Saturday, December 17, 2011

Hobart to Melbourne

Hi Everyone

Yes I am still alive and humble apologies for this big delay in writing my blog. Hopefully I can remember what I did nearly a month ago!!

We stayed in Hobart an extra day as the weather was still miserable. On the 22nd we drove to Bruny Island but the weather was so bad we decided not to go, we didn't think it was worth going over there just to sit in the motorhomes. I will have to add that to my itinery on my next trip to Tassie.

We then drove to Cygnet and stayed there the night. Had dinner at the local which was a typical pub meal but it was nice not having to do the dishes.

Next stop was Nubeena which is near Port Arthur. We stayed at the RSL club which was free. We had to pay for showers which was very cheap. Nubeena is a lovely spot, and we were camped very close to the beach which the dogs enjoyed. The weather seems to be improving.

We went to Port Arthur the next day and the sun was shining and there was no wind. Quite a fascinating place and we spent quite a few hours there and thoroughly enjoyed the day. Also saw the memorial for the people killed in the massacre which was very emotional.

From there we headed up the East coast. Stayed at Triabanna which wasn't that exciting. Next was Bicheno which was much better. We went for long walks up to lookouts and along the coast. We also had a scallop pie which wasn't too bad but very small and not many scallops.

We were told by the Cravan Park manager that 'you' could see Fairy Penguins come in without paying to go on a tour. There was another guy in the caravan park who joined us on the trek to see them We got there at 7.30pm ( we decided not to have dinner until after we had seen the penguins) and it was very cold and windy. We did see a baby one in a 'nest', obviosly waiting for mum to come home.After about an hour we thought they weren't coming so stated to leave but then we saw one waddle up the rocky terrain. Unfortunately there was an American who got very excited and frightened it, so it hid in a little cave. We didn't wait to see any more as we were freezing and very hungry.

Linda cooked dinner for us, including the other camper, but it wasn't until 10.30 that we eventually ate. We had had a fair bit of alcohol by then and Linda wasn't feeling very well the next morning. I decided to go to St Helens and Linda stayed another night at Bicheno. The weather again was wet and cold so I drove the 75kms to St Helens and then back again down the same road. I continued onto Swansea and then headed west to Ross. Ross is quite an Historic town and has lots of very old buildings. They also sell the best Scallop Pies, I had to have 2. Linda arrived the next day and on the 30th I headed to Launceston. Linda went back to Deloraine as she planned to stay in Tassie till after Christmas.

I stayed with Kate Grainger, in Launceston. She use to work with 'us' a Pindara but returned to Tassie to get married. She has 2 dogs, one is a West Highland Terrior and the other is a 9 month old Newfoundland, which is huge. I had a great time and was very spoilt.

!st Dec was departure day. It was a strange feeling not having a travelling companion. The boat trip back was OK. I sat next to an elderly gentleman who had been travelling around Tassie for 2 weeks. I did take some scotch with me which I'm sure helped me sleep!!

I've been busy since I arrived here but am not sure what doing. What I mean is the time has flown and I haven't stopped but I've done nothing in particular. Went to Mt Eliza and stayed with friends and have done a fair bit of socilaising and Xmas shopping. Have also helped my sister with her shopping as well.

I'm not sure when my next blog will be but I know it won't be till after xmas. I plan to leave Melb. on the 5th January and hopefully will start back at work on the 5th Feb. what a shock to the system.

I do hope you all have a great Xmas and New Year.

Driving into Hobart

Port Arthur
At the Tesselated Pavement at Pirates Bay
Another friend
Part of the coastline near Devils Arch
Bridge at Ross

Kaiser, Chardy, Mr Darcy and Jackson send lots of xmas wishes

Well that's it. I can't believe my trip is nearly over. Hope everyone is well

Lots of Love

Jo, Kaiser, Chardy and Shiraz
xx     woof    woof         woof

Monday, November 21, 2011

Now in Hobart

Hi Everyone

Sorry about the last blog, hopefully this one will be OK.

We went on the Arthur River Cruise which was quite pleasant but after a while it all looked the same. The weather held off but by the time we were half way home, the wind came up and it turned extremely cold. Took photos of a sea eagle and some wallabies which were at the area where we had lunch, a bar b que with cask wine!! ( the wallabies not the sea eagle )

The next day we left for Stanley but once again the weather wasn't very good and too windy to go up The Nut in the chairlift. It is a pretty little town, on the beach, but not much there. We planned to buy seafood but there was only frozen stuff except fo Crayfish which are over priced. We left there after we had some lunch and drove to a place called Sisters Beach which is where we stayed at a free park.

Once again the weather wasn't the best but it was a nice place. We did manage to take the dogs for a walk on the beach. We had been in Tassie for 1 week and had only seen the North West corner. I did want to go to Strahan but due to the weather, the windy road to get there and time, I decided it wasn't going to happen this trip. You travel for a long time but don't go very far and in the North West you have to come back on the same roads, all taking up time.

We then decided to drive to Deloraine which is south west of Launceston. It is a historic little town and we stayed at the Apex Caravan Park which is on the river. Took the dogs for a walk through the town which didn't take very long. When we arrived the day was perfect and on went the shorts and t-shirts, but once again the warm weather was short lived. We only stayed one night but if I wasn't on a time limit I would've stayed longer.

Next spot was Arthur Lake which is further south and near the Great Lake. The road was windy ( again) and the rain wasn't helping. It would've been a very picturesque drive if the sun was shining. There is a free park at Arthur Lake which is where we stayed. Actually it wasn't free it cost $4 for the night and $2 for a shower. There were quite a few people and they were there to fish, and were very friendly but didn't offer us any fish! It rained all night but was dry in the morning. We went for a walk and found an Echidna but he wasn't keen to see us. Managed to get a photo but it's of his rear end. The Ecidnas are a little different here they don't have as many spikes and have more fur.

From Arhur Lake we drove to Hobart and are staying at the showgrounds. There are no dog friendly caravan parks in Hobart you have to go 20 or 30kms out. Here at the showgrounds you have to be self sufficent and it's cheap and only 6kms from the city. The weather has been terrible, cold, wet and windy which is very disappointing. Yesterday there was an indoor/outdoor market which was a lot of fun and we didn't have to walk far to get to it.

After lunch we caught the bus into the city, it only cost me $3 for a day ticket because I am a senior!! NO COMMENT please. We walked around but there wasn't a lot to see.We did go to the Lark distillary and tasted some whiskey at $2 a pop and it wasn't even a mouthfull and I couldn't afford to buy a bottle! There are a lot of gorgeous old buildings here. Once again the weather turned nasty so we got very wet. We were going to Bruny Island today but due to the weather we are putting it off till tomorrow, again weather permitting.

That's about it for now, so far so good with the computer, no breakdowns.

Wallabies at the lunch spot at Arthur River
Arthur River - part there of
A slide I went down at Tarkine Forest ( Between Stanley and Arthur River )
Sisters Beach
At Arthur Lake
The Echidna
Well that's it. Hope you are all well. Next blog maybe from Melbourne. I arrive there on the 2nd December.

Lots of Love

Jo, Kaiser, Chardy and Shiraz
xx    woof     woof         woof

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Hi everyone

I've had problems with this blog. It comes in 2 pages (plus one that says what I am saying now ) and you will need to read the 2nd page first. I hope you can work it out. The photos are on the first page.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Devonport to Arthur River

Hi again

Sorry this is in 2 parts but the computer "had an error"so I couldn't finish what I started.

Anyway we crossed the Mercey River at a cost of  $2.50 each way, which took 2 minutes at the most, but was easier and quicker than walking our way around. We did some food shopping and that was about it.

Next day we headed for Stanley, which is about 140kms west of Devonport. We drove to Don first, tohave a look at the markets which wasn't as good or big, as we expected. From there we went to Latrobe and visited the House of Anvers Chocolate Factory. Unfortunately, being Sunday, the factory wasn't open so we went to the shop but everthing was very expensive so we left empty handed!! From Latrobe we drove to Sheffield, via the "Cherry Shed" but there were no cherries to buy. The shop sold various things like Cherry Port and Jams but we were'nt interested, all we wanted was fresh cherries.

From Latrobe we drove to Sheffield, where we saw murals covering many of the walls of the town. We didn't see them all but what we saw was impressive. We also saw this man sitting at the pub with an Alpaca / Llama but when we tried to take a photo he obstructed the Alpaca/Llama. We later found out that the guys name was Ludo and often walked around with his 'pet' Alpaca/Llama. Mind you this guy wore a Scottish hat and with a name Ludo, and having a pet Alpacca on a lead, he must be either eccentric or confused about his heritage.

It was lunch time and we still had good intentions of getting to Stanley. After Sheffield we had to drive back to Devonport to get to Stanley. We stopped off at Penguin for a quick photo of the Big Penguin. Obviously the Tasmanian idea of big is nothing like the 'Main Land'. We realised that Stanley wasn't going to be our 'port of call' so drove to Wynyard where we stayed at a free park at the Showgrounds. The grounds are not very big and we did learn that the Caravan Park wasd not happy with the Showgrounds offering free parking so went to the council. "They" came to a comprimise and said only motorhomes can stay at the Showgrounds and all caravans had to go to the caravan park. How lucky are we !!

We planned to go to Stanley today but the weather wasn't too good so decided to drive onto Arthur River. We want to go on the Chairlift to "The Nut" at Stanley but because of the wind and rain decided to continue on. We have to go back through Stanley to get to Strahan ( which is on the west coast, as is Arthur River but you can't get there directly from there. You need to look at a map to know what I mean ) so will hopefully manage to do the chairlift thing then, weather permitting.

We are now at Arthur River and it is quite cold and there is some rain. We have booked onto a River Cruise tomorrow, weather permitting. I'm now wearing  a skivvy, windsheater and tracky pants and hopefully it will be warmer for the cruise.

Travelling in Tassie is quite different to the mainland. The towns are much closer and even though you feel you have travelled a long way, you haven't, if you know what I mean. Haven't met anyone with 2 heads but the people we have come across have been extremely friendly. The scenery is magnificent.

Well that's it for now. hopefully youwill get all the 'blog' as it takes me 'for ever and a day' type' it. Now for some photos, hopefully.
At the best caravan park ever!. David with Jackson, Jennie with Mr Darcy, me with Kaiser, Linda with Chardy and Atlas in the foreground. What a housefull.
Goanna/Monitor at Beechworth ( climbing up a tree ). Quite a magnificent animal.

Leaving Melbourne for Tassie
Linda and I on deck. Bloody cold and windy!!
Kaiser feeling the cold in Devonport

One of the Murals in Sheffield

Me with the Big Penguin in Penguin !

Well that's it once again. Hope everyone is well

Lots of Love

Jo, Kaiser, Chardy and Shiraz
xx    woof     woof         woof

Beechworth to Arthur River, Tassie

Hi everyone

I've had problems with the computer so my blog will be in 2 parts. Hopefully you can follow it.

Lots of love

Us three

Beechworth to Arthur River, Tassie

Hi Everyone

Yes I know late again but when I'm travelling with Linda I don't seem to have the time to write my blog.

We stayed at Beechworth till the Sunday. On Saturday we walked into town to have a look at the Celtic Festival. The bagpipers practiced at the caravan park so we got a personal performance!! Luckily it was 9am and not 7am. We walked around all the food and craft stalls before heading back to the Caravan Park. It was really very hot and we had left the dogs in our motorhomes so were a little concerned about their welfare.

We drove to Glenrowan on Sunday. We didn't go very far as Linda wasn't feeling the best. We stayed at the Glenrowan Caravan Park which was in the middle of nowhere and very peaceful. Also washing machines were only $2.40 and that is the cheapest I have come across, so did a few loads. It wasn't quite so hot but a bit windy. Lots of rabbits and kangaroos much to the delight of all the dogs. We also saw a goanna / monitor  and he/she was quite magnificent, had yellow markings. I'll put a photo on later.

We stayed their 2 nights and then headed to the best caravan park ever! Of course I am talking about my sisters place at Scoresby. Atlas, Linda's dog and one of Jennie's dogs didn't hit it off straight away but by the time we left they put up with each other. Jennie and David were great hosts and spoilt us all ( including dogs ) rotten. I think their dogs were happy to be on their own again, little do they know that Kaiser, Chardy and I are returning in a few weeks!!

Linda and I then drove to the Port to catch the Spirit of Tasmania. We had to drive through the outskirts of Melbourne and I only lost Linda once. We arrived pretty early but we thought the ferry left at 6.30pm not 7.30pm. We took the dogs for a quick wee before we joined the queue to get on board. Linda and I both decided to leave the dogs in the motorhomes for the trip, instead of putting them in cages as we thought they would be happier. Kaiser still has an issue with separation anxiety but felt he would be happier in familiar surroundings, and I think he was.

The trip for Linda and I wasn't too bad. We started off with a bottle of wine EACH and some nibbles ( you are not allowed to drink your own grog ). This helped us to relax and also hopefully was going to allow us to get some sleep as we sat up in recliners. The trip wasn't too bad but didn't get as much sleep as I would've liked. Luckily the seas were fairly calm so the ferry didn't rock too much, a few strange noises though.

We arrived at Devonport at 6.30, and after going through quarantine we got to the caravan park ( which was practically next door ) at 7.30. All dogs were busting to go to the loo so we found a park, just in time. We were pretty washed out for the day so didn't do much which is becoming a regular occurrance! On Saturday we went into the township of Devonport. We caught a ferry from one side of the Mercy 

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Canberra to Beechworth

Hi Everyone

We are now in Beechworth and have been for 2 nights, plan to leave tomorrow.

After cold Canberra we headed for Moama on the boarder.We stayed a night at Jerilderie and then decided to try a free camp at a place called Piper's Reserve. Linda's surname is Piper so we had to go there!!. We had to drive along unsealed road to get there but once there it was great, set right on the Murrumbidgee River. When we arrived we both said that I'd hate to drive along that road if it rained as it was quite soft sand for a couple of kms and with our heavy vehicles it would have been very difficult. Anyway it was quite hot and not a cloud in the sky. We were the only ones there so we chose our spot and after we settled in decided to have a fish. Of course the only things we caught were tree branches or snags in the river. After loosing a few hooks and sinkers we decided to quit whilst we were ahead.

There was a toilet there but not your typical one. There is a photo further down the page. We only used it for no. 2s!! I know too much information!

One other couple turned up but parked a fair way away. We really enjoyed this spot but it would've been better if we had caught a fish. Went to bed and at about 1.45am there was an all mighty storm, rain thunder and lightening. Linda and I then became quite concerned as we didn't think we would be able to get out. After a restless and anxious night we decided to give it a go. It had rained on and off all night but had stopped by the time I got up. The ground was pretty wet but we thought it was now or never. We were pretty nervous and anxious but eventually made it out. Some of the road was very slippery and boggy but we took our time. Talk about breathing sighs of relief.

Off we went to Moama and not realising it was a long weekend ( Melb Cup. ) we eventually found a park that took dogs. It was on the Murray River and there were a large number of speed boats, children and dogs. Too busy for us so only stayed one night. Next morning we went to Gunbower which is 50kms west of Eucha. This Caravan Park was more our type very few people there and quite small but I must admit quite expensive for what it was. The guy said it was high season but $27.50 a night was too much especially when Moama was only $17 and it was on the river. We did stay 2 nights including Melb. Cup day but there was no TAB in town so didn't have a bet.

My phone decided to pack it in so was without it for 2 days. Went to Telstra in Eucha on Wednesday and got a cheap one which at least works. Mine is on contract but can't get another one till next August!! Whilst in Eucha and as all the tourists had gone back to work we decided to go on a paddle steamer. Went for an hour and the dogs were allowed on as well. It wasn't really what we expected but we enjoyed ourselves.

Next was Cobram where we just stayed 1 night on our way to Beecworth. We didn't leave Eucha till 2.30pm so didn't want to travel too far.

Arrived in Beechworth on the 3rd which happened to be Linda's birthday. Can you believe there was a Celtic Festival weekend on so accommadation was "tight". We managed to get one night with power and the next 2 we had no power but that didn't worry us. On the night of the 3rd we did a Ghost Tour of the old Mental Asylum (? spell)  at 8pm. We were the only 2 on the tour and it was very interesting but didn't see any ghosts - a lot of fun.

We have walked into Beechworth, twice, via the bush track. The festival is in full swing and there are people here who are in the pipe bands so practice starts at about 9am. There are also craft and food markets plus lots of Irish Dancing, didn't see any Scottish Dancing, but at least we have had something to do.

Toilet at Pipers Reserve, the free park!!

Trailer load of carp at a town we stopped at. They were having a Carpathon and had caught 220 up to Saturday and still had Sunday to go.
Me on the paddlesteamer. Dogs are also on board.
Our tour guide for the Ghost Tour at the Mental Asylum
The creek along the bush walk from the Caravan Park into Beechworth

Well that's it. My next blog will be from Tassie and I'm really looking forward to seeing the Apple Isle

Hope everyone is well

Lots of Love

Jo, Kaiser, Chardy and Shiraz
xx    woof     woof           woof