Well in my last posting I said that at Mt Field the sun came out... Well it has stayed out ever since, so I have been out busy enjoying our holiday and not had a lot of time for blogging or much Internet connection (good old Tassie!). We have some mega catching up to do! More than 2 weeks worth actually!!! So it will be brief but I'll elaborate when we get home :)
Following Mt Field we went to:
This was a wonderful stop. We rode the ferry (or Fairy as the kids are convinced it is) over. Orlando was in heaven! Yet another form of transport to add to the repertoire! Or camp site was on one end of "The Neck" which is the famous isthmus the joins north and south islands together. Our campsite was merely meters from the BEAUTIFUL beach and we very much enjoyed sleeping to the beating of the waves (have actually had this for 3 weeks now and will miss it as we move inland).
We could have stayed here for weeks! The island has a small population but it has a beautiful relaxed atmosphere. There are little factories and farms like the cheese factory, the smoke house, the berry farm and fudge shop. We did the tour and went back to our beach with a hamper full of goodies to enrich our camping pantry. We had sunshine and no wind YAY!!
We saw the Fairy Penguins waddle in from the beach at night time and squark around their nests (the part of the holiday Matilda has been waiting for.... I think she is still a little surprised they didn't look like the fairies she was imagining :))
Our dear friend Kathryn and her daughter Jasmine live in the little fishing village of Dover. It is always good to spend some time with old friends. Particularly ones you were very close to and then don't see for ages. It was nice being in a house for a few nights but a bit of a culture shock also. The kids were in heaven! Another kid to play with! And TOYS!!!!!!!! After an awkward start, Orlando and Jasmine hit it off and quickly made friends. Orlando found it rather tricky to say good bye to Jasmine, she made quite an impression on him. He sobbed for a good half an hour when we left, upset he wasn't going to see her again for a long time. This was also a clear indication for us that he is REALLY missing all of his friends and the social community he has around him at home.
Well Hobart nearly blew us away!! LITERALLY! This was when the gale force winds hit Tasmania and Victoria and Oh MY!! We were in a horrible little Caravan Park on the outskirts of Hobart and were in a wind tunnel next to a bay so we had 3 sleepless nights just trying to hold the van down so that it didn't take off! Nathan's wonderful rope skills meant that he was able to tie the roof of the van to the ground to hold it down. This wind scared me a bit and I didn't feel settled or safe.
But on the touristy side of things we went to the Cadbury Factory and learnt all about chocolate. The kids were in heaven! We also brought a good lot of it from the very very cheap retail shop (I was also GOB SMACKED buy the amount of chocolate some people we buying OMG why are they not the size of houses!)
We also spent a very windy day in Hobart at the Salamanca markets which is always a nice day out. Got some delicious produce to nibble and found a FANTASTIC little book shop in Salamanca square. Could of spent days in there. It was my idea of a beautiful little tucked away treasure. Even the kids were happy for a full hour looking at all the kids books.
We had our Belated Fathers Day. We went to see MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) This is a great gallery and a real asset to the Art world. We really enjoyed our visit here, the museum has been well done. We also agreed that much of it, is not the sort of art we really like to look at! A bit too much exhibitionism for my liking. We then went over to the Royal Tasmanian Botanic Gardens. These are beautiful but it was really interesting to been in a 'constructed' natural space after spending so much time in wild natural spaces.
|I always marvel at how old foot stones |
wear down over hundreds of years
and millions of uses.
Once here we really enjoyed a day at Port Arthur. Ollie really loved the stories about how people used to live and we only included a few of the horrible bits :) Tilly didn't understand much of it but loved the old houses. We also went on an epic bush walk that was meant to be "flat 3 hr coastal walk". Well it took us at least 4 1/2 hrs and was VERY hilly. Like we walked over the top of 3 mountainous headlands. By the end we all felt exhausted but satisfied. Ollie walked the whole lot of it and Tilly helped me build back and shoulder strength with her luxury back pack ride.
Being the "Gold Coast of Tasmania" and Tasmanian school holidays, it was a lot busier here than we have had anywhere (saying that we have come accustomed to having campgrounds to our selves :)) So we felt a little crowded. We are also starting to get a bit tired and need to remember to schedule in some slow days, other wise we are going to need a holiday from our holiday!
We had a meander along some little pebble beaches, one with some amazing granite boulders and caves. The bouldering/rock climbing bug has bitten Ollie and Nath and Ollie are having some FANTASTIC boy time going off and rock scrambling. Matilda on the other hand sits in the sand or pebbles and has a little sensory massage, rubbing and rolling her whole body in the sand. She gets in quite a zone!
We also did the iconic Wineglass Bay walk. Up to the lookout and over the mountain to possibly one of the world's most beautiful beaches. I am so pleased they haven't put a road through nature to get easy access here but instead you have to walk, a decent walk, to enjoy and appreciate its beauty. We continued on an extended bush walk, totaling 5 hrs of walking. Ollie has developed into a champion walker and only complains a little near the end of 5 hrs, which in all honesty we all feel like doing :) I found it interesting to reflect on the beauty of the beach and then to discover why it is called wineglass bay. Partly it is to do with it's shape, but mainly, due to how deep it is and the fact that it is very protected, it was an area of great protection for whales and it had an enormous migrating whaler population. During early settlement of the area it was discovered how many whales were here, and low an behold man started to slaughter them at great speed. First all the Sperm Whales and then the Humpbacks, so much so that the bay was continuously full of blood, so much that it looked like a glass full of red wine.... :(
For our last stop in Tasmania we have decided to stop at the sleepy little town of Mole Creek. Today we went and explored the caves which was one of the most beautiful and well preserved limestone tour caves I've seen. It also houses one of the largest populations of Glow Worms. The kids have become quite the glow worm fans! Ollie expressed today that they were like beautiful stars and he and Nath are hatching a plan to construct a glow worm haven on his roof at home. Tomorrow we bush walk some more and go and visit the honey shop and other gourmet delights.
On Wednesday evening we embark on our return voyage on the Spirit (as you could of guessed Ollie has been talking about for a week already!) and then we have just over 2 weeks of this journey left! Time is flying for us!
5 Weeks in we have settled into a nice hum together as a family. The kids have made great friends and are really enjoying each others company. We are thankful for the bonding we have the opportunity to be doing and I think it will stay with us for a long time following this journey. All of our internal communication has improved out of sight and we are appreciating each other everyday. Parts of us are longing for home, we miss our friends, family and lives. We miss our chickens and garden, which should be blossoming just beautifully about now. But that will all be there waiting for us on our return.
Coming to the end of the Tassie leg it is hard not to feel like we're going home. In a part we are but we still have 2 1/2 week in Victoria. It's hard to get there mentally right now so we are just being and will explore Vic when we arrive on Thursday! (Which is also my BEAUTIFUL little sister's Birthday... HAPPY BIRTHDAY JENNA!!)