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Day 66 – 23rd October

Posted by TravellingStrom on October 23, 2008

Another sleep in was required of course, but I had all day to get back to Melbourne, so heaps of time for the tent to be packed up etc.

Yesterday I had checked out ferry trips to Tasmania and found you have to book, so I had gone down to the RACV and booked a trip for tonight, there were no daytrips this time of the year. Very expensive process, only $40 for the bike itself, but $180 for myself and all you get is a recliner chair, the price goes up quite dramatically if you want a cabin. I had no choice if I wanted to see Tassie, so I grabbed a chair, but it did not leave until 9pm tonight, so I had all day to do other things.

Greg had shown me his Optus wireless internet unit, prepaid for 3Gb of data in 30 days, as much time as you want. I used his system to upload some photos to Photobucket to test the speed and it was excellent, so I made up my mind to go to Warrnambool and check out an Optus shop and buy one, or Geelong if they did not have one. Before leaving town I took a shot of each of the pubs we were at, just for memories sake 🙂

Then I went to Warrnambool to find an Optus shop, I found out from the local Tandy dealer the closest was in Geelong, so no worries I headed off that way via the inland route this time, via Camperdown, Colac and Winchelsea, Googlemaps is not working atm so no map. It was a reasonable run, comfortable riding, not so windy away from the coast, still cool though but I am getting used to wearing the right gear now 🙂
Geelong is a big place and when I managed to find the Optus shop after a few false directions, they had run out of the starter packs I wanted 😦 The lady gave me some numbers for Melbourne shops and I managed to locate one shop that would keep me a set until 6pm, in Bourke St. So, on the road again and into Melbourne traffic, yuck 😦 I managed to wind my way through and on the way saw another Optus shop so I dropped in there, but they had run out, a very popular system by the looks of it. I eventually got to the place that TomTom said was it and parked next to some other bikes on the footpath. Not before seeing this old Lotus at the traffic lights though, nice car 🙂

Another biker eventually helped me out with some directions and information of Tassie and the ferry etc, I forget his name, sorry m8, but thanks anyway 🙂

So, that was about 4pm, I bought the system and decided to go and find a quiet spot where I could park my bike and set it up on the laptop. First though I decided I would check out the port entrance and see what is involved. On the way I had to negotiate Flinders Street, something I was not intending, but a red light meant I could hop off the bike, get my camera out of the top box and take another shot of the station 🙂

Just on the waterfront was a surf club building where I grabbed a feed and tried to set up the Optus. I am supposed to have an address, so when I filled out the form I tried No Fixed Abode, my old address and my C/O address, all it did was come up with activation error, what a pain. Then nearly 40 minutes on the phone being shuffled around to the wrong sections, I finally ended up at the sales desk which is closed, because it is after 5.30pm, grrrr. I would have to wait until tomorrow, so I packed up and headed for the ferry, which is a big sucker, it has been loading semi trailers all day.

Then it was hurry up and wait, a security check for gas bottles, then wait for the loading to start, I waited about an hour, a group of other bikes were also going over and all the bikes were loaded together and strapped down, an efficient service by the crew.

After that, it was just find the deck number and seat, find the bar and food areas and look around. I had a few beers and decided to have an early night for a change as I had heard it is uncomfortable to sleep on board. The area I was in was not full, probably 30 people in a space for 100, but I used ear plugs anyway. I managed to sleep reasonably OK, but woke a few times with a sore back. And once with a text from Peter as he could see from my SPOT track I was heading over the water 🙂 Then my new rude ring tone went off as Peter phoned, but I had to hang up so I would not wake the other travellers 🙂

Day – 388km
Trip – 22,519km

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