by Roger Findlay

With Christmas fast approaching, I have a yearning to be in Tasmania. Unfortunately it won’t happen and I will be enjoying a few days with family up here in Gerogery West. A few years ago my wife kindly paid for a trip on the Spirit so that I could be down for the Taste Festival and the finish of the yacht race.

The Spirit - Saling Yachts in Hobart

Great time to be in Hobart: festive season

After an enjoyable Christmas Day, I went to bed very early before departing for Melbourne at 2:00am so I would be very early for the sailing. As a young man, I enjoyed my own company and did most of my activities alone.

The Spirit - Young And Free in Tasmania

Roger Findlay: free spirit

I still have the opinion that when you have more than fits in a suitcase your life is over and you are no longer a free spirit.

Getting into the Spirit: Salamanca

On this occasion, I was a Free Spirit sailing to the place I love best on the Spirit of Tasmania! I based myself out at Bushy Park (via New Norfolk in the Derwent Valley); travelling into Hobart each day for the day’s activities. I usually started off in Knopwoods at 10:00am where I enjoyed a pint while reading the papers.

My lunch consisted of pork pie and salad from the Wursthaus Kitchen with fresh baked bread rolls from Fresh Fruit Market. I would sit on the hard ground in the shade of a statue taking it all in. In reality, I was reliving the seventies and our trips to Blackpool where we had much the same routine on the end of the pier.

The Spirit - Salamanca Buskers

Spirit of the festive season: buskers, Salamanca

Lively music wafted my way from a Salamanca alley. Young people were dancing and having fun. The atmosphere was electric as the band played jigs and reels, giving us a taste of what they would be playing in Cygnet a few days later. So many thoughts passed through my sixty year old head. A tear or two was shed. I was glad to be alive and a Free Spirit. I could share this moment with no one.

They wouldn’t understand.

The Spirit - Folk Music at Salamanca

Musicians prepare for Cygnet Folk Festival: Salamanca

The Spirit - Salamanca Market Musicians

Spirit of the season: Salamanca, Hobart’s waterfront

The Spirit - Young and Free

Young and carefree: great time of year to visit Hobart

Kindred Spirits

With my car parked up on Queens Domain, I used the free bus shuttle service to avoid the congestion of the city. On the bus I met so many interesting people. They too had been for a peek at the anti-whaling boat. Like me, they fully support the activities of those brave enough to badger the Japanese fleet.

The Spirit - Salmon Steaks on the BBQ

Salmon on the BBQ: special treat in Tasmania

I had a nice juicy salmon steak in my bag and I was going to cook it at the side of the road on my way back to Bushy Park. It wasn’t tea time but I didn’t care as I only had myself to answer to.

In the spirit of Christmas (or more likely the New Year) we’d like to organise another Tasmanian trip for Roger (and his wife Jeanette). Life’s an Adventure with Roger, and his articles always attract lots of attention and comment, so if you’d like your place to be on the agenda, please contact Think Tasmania and we’ll put everything together. But don’t tell Roger… let’s keep this one a secret for now!

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Map: The Spirit of Tasmania

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