We sleep very well and wake to beautiful blue skies with temperature in the low 60's. We would really like to stay in bed, but it is a perfect day to get some necessary tasks done and explore a little. However, first things first!
This morning’s breakfast is part of our package at Trevallyn House B&B. We were given a sheet last night when we arrived to choose our breakfast. The offerings are fresh juices, coffee and teas, breads, cereals and a selection of one of four main dishes. We both chose Eggs Florentine except Carolyn does not want the spinach so she is getting poached eggs with Hollandaise Sauce. The food is very good, very fresh and beautifully presented. Our hosts are Janie and Brett Reynolds and Brett does the cooking while Janie serves. We arrive at 8:45AM and the other two couples who are guests are just leaving the table.
Dick’s goal this morning is to at least partially solve our electrical plug adapter problem. Janie offers some suggestions of places to try and Dick heads into downtown Launceston about 9:30AM. Janie has marked a map with likely stores and he parks for $3AUD and heads out on foot. The first store has an adapter with two plug holes on sale for $9.99AUD. It is clunky and huge but it will do in a pinch! The sales lady suggest a store called JayCar Electronics for the fuses needed to resuscitate the dead adapter and, sure enough, they have them and for $13AUD we now own 10 of the little suckers. They can no longer sell the universal adapters (all countries in one - plug anything in anywhere) because the government of Tasmania or maybe all of Australia decided that they were dangerous and someone might touch one of the prongs not plugged in to the socket and get hurt....that rates right up there with the bungy cord incident on Quatas in 2009! And we think the US government is too big brotherish Give me a break!! Anyway, the fuses do solve the problem with the dead adapter and we now have adapters in all the plugs charging camera batteries, phones, etc. The only thing we need is a power strip so we can keep all our stuff in the same general place...so we don’t go off and forget something.
On the return trip Dick gases up the car and buys 28 liters of gas for $37.52AUD. That works out to 7.40 US gallons for $28.95US or $3.91 a gallon.
Carolyn needs to do some laurdry and ask Janie where the washing machine that is listed in the property write up. Janie says just bring it to her and she will get it done with the B&B laundry in a little while. We don’t have too much and carolyn is glad to do it, but Janie insists! So carolyn takes it to her and spends the rest of the time Dick is out get her email cleaned up and the blog caught up.
After a light lunch in our cottage, we head North along the West side of the Tamar River to begin our exploration of the area. This is a wine grape growing area and the vines are full of grapes. The birds must be a real problem because they have draped ten of thousands of yards of white cloth mesh, sort of like cheese cloth, over hundreds of acres of vines. We wonder if they can reuse it next year! The views along the valley are wonderful with the vines loaded with fruit and the sun sparkling off the water.
We drive out to Beauty Point, a little riverside village with not much going on. It must have had a fishing industry of some sort in the past, but the pier and warehouses are now home for some of the local wildlife and the place is a sleepy resort of sorts.
Backtracking to trhe Baton Bridge, we cross to the East side of the river. We are looking for and see signs advertising Hillside Strawberry Farm. We have heard they sell great jam and also cheese. They need to hire a new roadside advertising manager but, in spite of the lack of accurate signage we do find it with the help of an older man sitting in a car waiting for kids to get off the school bus.Hillside has a you pick setup that is in full swing right now and also sells berries to Driscoll, a brand of berries we see at home. A large truck is stacked with their boxes. Near the green houses where the strawberries are waiting to be picked. Inside the little retail shop, a young girl, the daughter of a manager or owner, not sure which, sell us two jars of their jam and a wedge of Blue Brie cheese, a favorite we discovered in France a few years ago.
We now head out the road on the East side of the river to Low Head and its lighthouse and Pilot’s Station. Lurking off to the side of this drive is the smoke plume from one or more forest fires. They are further away than they look but are certainly threatening looking from our point of view. We stop at several places for photos of the lighthouse and the historic Victorian style homes on this point of land. Heading back toward Launceston we detour a little to take a look at George Town. Nothing going on here on a late Friday afternoon.
Not to far down the road, we see a short-beaked Echidna (spiny anteater), a somewhat rare little animal that looks sort of like a hedgehog. He is wandering down the side of the road and we suspect there may be one less before the day is out. We have seen many dead wallabies, kangaroos and unknown animals in the road and lots of road signs reminding people to care for the wildlife and to slow down from dusk to dawn.
We are amazed at how little traffic there is at 5:30PM on a Friday evening near the second largest city in Tasmania and arrive back at our cottage in no time.
While sitting on the deck enjoying the river vally view as the sun goes down, our hosts return loaded with grocery bags and Dick invites them to come back for a drink. They do, bringing their own glass of wine, and have a pleasant 30 minute visit. Brett is from NW Australia and they have been married about 14 years. They have been running the B&B on Janie’s family property for ten years. Dinner is the rest of the roasted chicken, more rice and a fruit salad.
Carolyn works on getting the blog up to date through March 5 on the incredibly slow internet and Dick heads to bed. Tomorrow there is more to explore.