Joined June 2016
  • Day5


    June 30, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☀️ 14 °C

    Our plan today was first to drive to the Nothe Fort, built by Victorians to protect Weymouth from the French, but then used for military purposes both in WW2 and the Cold War. It was quite close to where we should have stayed, and we wanted to have a bit of a climb around it before leaving Weymouth. However, it didn't open until 10.30 am, and we wanted to be well away by then. We couldn't really see much from the outside, but there was a really lovely park on the promontory, so we spent a little time here. We were excited when we spotted a couple of squirrels, but before long there were dozens of them, and a couple of people were feeding them nuts, kindly allowing us to join in.

    Happy that we'd seen something interesting at least, we then hopped in the car and set off. There are so many nice places to stop along the coast, but our first planned stop was Portland Bill, just a little way on from Weymouth a sort of tied Island, connected to the mainland by a long thin stretch of road. The houses here were quaint, and built on steep narrow streets, which we drove through, and on to the lighthouse known as Portland Bill, which featured in a childrens cartoon series. We drove to a prominent spot on a hill for a photo before moving on, this time heading for West Bay or Eypp, near Bridport, the site used in the filming of the TV series Broadchurch. We were a bit shocked to see there had been a severe cliff collapse, and the cliff walk was closed. Looks like no filming here for a while! We got out and walked over to the beach. There were plenty of people here with cafes pubs and bakeries. After a stroll along the beach and a couple of photos of the unusual and very tall cliffs where the boy in the series mysteriously fell to his death, we decided we were not only overdue for coffee but for lunch as well!

    We walked into the first of many Cornish Bakeries on this trip and had to try our first Cornish Pasty. When in Rome, so to speak. It was quite nice, although I've never been keen on the amount of pastry in them. Slightly behind schedule now, we bypassed Lyme Regis and headed for Exeter, where we took the road which went down to Torquay. We didn't stop. It was a little wet, and although a popular tourist spot just seemed very busy, touristy, and tacky, but at least I can say I've been there. We also gave Torre Abbey a wave as we drove past. Maybe next trip?
    We then had to choose the inland route, or the coast route which required us to take yet another car ferry across the river Dart. We chose the latter, and thought we'd come back tomorrow and explore Dartmouth.

    We were booked in tonight in a rather small village called Chillington, chosen because some old friends of Rae's now live there. The BnB they recommended was really nice after last night's disappointment, and we met an elderly couple there who were away with their children and grandchildren for the mother's 70th birthday. We settled in and had a lovely shower before Tony turned up to walk us along to the pub for dinner where we would also meet Brenda. Enjoyed reminiscing about old times. Their grandson James arrived a little later, but unfortunately his mom, Karen, who Rae also knew was working away. Great night was had by all, and they invited us back the next morning before we were to leave.
    Read more

  • Explore, what other travelers do in:
  • Day4


    June 29, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    We checked out of the Royal Maritime Club after another superb breakfast and booked a cab to get us to the Avis rent a car depot. Cabbie was an interesting fellow - a bee keeper from Roumania supplementing his income. Not keen to live permanently in the UK, from what he sees from late night pickups! Who could blame him!

    Took a while to do the paper work. We passed on the additional cover so we knew that if we had an accident we'd be up for 1000 pounds excess. We were allocated a Mercedes medium sized car and set about programming the Tom Tom that we'd brouht with us from Australia, having purchased the UK maps from Australia. Rae took a while to familiarise himself with the car, as the gear change was a little stick on the steering wheel. Other little quirks on modern cars threw him from time to time. Anyway we eventually got going. We were destined for Weymouth tonight and had opted to drive via the New Forrest. From a discussion with a waitress at breakfast time, we thought we'd be stopping at either Lyndhurst or Brockelhurst for a coffee and/or lunch. We did stop in Lyndhurst, a pretty little village in the new forrest. We had a walk up and down, had a coffee, and chatted with some people in an information centre. Rae decided to buy a rather large map of Britain, and started looking around at coats, being rather peeved that he had three jackets, and the one he'd brought broke at the zipper. Grrr! We continued on our way, the forrest being a beautiful drive, with winding green, leafy roads which Rae loved. We thought we'd try Brockelhurst for lunch but ended up basically driving through without seeing anything.

    After another hour ir so we started to get rather desperate to stop, so pulled into Boscombe Pier, just short of Bournemouth. It was a popjlar beachside place, but looked a bit run down, and didn't really have a very big choice for our late lunch. We watched a troupe of schoolkids making a racket on the beach, and ate our lunch with a slight drizzle of rain to make it even worse. Because we'd stopped here, we really didn't have time to stop at ekther Bournemouth or Poole, which were probably much better places to stop. Anyway, that's the way of travel in an unfamiliar place, so we just continued on, bypassing Poole by taking a car ferry across Poole Harbour.

    We were keen, since we were passing it, to try to see the heritage listed Corfe Castle. We didn't know a great deal about it, but we pulled in, chatted with the person in the information centre, then drove around the old but quite tiny nearby village. It was raining solidly now, so any walk up to the castke proper would have been unpleasant, so we cut our losses and toom a few photos from where we were.

    We got to Weymouth, around 4 and parked up. We had booked an Airbnb in the trendier part of town, but a couple of days before leaving Australia, our host said he wouldn't be there, and booked us into a BNB on the waterfornt. I guess its position was nice, with a lovely seaside view, but the place itself seemed run down and a bit tired. Rae attempted a shower and found it was broken. Grumbling, we headed out on foot along the waterfront, in stop start drizzle. Saw a punch and judy booth, not operating. A bit of a Blackpool vibe in this area, but as we walked further, we went around the harbour and the feel seemed to lift somewhat. We even walked right up to the unit we had boomed into on airbnb, and definitely felt cheated! Had a couple of drinks and then a huge serving of fish, chips and mushy peas which we couldn't finish. Felt even worse when we passed a couple of homeless people on the way back. We'd walked quite a long way, and it took a while to get back. Really enjoyed the variety, the people, and the beachside fishing village atmosphere. So unused to the late daylight extension to summer here.
    Read more

  • Day3

    Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

    June 28, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ 🌧 16 °C

    Had a great night's sleep, although we both woke around 5 am, but went promptly back to sleep. Full breakfast was included so we made our way down to the Horatio room, with a huge floor to ceiling portrait of Nelson on the wall. Plenty of food and drink to choose from including, for Rae, black pudding. We headed the couple of hundred metres down to the Historic Dockyard where we joined a queue. The gates had not yet opened. We entered without too much drama, purchasing an all inclusive ticket which gave us access to as many of the exhibits that we could fit in, and including a harbour cruise.

    We headed straight for the Victory, Nelson's flagship, and the one on which he died in the Battle of Trafalgar. We had an interesting audio tour of the ship, doing our best to dodge the school students. It included an unfolding story of the battle with a dramatization of Nelson's last moments. A lamp marks the spot where he died. After the tour we were ready for drink and a sandwich in the cafe next to the Mary Rose museum, so we headed in there next and spent some time chatting to a couple with two young kids. It was drizzling rain still so we headed straight into the Mary Rose Museum, again another really interesting place. The Mary Rose, built for Henry VIII in 1510, was used as a battleship for 30 years before sinking off the coast of Portsmouth in 1545. Many attempts were made to raise her over the years, a successful attempt being made in 1982. Since then she has been painstakingly preserved, and is today the only 16th century warship on display in the world. She is housed inside the museum, separated from the public by glazing. Around the walls of the museum are many retrieved artefacts from the ship together with stories about the people on the ship and the scientific methods used to investigate the people and objects. Many of the people were archers, identified by the way their shoulder joints had been worn down with use. Fascinating!

    Next we had a look over the HMS M33, which survived Gallipoli. The M stands for Monitor gunship. It was interesting to compare life on board the different ships over the centuries. Starting to flag, we had a quick look around the National Navy museum before queueing up for the harbour tour, glad to sit down and be off our feet for a while. It showed us just how extensive the area is, and as it is a working area, there was a lot of movement going on. Lastly, we climbed aboard the HMS Warrior, from 1860, at that time the fastest, largest and most powerful warship in the world. She was powered by both steam and sail, and was such a deterrent that she never fired a shot in anger. By now, very weary we made our way back to RMC, although I made a detour to purchase a UK sim card. We headed down to the pool and spa to relax our weary bones before walking the short distance to the pub nearby for dinner. The lamb shank was very welcome!
    Read more

  • Day1

    The long haul to Portsmouth

    June 26, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    We left home at 11 am, John dropping us at Edmondson Park station. Without drama we made our way to the airport and checked our bags. Found out we couldn't use the AMEX lounge (not the right sort of platinum card apparently), so picked up a sandwich and coffee before making our way to the gate. It was a 14 hour flight to Abu Dhabi. The seats of the Boeing 777 were pretty cramped, and I found myself nursing my neckrest, pillow, blanket, handbag, book and paper on my lap for most of the way. A very polite frenchman on his way to Paris sat beside me. The plane diverted a couple of times to avoid turbulence, but there was still plenty of it, and it reminded me that I really don't like flying.

    With only a 1 1/2 hour stop before the next plane left we more or less just made our way to the gate, not really knowing how far it would be. In the end there would have been plenty of time for a decent coffee which we were craving, but gave it a miss.

    We were pleasantly surprised with the space on the A380 for the leg to London, and we both tried to get some sleep before arriving in London at 7.35 am on Tuesday morning. Our welcome to the mother country included a 1 1/2 hour wait in a queue just to enter the country. The officer told us that since Rae also had a British passport that we could have both gone to the EU passport holders queue. Next time!

    After finally getting a decent coffee we had a very short walk to the National Express stop to get the coach to Portsmouth. We had made the de ision that picking up a car and navigating our way out of London after such a long flight would not be a good idea! The coach trip was OK, going via Southampton, and taking 3 1/2 hours in total. We were dropped at The Hard bus interchange and it was quite a short walk with our cases to the Royal Maritime Club where we were staying for two nights.

    We had a couple of floors to negotiate, but the room was adequate and we were looking forward to having a good night's sleep in a proper bed! We unpacked, had a delicious shower and set out to go exploring after searching for some lunch. By this time it was about 3 pm! A long time since our coffee! We made our way to the Gunwharf Quays area, a major leisure, retail and sailing development where we found a modern style pub with extensive indoor and outdoor seating. The rain made the choice easy. Both had a nice chicken type melt.

    Leaving the museum stuff for tomorrow, we followed the Millenium Promenade which took us roughly west along the waterfront, starting at the Hard and walking past the Old Customs building, past the Camber (original fishing settlement, Normans, 12th century) and along to some fortifications and tower (15th century), Square tower, King James Gate and a host of other points of interest. From the top of the rampart we could see a half demolished church (Royal Garrison Church), apparently bombed in tne war and left as a memorial. Apparrently Charles the II was married there. By this time I had started to develop a blister so we decided not to go all the way to Southsea which we would have liked.

    It was also a bit drizzly so we stopped at Brewers Faryre for a drink before turning back to RMC. At 7pm I couldnt keep my eyes open so fell blissfully asleep for the night, glad to finally be in a bed after leaving home 40 hours ago.
    Read more

  • Day12

    Campbell Town and Evandale

    April 22, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ☁️ 18 °C

    Time to head home today. Basically we would take our time to head roughly northwest and back to Launceston airport to catch our mid afternoon flight home. Once again, Rae enjoyed his full English breakfast without black pudding, and we bid our hosts farewell before heading north. We made our way again through the lovely Tasmanian countryside and stopped in Campbell Town. It was a lovely country town to wander up and down the main street, and while away some time. Of the several cafes on offer, we opted for a coffee inside a local artist's gallery and enjoyed looking at his art work using landscape subjects from all over the world. He also added his own poetry to most of the works which made them interesting. Some were just on display and others were for sale. We enjoyed looking at the places we'd either been or would like to go.

    After that we had a stroll around some other buildings and the park. Very tidy, and lots of people out enjoying the day. I came across a contraption built by a local farmer to observe the transit of Venus in 2012. He'd more or less made it out of farm equipment and donated it to the local council.

    Hopping back into the car, we headed closer to Launceston, stopping in the little heritage village of Evandale. What a lovely place! I could have stayed for a lot longer - many well kept convict style buildings and again lots of cafes to choose from. Very chic/boutique. Had our lunch out in the courtyard in the sun - a lovely place to veg and contemplate heading back to civilization. Had an uneventful rest of the day - dropped the hire car back and waited for our plane for home. Saw one of our muso friends arriving with his trumpet for a gig, but couldn't speak to him on the other side of the glass! Looking forward to our next holiday
    Read more

  • Day11

    Maria Island and Orford

    April 21, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    We mentioned to our host that we'd had trouble with the TV system. She knew exactly what to do, something like a shut down and reboot of the router. Apparently the people before us had tried to retune it. A two minute job for her to fix. Pity we didn't ask her earlier!

    After the exertions of yesterday, we decided we wouldn't do anything too strenuous today, but thought we'd travel south a little way. First stop was a strawberry farm just south of town. A nice little cafe spot, but obviously one on the international visitor tourist route. As one bus left, another arrived. The scones looked inviting, but we weren't quite ready for it, so took our leave.

    We could have chosen to go out to Maria Island, but getting up a bit later meant we had missed the morning ferry. As well, there are no shops and no cars there, so you have to take all you need and explore the place on foot. This would have been nice, but probably for another time. The island looked lovely and inviting but a few photos from the mainland would do us for today.

    We stopped briefly in Triabunna, then found a roadside cafe in Orford at the junction of two main roads. It was quite a popular spot and we enjoyed a cuppa there. the proprietor at our accommodation recommended to us a walk along the Old Convict Road, which basically follows the banks of the Prosser River inland. It was something a bit different. It is no longer a road, but a reasonable walking track. We could see the main road on the other side of the river, but apart from that, we strolled along it without another soul in sight. We just walked for a couple of kms and then turned and came back. The weather was lovely and it was a peaceful walk.

    By this time we were both a bit peckish, so we returned to the Orford cafe for some lunch. We then left our car and walked over through a conservation area to the ocean side. There were a couple of swimmers there, but it was a bit windy and the beach was pretty well deserted.

    Soon we headed back to Swansea and chose the local club for dinner tonight. Food was fine and it was a popular spot. I was a little confused when I saw Rae ordering and paying for our dinner. The lady on the till was holding up her arm up like the statue of liberty.When I asked him what that was all about, he said she was holding up the payment console - there's just one spot where you can get the wifi to work! I guess this is how things work in a country town in Tasmania!
    Read more

  • Day10

    Wineglass Bay lookout

    April 20, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

    After assessing our current list of ailments including Rae's knee, back and blood pressure, my knee, hip and mild cold, we decided that we'd forge ahead with our plans to climb to the Wineglass Bay Lookout, which we did 15 years ago. I'ts not a long walk as walks go, but it's a steady climb, increasing in steepness toward the end. 45 minutes each way, with a stunning view to look forward to, we decided if it was a bit much for us, we could always just turn around. Without breaking our necks to get there early, we had leisurely breakfast before setting out.Rae had the included 'full English breakfast' which included egg, sausage, bacon, tomato, mushroom, black pudding and toast. He passed on the haggis! I was happy with fruit, yoghurt and toast!

    Well satisfied we set off on the hour or so's drive round to Coles Bay and the Freycinet National Park. We stopped at the visitor's centre for our National Park day passes and drove to the Wineglass Bay Carpark - quite a few cars here, but we managed to find a park OK. I was slightly alarmed at the clobber some people were carrying, but reminded myself that this is the starting point for a lot of much longer walks available. I loaded up my pockets with meds, tissues phone, and of course water. Rae had his car keys and phone :)

    We both thought the track was in much better condition than the last time we'd been. We started off fairly close to a group of young twenty something asian people who for some reason chose to speak at a volume that could be heard from 100 metres away, so we hung about letting them pass us, but they were just ambling, so we decided to overtake them and try to advance past the racket. Well I guess our fitness level wasn't too bad! There were a lot of people on the track, but we didn't pass anyone coming back. Two thirds of the way along I realised why - when we reached a fork to the descending path. The last third was steeper and two way. We stopped in several places looking back to take photos and chatting to other people on the track, both offering and receiving encouragement, mainly from people of a similar age. Everyone was good natured and enjoying the climb, in the main!

    The lookout at the top was of course well worth it, although it was quite crowded, and it took a while to get the photos we wanted. We were also joined by a most unlikely companion, a kangaroo started hopping about amongst the climbers, not frightened in the least and seemingly very tame. I guess this is where he knows he can get an easy feed, as a lot of the climbers had brought food and drinks with them for a picnic.

    We stayed for a good 20 minutes patting the kangaroo, taking photos, and chatting to people before descending. Toward the end the leg muscles definitely were letting us know they had been pushed, but we were both pretty happy with ourselves for completing it.

    We stopped again briefly in the visitors centre to top up my water and have a browse around before heading down to Coles Bay looking for a drink and lunch. The place I remembered from 15 years ago wasn't there - burned down apparently. Enjoyed our lunch overlooking the bay before wandering down to the front for some more magnificent photos in front of the Hazards.

    From here we drove a short distance to the nearby lighthouse. We were able to drive quite close to it, with only a 15 minute walk further to the lighthouse. Another tame kangaroo in the carpark! The views along the high coastal path were stunning looking back towards the Hazards. We were glad we added this little bonus to the day.

    Started the drive back towards Swansea, but stopped just before it at a place called Devil's corner. It's a vineyard with the glorious coast as backdrop, with a viewing point, cafe and bar all available. Another beautiful spot to be, so we wandered into the cafe and had an afternoon drink, although unfortunately had to put up with paper cups! After a suitable rest and more photos we made our way back to Freycinet Waters for a rest and shower before it was dinner time.

    For tonight's dinner we decided to go to the pub. It was a little further than a short walk, and having decided we'd done enough today we drove there. Good country pub atmosphere with interesting historical stuff on the walls to read as well. However, again, not cheap.

    Sated, we made our way home, me to read my book, and Rae to this time try the DVD, since the TV reception was so bad. Try as we might, we couldn't get it to work, and didn't want to disturb the lady of the house at this hour, so another night of phone games for Rae.
    Read more

  • Day9

    Swansea, Tasmania

    April 19, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    As predicted, I didn't sleep all that well, but the view from the room was lovely, and I managed to get up and take a couple of beautiful dawn photos over the water. After packing up, we walked down the street to one of several cafes and had a tasty breakfast, then wandered over to the museum which we were too late for the previous day. The lady in the information centre welcomed us like long lost friends although we had only met her the previous evening.

    The museum was interesting with stories about tin mining in the area, which made use of a large number of chinese immigrants. There was an interesting short film about the Trail of the Tin Dragon about a lad who came from China in search of his father who had come over earlier seeking his fortune. Rae had heard from a separate source that a dam burst at one stage and killed a large number of the workers at the tin mine.

    There were the usual artefacts on display from a bygone era, including a large stage coach and objects typical of life in a small fishing village.

    Out the front of the museum was a large red concrete dragon which we had fun taking photos with before heading north to the beaches of Binalong Bay. It was a beautiful pristine place - not many swimmers in the water, but looked like a lovely place to spend a relaxing holiday for a couple of weeks.An odd thing we found here, which we had heard about on the news was that there were thousands of tiny flathead fish stranded on the beach. No explanation was given, just the vagaries of mother nature playing a trick on her earthly inhabitants, I suppose. Well the seagulls didn't mind and were sure feasting on the free breakfast, lunch and dinner.

    We went for a walk down and up the beach - the rocks around here have a lot of red running through them, possibly iron oxide, but I'm not sure. We could have stayed a lot longer - the weather was fine, but there were other things calling us so we hopped back in the car and headed back through Swansea and further south, stopping to refuel, the first time we'd had to do it since we'd picked it up. The hybrid petrol/battery camry was very efficient

    The drive southwards along the East coast was extremely pretty, with views of the water most of the journey, and some changing vegetation, but all in all very pretty and pleasant. We decided to stop in Bicheno for lunch. This is the place where there is a fairy penguin colony that comes ashore nightly, and the whole area is very conservation conscious, with a large wilderness park on the outskirts of town. In the park there's a huge program to help the Tasmanian Devils overcome a facial virus which at one point severely threatened their existence. We hadn't planned to take in either of these two attractions, as the penguins need to be viewed at night, and we were here in the middle of the day just for a lunch stop, so we had a wander round and selected a bakery cafe to have lunch in before taking to the road once more.

    We arrived mid afternoon in Swansea, a fairly small town, but the access point for Coles Bay, Freycinet Peninsula and Maria Island. We chose Swansea because the area is well known internationally, and the accommodation there is quite steep! There's one place where the nightly rate is in the thousands! We were happy with our homely little BnB, with a very friendly host and full English breakfast included.

    We settled in and went for a walk to check out the town - everything was basically a walking distance. There's a lovely general store called Morris' - a historic building in which you can buy just about anything. We also walked down to the jetty, not far from were we were staying.

    After returning to the room and resting up a bit we decided on the Seafood place - a bit of an odd place in its offerings. If just felt the chef wasn't quite sure what type of cuisine he was doing. The tables were bare wood, with no attempt at improving the decor at all. Anyway, we were happy with our meal - everything seems a tad expensive down here, which i may have said earlier, but we thanked the chef and headed back. I was struggling to push off a mild cold, so medicated myself and went to bed fairly early to read my book. Rae was disappointed that the TV reception was so poor and just played games on his phone. At least we had free wifi!
    Read more

  • Day8

    Over to Saint Helens

    April 18, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    After a luxurious night's sleep in a very comfortable bed we woke refreshed and packed our things. Pity we weren't staying longer, but we had a bit of a drive ahead of us as we were travelling back towards Launceston and then on to the east coast, so lots to fit into the day.

    We weren't inclined to pay big bucks for a breakfast and had a few hot cross buns with us, so we packed them up for the trip. We thought the gallery adjacent to the lodge would be worth a look, which it was - some historical works of art as well as artefacts, wooden carvings, photos and so on. Browsed through the shop without buying anything, then picked up a couple of takeaways and set the GPS for Exeter. Rae wasn't inclined to take the boring highway back through Launceston so we looked at an alternative to the north which would take us back where we'd been on the wine tour a week or so earlier.

    Once we reached Exeter, we reprogrammed the GPS for Bridestowe Lavender Farm. We turned up along the Tamar and across Batman bridge and wound our way through some interesting and varied countryside - much more preferable than the freeway. I wanted to take in the lavender farm, which we had visited several years before and loved it. Unfortunately (and I knew this in advance), the lavender is not in flower at this time of year, but nevertheless I enjoyed a great browse through the shop, where I bought the majority of my souvenirs. We also factored in our lunch stop here, but it was disappointingly underwhelming! We both had a toasted sandwich, but I was able to get some lovely lavender Earl Grey tea, so I was happy.

    After a few photos we set off again, with even more interesting country roads, some forests and tropical vegetation as well as a lot of quite winding roads. Rae loved it. Eventually we reached the coast late and checked into our accommodation, and it was an enormous contrast from the Cradle Mountain Hotel. A very tired hotel in great need of repair and maintenance. The town of St Helens is a little fishing village, and we were thankfully right on the water, so after unpacking, we went for a walk up and down the main street, checking out prospective places to eat and just drinking in the fresh air of the Pacific.

    We were surprised to find out that it was a public holiday here, and a lot of the restaurants were consequently closed. We walked along to the boat jetties where there was a fish cafe, which would have been OK if you liked everything fried.

    In the end, we opted for the pub where we were staying. It was a popular choice given the public holiday and was pretty packed. However, the food was reasonable and not too expensive.

    Retired to our room where we fortunately had wifi, but I didn't really feel all that comfortable, as the place felt grubby. Well you can't win em all!
    Read more

  • Day7

    Cradle Mountain via Sheffield

    April 17, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 10 °C

    With the contest over, it was time for people to start making their way home or going in various directions on extended holidays. We had planned another 5 nights around Tasmania. Helen and Garry were going back across to the mainland with the car and trailer on the night's ferry, and Gael and Vince were heading East. Garry dropped Rae off at the Avis which was funnily situated in the middle of the Grand Chancellor where the contest had been held.

    We said our good byes to everyone, and suggested to Helen and Garry that they might like to travel to Sheffield with us - sort of on the way to Devonport where the ferry leaves, and they weren't due there till late in the day. So we met up with them in Sheffield, about an hour away. Devonshire tea from the Scottish shop (now named something else!) was the appointed meeting place. We then wandered up and down the street, taking in a few of the murals and looking through shops and emporiums. Rather strange guy dressed as a pirate in the Emporium with unusual descriptions and opinions on lots of his wares! Old piano outside which I attempted to play. Rae and I bid farewell to Garry and Helen, and picked up a (not so quick) pie to take on our way - they only make them when you order!

    From here we travelled the couple of hours to Cradle Mountain. Booked into our accommodation - Cradle Mountain Wilderness Hotel - very nice hotel with big lounge facilities, buffet area, bar, and so on, with lots of wilderness walks surrounding. We were of course in the middle of a Unesco World Heritage area (Tasmanian wilderness). There was also a gallery and shop in a separate building but we thought we would investigate that the following morning.

    With only one night's stay here, we had probably tarried a bit too long in Sheffield and we were keen to get down to the place we had come back here for - the views of Cradle Mountain and Dove Lake. We purchased our 24 hour park authorisation tickets from reception and set off before it got too late.We passed several different stopping places - camping areas, starting points for walks, Cradle Mountain Lodge, etc and headed straight to the Dove Lake Carpark. The road down to it was pretty much single lane, and people are encouraged to catch a shuttle bus down there to avoid the crush of too much traffic. However, as it was reasonably late in the day, we decided to drive in. It was fine. Lots of stopping for oncoming traffic and a couple of quite narrow spots, but nothing dangerous.

    Cradle Mountain is really quite beautiful, rising sharply into the sky like a knife and in front of it the picturesque and tranquil dove lake. There was no way at this time of day and with our knee problems that we were going to get around the whole 6 km, but we certainly walked to the world famous boat shed and some way beyond before turning back. A little disappointing but we were happy with what we had done.We took plenty of photos and I rather liked the video I took of the waves of Dove Lake lapping next to the boat shed

    We headed back eventually to the Hotel, and while it was still light I suggested we do one of the short walks around the hotel. I had seen a small rock wallaby grazing next to the hotel, so was hopeful for more, but alas didn't see anything else.

    Price for the buffet was $56 per person, A la carte slightly cheaper, so Rae and I opted to eat from the bar menu which was adequate. I decided on Seafood chowder and Rae some marinated chicken wings.

    Found out that Nicki had won the Open Tenor Horn and was therefore in the Champion of Champions in the evening. We sent our congratulations to her and her proud parents!.

    We found the bed at the hotel considerably more comfortable than the one in Penny Royal which was quite firm, and hadn't been doing anything to help the developing bursitis in my hip! Slept well!
    Read more

Never miss updates of Trish Forrester with our app:

FindPenguins for iOS FindPenguins for Android