Monday, February 19, 2007

Scottsdale, Tasmania

Just a quick update. To all our kids: the Bay of Fires is still a magic place, even when the lagoon was almost dry and not very clean, the beach and the sea were just as wonderful as in 1990. But "our" spot is now for tents only and there are lots more bays and beaches with a sealed road along the coast and many more tents/caravans/trailers. We camped two nights about 200 m further north, also a great place.
BTW, we heard from Jude Maskew that "zuurpruim" left his home horizontally by ambulance on Australia Day and has not been seen since, presumed to be dead.... Thought you might want to know.
Bernie and Jude have been so nice to check out Danmar Homes and the report is mostly negative to the tune of us wanting another builder/quote from D&C or otherwise it is goodbye and we will start again, but probably later this year (July/August) when hopefully the mad building rush has gone a bit. We may look for a rental place in the area for the time being, we will see.
We are now in Scottsdale and will head west, via Cradle Mountain, to the very NW corner of Tasmania. Weather has been fine, warm but lots of march flies (marsh flies?), you know the sneaky ones that attack from behind and then take three seconds before they use their needle.
More stories and pictures soon, we hope.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Near Russell Falls in Mt.Field National Park Tanneke finds shelter in an old stringy bark tree. During the day we don't see a lot of animals, but the sign shows that at night time there is plenty of activity.

In Cloudy Bay we find the water full of red alga. We are not sure yet what the story behind this is. In any case it is clear why they call it 'cloudy bay'.

The quiet spot at Cockle Creek before the invasion arrived.
Russell falls did not show much water due to the lack of rain, obviously.

The view from Mt.Wellington (1270 m) is absolutely stunning on a clear day.

This shot of the Dutch Lion took me 8 pictures, because the digital cameras are always 'slow' and you miss the right moment on a moving object. But being digital, just click away and erase the bad ones...

In the harbour of Hobart we found replicas of the Endeavor and the Dutch "Duyfken"; they were part of the Wooden Boat Festival and have sailed around the world many times. When we see the 'Nederlandse Leeuw in het vaandel' we still feel partly Dutch.

On the way to the ski slopes we find drinking water catchments and tall posts along the road for the snow ploughs in winter.

The Antarctic room at the Botanical Gardens in Hobart, temperature is kept at 9 degrees C.

Also a very special cactus for Imogen; there was a whole green house full of different cacti (elephant cactus= elephant foot?).

Chish and Fips?

It did the trick, we noticed it!

The French did a better job than the Dutch and the English when landing on Aboriginal territory; they established friendly and useful relationships and not a shot was fired. This picture is taken at Recherche Bay near Cockle Creek where we camped all by ourselves in the late afternoon. It was a different story the next morning, we were surrounded by tents, a marquis and ABC television camera crews. A "long boat" was then rowed from the shore in memory of the first French arrivals. The event was organised by the Living Boat Trust.

Where the Huon and the Picton river meet, there is a beautiful air walk, a steel structure that is suspended 45 meters above the river, like a cantilever. The rivers are brown from the tannin in the water. We saw some "young" huon pines, very rare while they were all cut down soon after the arrival of European settlers. The trees can grow to 2500 years old, so it will take a while before they are re-established...... Selected logging of other trees is ongoing with mixed feelings of different groups.

Just a quick summary of what we have done so far. After a rough voyage crossing the Bass Strait, we found a cabin in Devonport where we could sleep warm and without the howling wind.
We decided to travel straight through to Hobart the next day and found a tiny spot in a caravan park that was right next to a busy highway, on a slope and near the entrance, about the size of two tents.
The next day we visited Joe, the man I worked for twice in 1990 and he suggested we go to the showgrounds, very similar to the Perth Royal Show grounds, inclusive cable chairs and the once a year huge show. The rest of the year they make some money out of tourists, mostly motor homes and caravans. There is a minimal amount of showers and toilets, water and electricity, but for $16 a night, nobody complains. Some people have camped here since October. We were one of 5 campers, but that changed this last weekend when over 100 motor homes rolled in to see the Hobart Cup (horse races), the Sailing Regatta and more. Every caravan park in and around Hobart (there is a total of 3!) was full to the last square meter. It is amazing how many 'grey nomads' have sold their house and keep moving around in relative luxury. Some have bought a cap/chassis truck and designed their own home on the back; every thinkable combination, all with some good points and some limitations, are on show here.
Joe and his wife Anne invited us to spend the next weekend on Bruny Island, where they have a "shack", really a comfortable house and we talked, painted and explored the island.
But before all this we visited Mal and Bock and their children and after so many years and one false start in 2001 we finally managed to meet up again and it was very nice. Also Coosje's father and her eldest brother's family was on the list of visiting, both very nice to see again.
We have gone to the library of Glenorchy almost every day to book one of the 20 computers for two times one hour (one for Tanneke and one for me), this is a free service with access to printer, email and internet. We can also get DVD's and books of course, all for free. The laptop is a very good cinema screen in the evenings when we can sit inside the tent.
We have been south as far as Cockle Creek, done the Huon Air Walk and watched the sailing boats in the harbour of Hobart and drove up Mount Wellington for a super view of Hobart and surroundings, amongst many other things. Tasmania is really a beautiful place with huge amounts of forests, endless walks and wonderful beaches, but just a bit cold for us except in summer. People are generally relaxed, very friendly and have time to talk. In the shops they will gladly refer you to a different business if they cannot help, even make phone calls!

Anyway, we will be going "bush" again today and hope to send pictures soon after.

Special greeting to Shoko who wrote a note on this blog. We are looking forward to hear how she is doing.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


We are having a few problems uploading photos and text, so it will have to wait until we can get to an internet cafe that allows uploading or direct connection with our laptop. Meanwhile all is well, we will cross over to Bruny Island for 4 days and then travel north to the NE and NW corners of Tasmania.

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