Saturday, January 28, 2012

A town called Cygnet

There is a very pretty town in northwest of Tasmania called Penguin. They have an an endearing large concrete penguin, and some penguin-shaped rubbish bins. Lately they have revved up the penguinity to the point where its starting to look like the town was named after the bins, as a gimmick.

On the other hand, Cygnet eschews the baby swan as a civic theme - I don't think saw one anywhere. Today we retraced our steps from Australia Day, primarily to take pedalboats out on the Huon River at Huonville. We were ran out of time to do it the other day, but since we have broken free of Little Athletics and can do as we please on Saturday morning, we went back to the river.

it was a perfect still and sunny morning. We were the first punters for the day I think - the boats had been baking in the sun and the plastic seats cooked our backsides. Michael and I took Boat 1 and Elf and Marcus Boat 2. Michael's tender young bot was in pain, so he developed an impressive pedalling technique where it hovered a few inches above the seat.

In no time my legs were in agony - I am about 6 foot and the ideal height for the seat-to-pedal distance is probably about 5'4" (I think the boats were made in North Korea). So we pedalled and rested in equal amounts. Michael, as well as being my human son, is a cartoon character, and has learnt a lot of moves lately from Tom and Jerry. "Resting" for Michael is a performance that involves stretching, hands behind head, legs crossed and propped up on something, and even puffing an imaginary cigar (when he is really giving it everything but the kitchen sink).

In no time Elf and Marcus caught up to us. Boat 2 was faulty and splashy - not serenely silent like ours. We docked together like spacecraft and spent some quality family time together in midstream. There were lovely reflections, ducks, landlubbers waving at us and a large redbrick pub that looked enticing from any angle.

However. We set a course for our home port and gave back Boats 1 and 2, and went on to Cygnet for some lunch. Things were bubbling along, the Red Velvet Lounge (which is the heart of everything) was open, and the Targa Tasmania cars were chugging through town and parking everywhere.

Targa is an annual road race - I think the serious term is "tarmac rally". They close proper everyday roads to have the race, in different stages, all over the state. Along with them in a non-racing capacity go a whole heap of old cars. Today we saw a couple of Model T-ish age, up to the 70s cars I grew up with like Toranas and Monaros. Over half the cars were MGs.

My favourite was the Jowett Javelin - in a colour I would call British Church Fete Green. I didn't have a camera but thanks to the internet:

We popped into the RVL for a very nice lunch, then walked up and down the main drag with ice-creams. Cygnet is a bit of a tree-change town, and has a hippy element. Our beautiful table came from there, and I believe they run a very good Folk Festival, but they also have a shop that sells proficient but kitschy hippy/goth art, crystals and dreamcatchers. I always run a mile from dreamcatchers so we were out of there pretty fast and on the road home again.

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