It's funny when you just think of a place because of one thing and you don't know anything else about it. Tasmania has so much more to offer than just Shipstern, the people are as friendly as the Irish and have big hearts welcoming you anywhere you went. On a trip recently there for other reasons than surf I was also pleasantly suprised by the beauty of the surroundings as I was tripping around. From classic stone buildings restored to their original state to the eucalyptus soaked hill sides and the stunning east coast beaches it's certainly a place to return to.
Not really expecting Shipstern to break I was more driven to see the sights and the first, well you could say delivered. Driving around Hobart in the evening of the first day looking for a nice bar for a pint I kept going pass a Hotel and for some reason it was tempting me to go in. Within 5mins of being in there I found myself in the barmaid's car playing with a baby Wallaby she had saved. Stef did say she had a boyfriend straight away, but I respect bar staff and never have, never will hit on bar staff so she had nothing to worry about, besides I had this a cute baby Wallaby in my hands and it was frign soo cool to hold him. It was so fragile but Stef said Wally was getting stronger every day, she had saved it from the mom which had been mowed down by a car, so sad. Back in the bar I got to know the 2 barmaids better over a few of the best Guinness I've had since leaving Ireland. What a brilliant start to me trip. I got to know them a little more during my stay, really nice young ladies that made what could've been some dull nites so frign halarious that I got sore stomach muscles from laughing so much.
Oh and by the way if you sit in the corner of a bar and want a drink feckn ask nicely and respect the hard working barmaids, don't just sit their gawking at them and throw sexual verbal abuse at them expecting to still be served. They're their to serve you drinks, not to take crap that they don't need to hear, if i'm in the vicinity of your bullshit I will say something and believe me I feel strongly about respecting bar staff. Sure have a laugh with them but don't cross the line, I told an older guy off at this bar, Stef said to me he's done that for years and thanked me for standing up for them, apparently he's come in since as he's a regular but now is really nice to them. Happy days aye...respect.
|Stef & Wally|
|The walk in|
The second day I was lucky enough to meet Marti and Mikey, they were walking in to paddle it, fair balls to them because it was big enough and blowing a side shore gale producing over a 1m chop out there. They paddled into a few but it was just too bumpy, stuffed if I know how they didn't get mowed down by the rogue sets. It was a pretty heavy session to watch, I know it wasn't perfect by any means but I was stoked to the eyeballs to see it bigger and gnarlier than the first day. Because the wave breaks over reef the colours that saturate the wave as it breaks is this beautiful teal green, every photogs dream. There were alot of waves unridden as there wasn't anyone towing really but the boys were their to push themselves in the paddle zone, some waves are more stunning with no one on them and that lets your imagination run wild.
|Marti & Mikey sitting on the edge|
|Every beach should have 1 of these|
|The legend and the future|
Hobart is a bustling little city, easy to get around without getting lost. Cafe's, galleries and trendy little shops line the yatch soaked harbour. The surrounding headland's a combination of bush and houses precariously hanging on the edge watching over Hobart. I did not expect to get anything from this trip, it was a trip for other reasons so you could say I was pleasantly suprised. I fell in love with Tasmania and the people and I will be definatley returning.
I'd just like to say thanks to the friendly people I met along the way especially Marti and Mikey for urging me to head back into shipstern even thou my legs were fecked and cheers for helping me out. Last but not least a huge thanks to Stef and Sarah, I didn't expect to make such awesome friends as you 2, your gorgeous smiles and wicked humour made my trip.
|Best mates Stef & Sarah|