The Great Southern Road Trip had the guts pulled out of it after the Victorian Government’s snap 5 day lock down on 12 February. While the lazy amble down the NSW Coastline happened, the sharp right turn into Victoria and the mosey on over to Melbourne, didn’t. The lock down necessitated a quick and blunt reconfiguarion of the itinerary.
I decided to go back to Eden, a NSW border town, and spend a few days there. Staying out of Victoria altogether until the day I was due to sail to Tasmania seemed like a sensible idea. COVID being what it is, I was not sure if I would be able to get into Tasmania without the need to quarantine if I re-entered Victoria. This meant staying in NSW, essentially going around in circles.
The anticipated spike in Victorian COVID numbers did not happen and the Tasmania Government reclassified most of Victoria as low risk. With the benefit of hindsight, I could have gone to Victoria after all. I could have stayed in Victoria. The question that plays out in my mind is when do you draw the line? (On changing and rearranging) How many times do you pivot?
Plan B was a solid plan. Accomodation in Southern NSW was getting very tight as people spilled out of Victoria. In the end, I visited friends in Berridale, then Batemans Bay, finally retracing my steps back to Culburra Beach to catch up with family. Culburra beach was the first stop I made on Day 1 of the road trip. I was nearly back to where I started. Sigh.
Right now I am sitting on Deck 7 of the Spirit of Tasmania to start the southernmost part of my Great Southern Road Trip. Tomorrow morning I’ll be in Devonport and then I’ll join the walking tour I’ve booked from Launceston. Things are back on schedule! My spreadsheets are reconciled!
The view out the salt encrusted windows shows the sea is turning black as the sun sets. The waves are small and calm, the fabled swell of Bass Strait is still a few hours away.
In contrast, my gratitude swells. How lucky am I? I might be sitting here with a mask on and I may have been inconvenienced by a government taking a strong response to a serious problem, but I am on a ship and I am healthy. The people around me are healthy. I am travelling. (Technically overseas!!)
In comparison, my friends in the Northern Hemisphere are stuck at home, both by the weather and the virus. Living on a big island 12,000 km from anywhere is a burden when you have to fly 22 hours to get “somewhere”. But right now, my island home, with it’s slightly nanny-state stance, is a god send. There’s plenty to do and see right here!
I’ll stop whinging now.