I've always wanted to visit Tasmania. People make jokes about Tassie all the time, and I've figured out why: they're jealous. The mainland is huge and relatively flat. Tasmania isn't. It's little and it's rugged, and it's very, very pretty. Well, the little bit of it that I saw last weekend was, anyway – and it's whetted my appetite for more.
It's not really a place to go to just for a weekend – but hey, sometimes there are good reasons – and we had one of the best: Smack's surprise 50th birthday party.
Smack is another motorcyclist and a damned good bloke. He wears t-shirts of questionable taste, and seems to have a lot of motorbikes – mostly Ducatis, but also a single cylinder something-or-other that you have to kickstart. He's a biker from way back, and over the years has collected a lot of biker friends from all over the country. Many of them converged on Hobart last weekend, unbeknown to Smack, to meet up with his Tassie entourage (gee, he knows a lot of people!) and poke fun at his oldness. It was great to catch up with old friends and to make some new ones.
(photo: The Terrible Three meet again - me, Katt & Maggles)
What a hoot! You should've seen Smack's face when he realised the crowd of people at Sublime Pizza were all there to see him. The fact that we'd all just exploded bags of those noisy party poppers and yelled “SURPRISE” should've given it away, but he looked a bit nonplussed, (they say Tasmanians are a bit slow...) then his eyes got bigger and bigger, and he said (in typical Smack style) “You bastards!”
The organisers of the party, a mysterious and very sneaky trio known as Connie and the Stunt Doubles, did a great job of bringing the rag-tag mob together from places far and wide, with a bit of help from a Melbourne bloke called Marty. (thanks, all of you – what a great weekend!)
Now, as my memory is a little hazy, I will have to make things up from this point – although I know we definitely went to Joe's Garage (a bike-themed pub) after eating at Sublime (delicious pizzas!), giving Smack his pressie- a black Shoei helmet so he can do Stig impersonations - and enjoying a delicious ice-cream cake, tastefully decorated with a photo of the birthday boy himself (in yet another tasteless t-shirt!)
(photo: Smack, sneaky daughter Connie and a merry reveller)
The night passed in a blur (although that may have been something to do with copious quantities of Wild Turkey, wine and cider that a certain person consumed). It must've been a great night, because Pisshead and I didn't get back to our accommodation till almost 4am. I'm hoping like mad that there are no CCTV cameras along the Hobart waterfront – although perhaps I could then confirm whether Pisshead's assertion was true. He tells me I 'bumped' into a guardrail on the long stagger home. While I can recall weaving and wobbling, I don't remember any 'bumping' or any guardrails – but something must've caused what felt like a broken hip the next morning!
(photo: Marty & Jules)
There were more pubs on Sunday – there certainly are a lot of pubs in Hobart – before Pisshead and I headed off to the airport, where his reputation was shot to pieces. We met up with Jodz, G-S & Zippy at the airport, and Pisshead actually knocked back the offer of a beer! Too funny! (Actually he was being a responsible citizen - he had a long drive home from Sydney airport.)
I think I need to go back, just to make sure Tassie is in fact as much fun as I thought. Next time on a motorbike, for sure! (and to find out who the mysterious woman is, who is pictured below with Pisshead!)
(photo: Pisshead and evil mystery woman)