week 55...
one last tazzie treat

Deb & Dave to John & Ros

Watch as the majestic platypus emerges from its den and explores the swamp in search of food. You can see clearly the webbed toes of this fascinating mammal, which allows it to glide effortlessly through the cool, dark water. The male is clearly immersed in his daily routine, silhouetted by the setting Tasmanian sun, out to collect enough to eat for himself, his platypette, and his many platypuppies.

Okay, so it's not a very good photo.

The following made our Tour to Tasmania possible:

did you know?

A platypus isn't the only new thing for Aimee this week. Aimee had never seen The Thunderbirds until TODAY! She'd never even HEARD of them! F.A.B.!
these are the people in our neighbourhood...

Deborah & David
Fancy meeting up with the Tasmanians in Tasmania. Remember David and Deborah from Murray Bridge? Lucky for us, they lived near enough to the ferry to give us a few days rest at the end of a long month of climbing hills and getting wet.
Lou & Chris
Everybody needs a set of crazy friends. These two are David & Deb's. They run the Glengarry Maze Complex, about 50km east of Hobart on a windy, hilly road... it's almost a maze to get to the maze. By the way, don't dive through the bushes of their hedge maze. They just pruned, and you'll just get sticky sap all over yourself.
Deb's mum came to visit for dinner a couple of times up in Glengarry. She worked for St. John's Ambulance, which made for two medical professionals in the family (Deb's a nurse). Thanks for the bowl, Joy! Nice to meet you!
Ulysses Club Guy
Unfortunately, I don't remember his name. A Canadian who now lives here in Australia, he was touring all over the country with his buddies from the motorcycle club. Have a great trip!
Another old friend! Up in Broome, we split a couple of Cascades with her and Michelle and enjoyed the sunsets over Town Beach. We couldn't wait to get back to Melbourne so we could see her again (and neither could she)! You'll meet her next week when we're back from Broadford.
Thanksgiving Diners
Canadian Thanksgiving in Australia? A rowdy collection of Canadian exchangees, friends of Canadians, co-workers of Canadians, and, well, Canadians. Actually, the only other Canadian-born at the party was two years old! Go the Bluebombers!
Before I start ranting, look at my friggin' head. It's held on by a friggin' three-inch screw, for frig's sakes. I guess that's what happens when you're friggin' duct taped to the front of a friggin' bike in the rain. All my skin's gone too. You can practically see my musculature.

You know they make chocolate here with lime centres? Yeah, serious. Pine Lime Freddo. Pretty friggin' gross.

Hey, I was thinking, with my head all falling off like this, does it make me look more scary? Like, I am a monster, and I can be pretty intimidating, but does this loose skin add kind of a night-of-the-living-dead, toxic-wastey kind of je ne sais quoi? Not that I need it or anything. Just asking.

I'm Mr. Skinnylegs, and I reckon that's crap. Pine Lime Freddo, I mean.

Be sure to read "I Reckon That's Crap" every week, only on Beimers.com!

*The opinions expressed by Mr. Skinnylegs do not necessarily reflect those of beimers.com. If you have any complaints, direct them to mrskinnylegs@beimers.com.
wally's amazin' facts!
The biggest tree in Tasmania, maybe even all of Australia, is the Eucalyptus Regnan, also known as the swamp gum They can live to be over 400 years old, and get up to 85 metres high! Jeepers! That's even taller than me!

This Week's Amazin' Fact: The platypus may look cute and cuddly, like a wombat, but did you know that platypi are listed as a dangerous animal in Australia? It's gobsmackingly true! The male platypus has a nasty spur on his hind legs, loaded with poison! Eep!

Another interesting thing about the platypus: its a monotreme. That means it's an egg-laying mammal. Weird, huh? It lays an egg and carries it around in its pouch until it hatches, then proceeds to suckle it! There's only one other monotreme out there that we know of, and it lives in Australia too! Know what it is?

Don't forget to look for Wally this week!
cayden and the little canadian...
separated at birth?

and lastly... a correction.
The ever-knowing, ever-correcting Dean Johnson recently brought to our attention that we made a grave error a few weeks back on Week 51. Taz, the cartoon Tasmanian Devil, is not the brainchild of the Disney empire, but rather of Warner Brothers. I don't know how that slipped by the editors. We're lucky we didn't get sued! It's a good thing everything else we've said about Disney on our travels has been good. Especially Epcot. Love that place.

As you are all aware, here at beimers.com, we may pride ourselves on being right at least 85% of the time (but funny 100% of the time!). Thanks for pointing out our mistakes, Dean. You are smart.
Distance this week: 26kmDistance since Day 1: 13951km

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Day 379: When Lou Attacks
End Location: Deborah & David's, Glengarry
If there's one thing you can say about Lou, it's that he really keeps you on your toes. We knew we'd be in for some wackiness when we were invited over for a BBQ at the house of the Man Who Can Put An Entire Vase In His Mouth, but I don't think even our active imaginations expected him to be wearing a giant koala outfit and wielding a skull. After all, this sort of thing doesn't normally happen in polite company. Perhaps "polite company" should not have been what we expected.
   Lou, consider our imaginations officially expanded.

"I tell you, it scares the crap out of the Japanese."
- Lou.
Day 380: New Party Games for Kids!
End Location: Deborah & David's, Glengarry
the fun goes on and on
It's Tuesday. Another night at the house of the Man Who Can Drink a Port Whilst Balancing a Spoon on His Nose. That's two nights in a row we've spent in the company of his royal wackiness, Lou, and her royal wifeyness, Chris. They were in fine form tonight, BBQing mini burgers and snausages, showing off their collection of turn-of-the-century party games, and allowing their dog to eat the guests.
   When you consider that our adventure here (Meaning, Tasmania, not Lou's place) is sponsored by Tourism Tasmania, you'd think that they would have tried to keep us away from the likes of Lou. After all, is this really where we need to be (and who we need to be with?) when we're trying to convince others to visit Tasmania? Sure, he may only have one head, but still.
   After some chit-chat about Australian Idol, Boag's Beer, and the Thunderbirds, Lou decided it was time to teach Kevin how to play Suicide Chess. And now, Kevin's decided it's time to teach you...

Rules of Suicide Chess
Rule 1: All chess pieces move as they would in a normal game (i.e. Rooks in straight lines, Bishops diagonal, etc.)
Rule 2: If a piece is in line to be taken, it must be taken (as in checkers).
Rule 3: The first person with NO PIECES left on the board is the winner.

It seems simple, but it's really kind of hard to wrap your head around on your first game. You start off saying, "Hey, I can take his king!" then on your next turn, you say, "Wait a sec, he WANTS me to take it. And I have to! Crap!" Try it with your weird friends.

"I'm King of the Cocks and I want to fight with you!"
- Party game book for children 7-11 yrs.
Day 381: Little House on the Mountain
End Location: Deborah & David's, Glengarry
nothing if not dedicated

We may be spending our nights with Lou and Chris, but our days belong to you.

This, and every other day this week,
has been a work day.

"Is the water supposed to be draining from your pond so rapidly? We started to get worried that we'd done something."
- Aimee.
Day 382: Hail?
End Location: Cosy Cabin, Devonport
I knew I made this icon for some reason hailing a ride
We've come full circle here in Tassie. This morning, we loaded the bikes onto David's trailer and rode into Devonport in proper ute style.
   Now, don't go getting all silly on us for taking a ride. We'd already ridden the road from Launceston to Devonport, back when we first got here. It's allowed. I explained the loophole last week.
   As expected, Devonport welcomed us with i's usual crazy weather, but added something extra to celebrate our Canadianness... HAIL! Who would have thought we'd be hailed on in Australia? It's as though Tasmania is giving us one last shot of chilliness before sending us on our way. Thanks Tazzie! You think of everything!

"I'm going out to catch them on my tongue! Ow! Ow! Ow!"
- Kevin.
Day 383: Off with the spirits!
Distance Travelled: 3.5km Temperature: 11
End Location: Spirit of Tasmania
take me away
I just can't shake the feeling of going on a grand journey whenever we step onto the Spirit of Tasmania. I know the trip is only 10 hours, of which eight of them will be spent slumbering in my bunk, but the feeling is still there. I always expect people to be waving and throwing streamers as we leave the port.
   Funny how I've never gotten this feeling in an airport. Maybe I spend too much time in the duty free.

"Mom says I can't sit on them or I'll have to change my pants."
- Young trike enthusiast.
Day 384: Welcome Back?
Distance Travelled: 22.2km Temperature: 12
Terrain: Through downtown Melbourne
End Location: Miche's, Oakleigh
a fine how do you do
It's not Tasmania, it's us. The rain is following us. We arrived back in Melbourne this morning to find it in a state of perpetual drizzle. Eww.
   Imagine our disappointment after 25 days of rain in Tasmania, the wettest spring in 30 years, to arrive back to the mainland which we expected to be beautiful, sunny and warm simply because of the latitude, and to be spat on by the clouds one last time.
   I considered looking back at all the places that it's rained and how in so many of those places they haven't seen rain in years until we've shown up, but quite frankly, it would be too depressing an activity for me.
   The only ray of sunshine in this whole day was getting to see our gal pal Miche again. We haven't seen her for nearly 6,000 kilometres - since Broome! Miche brought us back to her place for a rest, a few bottles of wine and a night on the town! Exactly what the doctor ordered, and the doctor's order is certainly more pleasant than the weatherman's.

"Chopsticks are good for digestion, provided you chew them enough."
- Miche.
Day 385: It's your last chance for pie
End Location: John & Ros', Broadford
pumpkin pumpkin pie?
Wow, are we ever on the go. Two days ago, Tasmania. Yesterday, Melbourne. Today, Broadford.
   We left the bikes at Miche's and headed up to our home away from home in Broadford today. We saw Ros a couple of months ago in Ocean Grove, but it's the first time we've seen John in over a year.
   If you're just joining us, John and Ros were our first contact here in Australia. They picked us up at the airport, helped us move into our own place, took us to footy games and generally took care of us. It's great to be back home with Aussie Mom and Aussie Dad!
   John and Ros had a special surprise for us tonight. They knew it was Canadian Thanksgiving (not to be confused with Thanksgiving, the American version of the same holiday, although I can never figure out how they celebrate the harvest in November with all that snow on the ground) and they had been invited to a Canadian Thanksgiving Dinner in Broadford. It was BYO, so they thought that the perfect thing to bring would be their own Canadians!
   Let me tell you, these Australians can really put on a Canadian Thanksgiving Feast. There was turkey, stuffing, potatoes, beets, cranberry sauce, you name it! Even a pumpkin pie!
   The only real difference (besides the climate)? The pumpkin pie was made with, get this, a real pumpkin! Gasp! How can you have authentic pumpkin pie without it coming out of a can? It would just have to do.

"This is an artform -- aw, shit."
- Miche.

we've got a niece!

Katrina Anne Lingman
Born september 12, 2003 Congratulations, Danny & May!

sunbeam: (n.) any dish not used during a meal that can be put straight back into the cupboard without being washed.

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