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February 22nd 2009
Published: February 23rd 2009
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Christmas PresentChristmas PresentChristmas Present

This is what Andy is hoping that Santa will bring him next xmas, it must be in Royal Blue wth a Royal Blue canvas back and V8.
Day 107

Waking up this morning and for one brief moment you forget which part of the country you are in and then you remember. It is not really confusing because I think something deep down tells you that you are not at home waking up in the same place every day. Just where did we travel to yesterday and what day is it?

Remembering then that we were in Tasmania, a little jewel at the bottom of the Australian mainland. Andy is pleased that we are finally on Tasmania; he has been looking forward to this part of the trip since we started. My only concern being that what will he look forward to once we have left Tasmania to get back to the mainland. I should not be worried there will be something.

We both slept very well, if there was any noise out there in the night we did not hear it, we were both exhausted from our journey yesterday (even though Andy slept for a couple of hours on the boat) and we both felt the cold when we went to bed but again it was not long before we were warm and
Dear SantaDear SantaDear Santa

Can you send me one of these, Must be the V8 Diesel, in Royal Blue, with, a flat bed back, Aluminium and Blue Canvas back. Thanks. Oh and I have been a good boy !!
snug in our trailer.

I felt so snug this morning I struggled to get out of bed, though Andy was out of bed early as usual.

The weather here is cold, but that said the temperature gauge (last night) in the tent said it was 18º C so it is not really that cold, but a little different to the 40+ that we were experiencing only a couple of weeks ago.

It was a slow start to the morning, Andy brought me tea in bed (what would I do without him?) and while I was drinking it a fellow camper came up to speak to Andy, I put my head up against the mosquito screen and said “Good Morning”.

Wayne Graham and his wife were on the same sailing as us yesterday and Wayne explains that they both just packed in their jobs and came down to Tasmania to find a bit of work to help them on their way whilst doing some exploring. Wayne and his wife were fed up with the daily stresses of work so felt that the time was right to do this.

We have mentioned before that a number of people travel around, fruit picking to pay their way, but Wayne explained there is a vegetable packing plant on Tasmania that they hope to get some casual work. I hope that they are successful; we were reading the newspapers on the boat that Caterpillar on Tasmania are having to retrench about 200 workers.

We noticed last night that the camp kitchen has a toaster so we decided to have toast for breakfast, well toast and marmite in fact, I am struggling with vegemite over here. For a novelty we switched on the television and the news was on.

Today is a day of mourning in Australia, there are memorials going on around the country and a minutes silence to be held to mourn the 209 (and growing) people that died in the bushfires a couple of weeks ago. We contemplate their losses and watch some of the memorial ceremonies. We are now told that some people are still not allowed back to their homes (or what is left of them) to clear up, as further investigation work will be needed, there are still many people unaccounted for, they are continuing to find charred remains of people. This clear
Goat IslandGoat IslandGoat Island

Still a grey day.
up operation could take months.

One thing that has been reported recently is the vultures hoping to prey on the weak and probably the uninsured. Property developers have been phoning the Real Estate agents to ask if there is any scorched land being sold off cheaply. Whilst the Real Estate Agents put the phone down in disgust, sadly there will be someone that has no option to sell because they were uninsured.

Even worse is the story about a woman who claimed that her father had died in the fires just to get some money from the fund that had been set up by the Government to help with funeral costs. They found out that he was alive and well., and she was just a scammer.

We shower and get ourselves ready for the day, the main part was booking some more nights at this site, it is fairly central to what we want to do while we are here, so once we had booked in until Wednesday we got on with putting the awning up, this time with some walls to keep the draught out giving us somewhere cosier to sit in the evenings.

Our HomeOur HomeOur Home

As good as ever, this time we have put the walls up just to give us a little protection against the elements
lady on the desk here at Big 4 was very helpful, explaining the area, how long it takes to drive to places and the roads that we are able to take the trailer on. One road she says is an absolute no no and that is Jacobs ladder. She explains that we will be ok with the 4x4 but don’t take the trailer, they did it with a Motorhome and she said that she was terrified.

We made some sandwiches and went for a drive, we just wanted to explore the area a little, so we drove along the beach road and then through Ulverstone and along the coast road to Penguin and Burnie.

We were told that Tasmania is like England 100 years ago, that could be true to look at, but they do have all the mod cons here like internet, MacDonalds, main roads, electricity etc.

We pass some beautiful houses that could be in England and most definitely the weather matches that today. I feel reminded of Cornwall, the narrow windy roads, the pretty houses and gardens that are abundant with flowers, the only thing missing is the traffic.

The coast road runs alongside the railway track, it is very close, there are no fences between us and the track and in fact in Ulverstone has a criss cross of roads that go across the railway, they have red lights to let you know if a train is coming no barriers, so we deliberately just check the line before crossing anyway. We were actually curious to know if the track was used anyway. It does look like it, as there are no weeds.

There is a lot to do on Tasmania, but we are only here for a couple of weeks, we have decided to see how it goes and if necessary we will change our sailing on the Spirit of Tasmania, at a cost of $30.00 per person administration costs, which in the grand scheme of things is a small price to pay as we may not come down this way for a long while so it may be worth it to extend.

We drive back from Burnie, pop into Woolworths for some groceries, I used the wrong card, it was my British bankcard, but never mind. We have steak and salad lined up for dinner tonight. We go back
Done ProperlyDone ProperlyDone Properly

Jarrod we did as you said this time, it worked beautifully and as you can see the tent is an ideal shape!
to camp for a rest. I read a little bit of my “Lonely Planet” for information on Tasmania, specifically around our area.

My “Lonely Planet” on Australia is about 3 years old now, very well thumbed, it has notes in it and little tabs where I have marked important pages, it is a good bible. I use this in conjunction with the tourist information and of course my maps of which I now have a good collection of.

At about 5.50 this evening I heard the bell from the train coming down the track, well that answers that question then, the track is obviously used. It sounds as if the train goes very slowly through the town anyway so I would say you have plenty of warning that the train is coming.

After our rest we come over to the camp kitchen to cook our dinner. We may have mentioned before but some of these campsites have great camp kitchens that have microwaves, fridges, kettles, toasters and of course the Aussie favourite the gas barbecue. This camp site is no exception it has everything you need, it is a 4 star camp after all.

While we were cooking a lady came along to cook dinner for her and her husband, they too are British and come from Norfolk. They have 6 months out here; and bought a camper van and are trying to do as much of Australia as they can fit in. Her sister lives here on the Gold Coast, so the camper they have bought is registered at her address.

Not long after we finished eating a gentleman rocked up kitted out with sausages and steak to throw on the barbeque. We get talking (as we always do), he is a Sydneyite and has lived there all is life, Laurie and his wife are over here for a couple of weeks to tour, they did this on their honeymoon 25 years ago this month and came over to do the repeat journey to celebrate.

We finished our washing up and just as we were leaving along came another couple, Maurice and Janet Taylor are over here for a couple of weeks, they are both retired. Maurice explains that he is into genealogy and is of English descendent, Nottinghamshire, he tells us how he finds second cousins nearly every week.

Later Andy and I now sit here in the camp kitchen all lovely and cosy and type up the blog, while typing I get a text message from my bank in England telling me that my bank card has been used in Australia, if this is not correct then I should call them. I am most impressed. I for one have been stuck in various countries trying to use my credit card only to find that it was stopped for “Security Reasons” because it had been used the day before. So it costs a fortune to telephone them to try and get it re instated because it was me that used it. I am all for security, but not the hassle so getting the text message is a better idea.

Interestingly enough, the times that the card had been stopped for “Security Reasons” were in fact the only times that I had bothered to call the credit card company to let them know that I was travelling to that country. The other times that I did not bother I was freely using my card, which I would have thought would trigger the stoppage, as it would indicate unusual spending activity. That said anything unusual on my credit card would be not using it!

Oh well, bedtime again.

Goodnight for now bloggers


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