This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

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1999 Travels November 22


I went to the cricket with John. It cost $30 for me. I was concerned that this would be rather a waste if the match ended as quickly as looked likely. My fears were unfounded.

As John had been, I was surprised at how near the action was, how close to us the players came, and how much could actually be seen. Bellerive really is more like a country oval than a big city one, in that respect.

It was all much better and more interesting than I had anticipated. That said, one day was enough for me.

Adam Gilchrist and Justin Langer put on a record breaking batting partnership to get Australia out of an almost impossible situation. It was quite thrilling.

The match went on until mid-afternoon, with Australia winning, which was a real turn-around. So it turned out to be an excellent day for me to go to the cricket. I doubt I would see any better in my lifetime.

The only unenjoyable part of the day was the behaviour of some of the crowd who were drunk and revolting.

We went back to the van quite exhilarated.

Took down the awning and did some preliminary packing, for departure tomorrow.

Tea was broad bean and garlic sauce with pasta. It was very nice.

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1999 Travels November 21


As usual, I dropped John off at Bellerive.

I then drove to Richmond, via Cambridge. I stopped along the way to take photos of the opium poppy fields. These were not very fortified – just normal fences and warning signs, which rather surprised me. The poppy flowers are white – another surprise, as I expected them to be coloured. They actually look quite drab. Opium poppies, from which painkillers like morphine and codeine are made, have been a farm industry in Tasmania since the 1960’s – a very useful cash crop for the farmers licensed to grow them.

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Opium poppy fields

I parked Truck in central Richmond, then walked around the historic town for several hours.

Richmond dates from the early 1800’s. The bridge over the Coal River was built by convicts in the 1820’s. The Catholic Church that features in most photos taken of the bridge, dates from 1836. The town is very atmospheric. There are so many original old cottages, commercial and office buildings from the colonial period.

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Richmond Bridge and St John’s Church

I spent some time at the Catholic Church – St Johns, and at the Anglican graveyard, with its really old graves.

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The Anglican graveyard at Richmond

Bought a filled roll for lunch.

Browsed in a bookshop and bought a book on Clarendon House, south of Launceston – where some of my  pioneering ancestors were farm workers in their early days in the colony.

It would have been better to have avoided the weekend to visit here! There were lots of people around. Poor planning on my part! If John comes here for a visit, with me, we must try to ensure a week day.

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Richmond Bridge and the Coal River

I drove back to Berriedale via the Grasstree Hill Road, to Risdon, and across on the Bowen Bridge. It was a very narrow, steep and twisty road, to Risdon.

Had a couple of hours back at the van, reading, then it was time to go collect John from the cricket.

I found a place to park, not too far from the main entrance to the ground, then walked to the entrance to wait for John to emerge. The match went overtime, so it was 6.30 before people began coming out of the ground.

I could not believe how many spectators were drunk! There is obviously no monitoring or policing  of this at such events. There were even a couple of men staggering out the gates, vomiting down their fronts as they went! Hideous.

The early evening drive back to the van was easy enough.

Tea was cold roast chook and salad.

John was insistent that I go to the cricket with him tomorrow, for the last day. Even though Australia was in a poor position and looked like losing  quickly on the day. I was rather reluctant, especially given the crowd behaviour I saw yesterday, but he was determined.

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1999 Travels November 20


Another day of cricket. We followed the same routine in the morning. There was more traffic around Bellerive – obviously there was a better turnout to the cricket on the weekend.

After leaving John, I drove to the Hobart Botanic Gardens. Or the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, to give them the proper title. These are located beautifully and centrally, at the city end of the Tasman Bridge, separated from the Derwent River only by the Domain highway. I’d already found out from some of my tourist literature, that I could park right over the road from the gardens  in Lower Domain Road.

I spent a couple of hours there, walking around. Found the Conservatory excellent, likewise the fuchsia area. The Japanese Garden was interesting, though not in the same class as Toowoomba’s.

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Conservatory at the Botanic Gardens

Mount Wellington dominates Hobart, because it is visible from most parts. There were good views of it from the Gardens. I finished another film at the Gardens.

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Mt Wellington from the Botanic Gardens

On the way back to camp, dropped the finished film in at Glenorchy, and bought the paper.

Spent my usual sort of afternoon – reading the paper, preparing food. Made a vegie and barley soup and put on a chicken to roast, with vegetables, in the electric frypan. Turned all this off when I had to go and pick up John from the bus depot, after he phoned.

He was not happy with the bus travel, this time – there had been lots of drunken yobbos on the bus and he had not felt at ease. Don’t blame him! We agreed that I would collect him direct from Bellerive tomorrow afternoon. Tea will be cold, so it is easy from that viewpoint.

He is still determined to go to all five days of the match!

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1999 Travels November 19


It was another fine day, but still cool.

I was up early and managed to get two loads of washing done before it was time to leave for the cricket run. Yesterday morning’s drive to Bellerive was so successful that John decided to repeat it today!

I drove back to Glenorchy, did a grocery shop, picked up my processed photos.

Back at the van, I read and brought in the washing. The exposed hilltop clothes lines assist drying no end! I think the wind must come straight up the Derwent – this caravan park is right beside the river.

I collected John from Glenorchy again, at night. He was a bit later, this time. He had another really enjoyable day.

We bought fish and chips for tea from a shop there – not nice, far too greasy

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1999 Travels November 18


It was a fine, cool day for the start of the cricket Test. Australia was playing Pakistan.

We set out to drive to the bus depot at Glenorchy then, in the way, John decided to drive right to Bellerive, and that I could drive Truck back to camp and pick him up from the bus, when he phoned, at night. I was disconcerted by this sudden change of plan, which meant having to find my way back without a navigator, or a pre-plan.

We got to Bellerive about 10am, after stopping at Glenorchy to buy some lunch things for John. I dropped him by the entrance and made my way back to Glenorchy. It was not as hard as I’d feared. Getting onto the Tasman Bridge and off onto the right route at the roundabouts after it, was made easier by good signage.

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The Tasman Bridge, that links both sides of Hobart, over the Derwent River. There is a wider space for shipping, in the middle.

At the Glenorchy shops, I put in a film for processing, and browsed around the shops.

After a late lunch, I read for much of the afternoon – making the most of my unfettered library access!

John caught the bus from Bellerive to Glenorchy, after the cricket, and phoned me from Glenorchy, about 6.30pm. I drove there and collected him.

John had really enjoyed the day. He was full of talk about it – how close the players are to the spectators, how well he could see,  how small the crowd was.

Tea was rissoles and mash.

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1999 Travels November 17


There was no hurry about getting up this morning.

I discovered that the tap/hose link under the sink is leaking – again – so John had to fix that. it took a while. It is a good job that he is good at fixing irritating little things like that.

Today was basically a city shopping and organizing day.

We drove to the Glenorchy shopping  centre. I visited the Library there and joined the Tasmanian State Library. It means that I can borrow and return books all over the State, which is great!

John has decided to renew his lapsed passport and posted off the application to a former colleague, to witness.

I bought bread, milk and a paper – not a big shop, because I had done that in Scottsdale for when I thought we’d be spending weeks on the east coast.

Had  lunch back at the van.

We went to Tandy and Dick Smith. John bought printer ink refills and a small indoor aerial for the TV.

We drove into central Hobart – it is so small and un-busy compared to Melbourne central! It was easy to find a convenient place to park too. Went to Myer where John got a part he needed for his shaver and bought a Solitaire computer game.

At the Hobart GPO we got bus details, relevant to the cricket, which is over the Derwent River, at Bellerive Oval. We booked his ticket for the cricket there. Decided that he should have the dearest seat – under cover, and a proper seat, as opposed to sitting on a bench, or the grass. It cost $98 for the 5 day Test, and a reserved seat that is clearly his alone.

We drove back through North Hobart, Newtown and Moonah, for a change, to get fuel – 75cpl – and to check out the Glenorchy bus stops. In Moonah I saw a Knitters Club shop, so we had to stop so I could have a browse. But I was very disciplined and only bought two balls of cheap wool.

Tea was potato soup, lamb chop, sausages and vegies.

The new indoor aerial seems to work well in Hobart – it has certainly improved the TV reception over what it was last night.

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1999 Travels November 16


The drive on down the coast, through Swansea and Triabunna, was beautiful. Around Swansea we looked over the bay to the Freycinet Peninsula – superb outlook. I am frustrated that we are just “passing through” all this lovely coastal region.

I had thought we would have a final coastal taste by staying the night at Orford, with its outlook to Maria Island, but John decided he did not want another single night’s stay along the coast, but would press on to Hobart.

We lunched by the river at Orford, after overshooting the entrance to the beachside picnic area.

After Orford, the highway departed from the coast, and the way was through a mix of forested country and farm lands.

Drizzly rain started as we came though a hilly section near Buckland.

We went to the caravan park at Cambridge that had been recommended highly to us by other travellers. It looked very pleasant and rural. I thought that, from here, I would be able to do some interesting cycling around the area, while John was at the cricket. However, John asked about the TV reception and was told that it was not great, so he decided that we would go elsewhere! I was cross that bloody TV took precedence over all the attractive aspects of the place.

For Plan B, we continued on towards the main part of Hobart, and the Berriedale Caravan Park that we had stayed at in ’93. They charged us $16 a night, with the seventh night free.

There were not many empty powered sites. A few up on top of the hill, with a nice outlook over the river, were exposed, small, and surrounded by permanent vans. We ended up on the flat area down the bottom of the hill, backing on to a childrens’ playground, with quite a hike up the hill to the amenities block. However, at night, that walk up there was attractive, with the city lights all round. It partly made up for the general bleakness of the place in daytime. The park at Cambridge was definitely much nicer, and without the traffic noise that is a background at Berriedale.

We set up fully, for a week’s stay, at least. We have not really discussed options once the cricket is over.

It was cold and grey.

Tea was potato soup, ling done in a Dijonnaise sauce – nice.

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