Saturday, 20th October – Launceston

Woke again to pissing rain and lowering skies.

I\’d made an appointment with the after hours service of the hospital to have the stitches in my right elbow removed after the accident I\’d had in Port Fairy nearly two weeks ago. The surgery was in a rather depressing part of town, and the mood was not helped by the awful weather and the hour-long wait before I was seen. NHS, anyone? Not only that – I was charged $55 for a 10 minute consultation. Could be a medical insurance claim…..

Anyway, the job was done and I walked out with a prescription for antibiotics as the doctor pronounced that the elbow was slightly infected. Got these dispensed eventually at a pharmacy and then went looking for a coffee.

Launceston was talked up in the Lonely Planet book as being a great place to visit. On current experience, this was far from the truth. Big-town grot, to be honest. We decided to go back to the environs of the hotel, where we knew we could at least get a decent coffee.

We then decided to suss out a restaurant further down the river for tonight\’s dinner. I\’d also realised that I\’d booked the wrong river cruise, so mercifully was able to sort that out on the way. Weather was improving, and the restaurant proved to be a very inviting place, so a table was duly booked.

Back to the departure point for the cruise down the Tamar/Esk rivers. The group in the queue in front of us proved to be a bunch of genial, but pretty pissed, Aussies, celebrating one of their number\’s birthday. As there was a bar on board the boat, this did not bode well.

As things turned out, it was a very pleasant experience. The skipper of the boat was knowledgeable and an Anglophile. Lots of very nice scenery, too, including the Cataract Gorge:


Made it back safely, despite the pissed Aussies, and made our way to the restaurant booked earlier. This is a converted flour mill called Stillwater, and really does look the part:

However, it proved to be disappointing and expensive. Rather up itself, to be honest. Nice enough, but certainly not outstanding.

Back to the hotel to prepare for our journey to Freycinet on the east coast tomorrow.

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