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Published: March 18th 2015
leaving Bicheno we head for Deloraine a small town inland from Launceston our campsite is next to a river frequented by Platypus and ducks and hopefully some fish.Being central we hope to use this place as a base to explore more of Tassy. Our first day out was to a nature reserve which is home to Liffy Falls, not as spectacular as some we have seen but still very pretty. The walk in was like walking through an enchanted garden with beautiful ferns and trees of all colours and sizes.The countryside around here is given over to grazing land with sheep and cattle dotted all around.In the distance towering cliffs of the mountains can be seen often with mist covering the summit giving way to a beautiful backdrop as we drive around these isolated villages stopping to pause and gaze at some quirky buildings or signs. Deloraine has it's own small quirky statues dotted around the town depicting life in these parts.
Jackie was lucky enough to see her first Platypus in the wild,swimming along close to the bank of the river but alas no camera in her hand.We both check the river daily in the hope of seeing one
again.But no luck.
Autumn comes quickly in Tasmainia the colours in the trees are changing and the nights are cold with day temperatures averaging 17/20 deg good walking weather but don't stand still for to long because the wind makes it feel colder than what it is.
A small village named Railton not far from were we are staying has a quirky draw for the tourists, along the main street are all types of topiary ranging from a life size man riding a horse followed by a dog to a railway train and many more in between. This draw card is very cleverly done and certainly attracts the tourists including us.
Westbury was once a garrison village founded in the 1820s mainly to house Irish convicts transported to Van Diemens Land followed by free settlers as the village grew ex convicts and retired soldiers made this village home.Gaelic was the local language for many generations and many of the traditional ways of Irish life were to continue here well into the 19th century.Today the village continues to remember it's Irish heritage and colonial days and holds an Irish festival ever year dating back to the 1800,s which
is held around the time of St Patrick's day on the village green. An Irish festival and so close to where we are staying we had to go,We arranged to meet fellow travelers Ron an Cheryl and spend the day there.With Irish music,dancing and a parade this turned out to be a great day.Stalls selling crafts,food,wine and beer including Guinness gave way to a wonderful atmosphere with locals dressed in period costumes mingling with the crowd.Irish music and dancing were on display together with Maypole dancing.The Parade led by The Launcesten Pipe Band was a great sight with all the dancers and locals dressed up, together with some vintage machinery.We eventually ended up in the RSL open for the day to festival goers and within the festival grounds.To our delight we were entertained by local musicians playing Irish music on traditional instruments including the Penny whistle and the Uilleann Pipes a traditional Irish Bagpipe.This was music I listened to as a young boy,a great day bringing back so many memories of my childhood and heritage.
Our friends are heading for the mainland and the overnight ferry, we to are moving to another site for we still have some time
here in Tasmania, we return to Ulverstone for our final stop.Although we have stayed here before there are still places to visit and more things to do within driving distance, also a there is a caravan dealer here and we are wanting a small repair to be carried out.Latrobe is a village founded on timber and the birthplace of the woodchopping competition held initially between to loggers in Latrobe for fun.A sport was born and soon turned into a champion competition held in many country's across the world where wood was harvested. The Woodchopping Hall of Fame is a small museum dedicated to the history of the timber industry surrounding Latrobe and the history of woodchopping championships dating back to 1891 when the first woodchopping championship was held in Latrobe.The museum although small is very well laid out and tracks the development of the championship from it's early days.Displays of axes used and information on the competitors together with trophy's won are visually stunning and give a glimpse into this unique sport.After visiting Latrobe we stop at a chocolate factory and gain some insight into the making of chocolate as well as sampling some goodies before we purchased.Another surprise for
us at the factory was to meet Fred an editor and presenter for a caravan magazine I subscribe to.Here at the factory to film the enterprise for an upcoming DVD we had a chat about the previous DVDs he has made and how useful they are in helping to plan itineraries.
Alas the weather has turned awful with gusting winds and a steady rainfall but all is not lost I can sit down and write this blog.
The weather continued to be awful during our last couple of days in Tasmania and although we ventured out in the car we declined to explore more of the walking tracks instead we take the opportunity to catch up on domestic issues and plan our next adventure.
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