesday, so we decided to slightly adjust our plans and head for Port Sorell. We can happily report that the fanbelt hasn’t even whispered since that night, we’ve had a few nice drives (including to Cradle Mountain), a lot of good food (afternoon tea at Anvers chocolate factory was a particular highlight), Deb’s tent didn’t leak even though we had torrential rain, there have been no drunks to pick a fight with, and the toe is healing well.

Stay tuned for our next adventures, which we are hoping will be a lot more boring and may even include a walk after next week!

Oh, and for the record, no edible fish were caught at Lake Leake, but there were no ‘pant related incidents’ either, so all in all, not a bad result.