Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Winter Sunshine in Tasmania

Mother nature is being very good to us, granting us with clear skies for the days we want to explore beautiful Tasmania - it's still cold, and I've had to buy a hot water bottle for nighttime, but the days are glorious. Our first day trip out was heading west along the coast to Stanley, one of my favourite spots in the Northwest.

On the way we stopped at the Table Cape lookout to get the view of Wynyard and east along the coast - the sea is such a stunning blue.

On table cape there is a deer farm (the vegetarian in me calls it a deer sanctuary where they get to live out their lives in tranquillity). In the middle of the second picture is a lovely white deer.

Looking west from Table Cape - in the distance between the two humps on the right you can just make out the pale blue of the Nut in Stanley.

A very funky mailbox. If I was a postie this would brighten my day every time I saw it.

Stanley is a cute little town with a population of less than 500 people, though in summer I'm sure it grows as it's a very popular tourist spot. I've written a couple of blogs in the past about Stanley, check out Top Ten Thursday: Favourite Place on Earth which of course had to be this place.

The Nut from the car park for the chairlift which takes you up to the top - unfortunately it wasn't working that day, probably because it's the middle of winter.

Sunny selfie with Stanley behind us - who would have thought I'd need my sunglasses in Tassie in July.

One of the beautiful long beaches that surround Stanley - you can walk for miles on pristine golden sand.

One of the lovely little shops in the town - Providore 24 which has food, drink, clothes, jewellery and lots of things of loveliness.

The Plough Inn on the left of the picture which is one of the oldest buildings in the town and next to it is St Paul's Anglican Church which was built in 1887 after the original stone building was demolished.

Time for a refuelling break and where better than a place called the Chocolate Gallery and Cafe - sounds like my kind of place. I loved the orange colour theme.

The menu that was in the window - I'll have one of everything.

The orange theme continued inside, even with Ken's cup of tea and jug of milk.

Inside the cafe.

Me and my mum.

There are over twenty flavours of ice cream on the menu so after much deliberation I chose salted caramel and peanut butter, which came in a chocolate basket with chocolate sauce - scrummy!!

Looking up the main street of Stanley - I love the wide streets that we have in Tasmania.

View of Stanley in the shadow of the Nut, a long extinct volcano that is popular with tourists to walk up or travel up on the chairlift.

On our journey back towards Wynyard we stopped briefly at Brickmakers beach for me to have a reminiscing moment - I remember swimming at this beach when it was very cold and then ending up with a nose bleed. It's a lovely spot if you ignore the smoke from nearby Port Latta which is where Iron Ore is exported from Tasmania to the rest of the world.

Looking back towards Stanley from Brickmakers beach.

Our road trip continued and we came across this farm which had an interesting sign and name in front of their property.

And in their front yard was this fabulous creation - I think you would call it a hybrid tractor and motorbike.

Back in Wynyard and this is the great painting on the side of one of the shops  - a giant pirate octopus with his boombox under one tentacle among other things.

The next day we stayed home as we had a visit from three of my very lovely aunties (mum's sisters). It was great to catch up with them and wish it could be more often.

To stretch our legs after everyone had left, my beloved and I went for a walk and we found this friendly koala near one of the schools (I should point out here that koalas are not native to Tasmania and only exist in wildlife parks).

The sun starting to set and leaving a lovely pink glow in the sky.

We hope you're enjoying our holiday with us even if it's only vicariously, and hope that you stay with us through the next couple of weeks.

Until next time, be good, stay safe, and treat yourself to something delicious this week.

Pamela & Ken

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Scotland to Tasmania - a very long journey!!

Hooray, our holiday to Australia finally arrived! Cookie and Bramble might not be cheering so loudly about it as they both have to go on holiday as well. Bramble is staying with a family who have got a nine year old cocker spaniel and a ten week old cocker spaniel - they must be having a lot of fun with the three of them. Cookie has gone to a cattery that is like a five star hotel - it's fabulous and I'm sure she's having a nice time. We miss them both but it makes it easier knowing they are being looked after by nice people.

Our flight to Australia left from Glasgow, so before we even got on the plane we had 190 miles to travel by car. Because of how far it is we drove down the night before stopping regularly for a coffee break.

We stopped at the Kitchen in Carrbridge and I really liked these little people that marked the toilets - very cute.

After a very restful night in the Premier Inn next to Glasgow Airport we awoke to a very dreich day (wet & miserable) - I think mother nature was preparing us for winter in Tasmania. At least my luggage is bright and cheerful.

Ken was loving this old van inside the airport - advertising Tunnocks which is a company that makes very yummy biscuits in Scotland.

After the 7.5 hours to Dubai we then had nearly eight hours to kill, so after something to eat we found a couple of loungers and tried to get a bit of sleep - I think my beloved was more successful than me. We arrived in Dubai after midnight their time, and it was 38 degrees Celsius - when we stepped out of the plane to get on a bus it felt like we were in a furnace. During the day it had been up to 46 degrees - that's way too hot.

For the sixteen hours from Dubai to Sydney we were flying in an Airbus - they are very big planes. When I commented that I don't know how they get off the ground, my very reassuring husband (who used to be in the air force) replied "with great difficulty".

During the flight to Sydney we had a very brief stop in Bangkok, literally getting off the plane, walking what felt like miles, going through security again, and then getting back on exactly the same plane. This is the view out the window as we came into Bangkok.

Inside the airport.

We had one night in Sydney to spend with my bestie Kierstan - not long enough but still good to have even a brief catch up. It doesn't matter how many years, we're always the same and I know it always will be.

My very gorgeous goddaughter Molly with their very silly dog Nelson - he won't let go of the ball and walks around with it in his mouth for ages. Very, very cute.

A photo with my two godchildren which only happens when I'm in Sydney - Jake is my nephew and Molly is my best friends daughter - love seeing them and wish it could be more often.

Whilst Ken went and had a sleep (jetlag was catching up with both of us) Kierstan and I drank champagne and watched the film Bad Mums - it was so funny that there was no fear of me falling asleep.

The next day before we went to the airport Kierstan took us for a drive down to Dee Why beach as I used to live there (not on the beach but very near). The weather didn't disappoint with a glorious clear blue sky and 21 degrees. This brought back lots of memories of the three years I spent in here - lots of fun times and making very good friends.

Sunny selfie - me, Kierstan, & Ken
 We had a couple of hours in Sydney airport so found a great juice bar to give us a bit of a boost - anyting to overcome the overwhelming tiredness that strikes with jetlag.

After a flight of just over an hour we landed in Melbourne where we had another couple of hours to kill before the final leg of our marathon journey. By now I was needing a top up of my caffeine and sugar levels so we had a cake break.

I really like this decorated ceiling in one of the airport shops - it's lots and lots of bottles suspended from a wire net.

In the departure lounge - we had already headed out to the plane once but got turned back because they were worried about fog in Tasmania. After a bit more of a wait, everyone in the lounge cheered when they finally let us out to the plane - it's a twin propeller plane with only 33 seats and the final flight is just over an hour.

So nearly three days after we left home we made it to Wynyard, Tasmania. After a much needed sleep we went for a wander down the street (there's one street with shops) and found these lovely photos that have been put up along one of the walls. They're modern photos with vintage photos superimposed on them - such a nice way to remember our heritage.

We also found a great new cafe called Umami Cafe, so the two of us with mum headed in to try it out. It's really funky looking with interesting art inside and fabulous (healthy) food based loosely on the paleo diet which is food that our ancestors could either hunt for or harvest.

Mum & Ken
 Very scrummy Thai pumpkin soup - the food was very colourful.

Ken had a pumpkin and feta tart with salad that included petals from a blue flower - it really was pretty as a picture.

Now I have to admit to something - I'm a bit mean to my beloved in that I keep taking pictures of him when jetlag takes over. It's the naughty little pixie on my left shoulder that keeps getting me into trouble. I can't not share them with you but rather than putting them all separately here's a collage of some of my favourites - sorry darling.

Now that we're here it's time to have many lovely days of fun which I'll share with you over the next few weeks. Until then, be good, stay safe, and if you have a nap, make sure no one is around with a camera.

Pamela & Ken