Published: February 15th 2011January 23rd 2011
Sunday 23rd January - Launceston to Bicheno via Evandale Markets and Scottsdale
Up early and into the fantastic spacious, sparkling clean, well equipped kitchen at the hostel to cook a Pasta Carbonara breakfast! Leftover cooked spaghetti carefully kept from the Crayfish creek spag meal, bacon, eggs and cheese all prepared last night (I like things to be simple in the morning, especially when I am in a communal kitchen!) Then we get everything packed and head eagerly for the Evandale markets, via a strange, circuitous route in ever decreasing circles through Launceston following the street direction signs. Eventually we break free!
The markets in Evandale are a wonderful, very large country market which we were pleased to see have changed little since we enjoyed them on our last trip. The real difference was that there were many more people compared to our cold July morning visit last time! These markets are a particularly superb place to search for vintage kitchenware. There are whole stalls just dedicated to one item - for example - caketins, or teacups and saucers, or tupperware containers, or bone handled knives. I was thrilled to find a particular type of tin opener (the old manual
kind, referred to in our household as a "hackety"). We had, on this trip, misplaced our favourite one. The old ones are so incredibly sturdy and sharp and their blades do not waver dangerously. I bought a replacement one for $4, and a few minutes later, I came across another identical one, and bought that one too - now we have a spare! There is also excellent produce to be had at this market, and we bought two punnets of gleaming blackberries. We also feasted on a "second breakfast" of organic lamb sausages on fresh white bread with homemade rhubarb chutney - the juiciest sausages I have ever seen. Mmmm! Brid River Lamb
. And Eric bought a very suave black felt Fedora hat for a fraction of the price we had seen them elsewhere. All in all, a fantastic morning at market!
We were headed for Bicheno but took an indirect route to allow us to have another look at the countryside around Scottsdale, which we had admired as a possible place to buy land the last time we were here. This countryside remains as lovely as we had thought it to be the last time -
all rolling green and pastural. A wonderful bonus was that this route took us past the Pyengana Cheese Factory
. Last time we were there we had a hilariously speedy cheese tasting - the lady hosting the tasting was passing us chunks of cheese way faster than we could swallow them. This time things were a little more sedate and we bought a piece of vintage cheddar, and one of a fantastic cheddar spiced with chilli and chives. I do not usually like cheeses with added flavours but this one is a stunner!
This is followed by a very scenic drive along the coast through St Helens and Scamander. We have the radio on and come across the ABC's wonderfully named resident cleaning and stain removing guru Shannon Lush, who is giving heartening advice to callers about how to deal with the damage caused in the terrible floods in Queensland - I learn from Shannon that you can in fact wash photographs! She is telling peple how to save their drenched and mud-filled carpets, and how to sterilise and clean children's soft toys after they have been plucked from the floodwaters. Very entertaining and informative listening that also
fills me with gratitude that I do not have these issues to deal with at present, Cairns having been somehow spared the floods that have engulfed most of the state.
Along the way we stop at a supermarket and buy some lovely looking steaks for dinner, and we are soon settling into the familiar unit in the pristine caravan park that we stayed in last time we were in Bicheno. I emailed this caravan park
to ask whether we might be able to have one of the units at the park that we had last time. She very promptly emailed me back to say that she had looked me up in the computer and found the record of our previous stay (3 years previous!) and had given us the very same unit. Nice! The afternoon has turned cold, windy and rainy (yay!) and in a break in the rain we head down to the beach for a walk. There is a crisp wind blowing and the colours of the afternoon are all green and blue sea and smokey grey skies. I am overjoyed by this weather.
We retreat back to our unit before we push our
luck too far and get caught in a downpour. As before, there are very small rabbits hopping around on the lawn in front of the units. Tasmania seems to have micro-bunnies! I turn on the TV and discover that "Bran Nue Dae" is just starting. I have had several unsuccessful attempts to see this film, and unexpectedly finding it on the tellie adds to my happiness on an already very happy evening! As I hoped and expected, I LOVE it. What great music! This is one of the most fabulous roles I have seen Geoffrey Rush in.
The steak is also wonderful, much more flavourful than we ever find Queensland beef to be, and after it we head for bed.
There are more photos below