This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

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2000 Travels February 14


Valentine’s Day again, and a warm one.

We had a leisurely morning. I read for a while.

The Sydney lady came over for a talk before leaving. We exchanged names and contact details. She said her husband was interested in finding out more about the share market, so I gave her details of a book that I’d found useful.

After lunch we went driving. Drove north again, along the coast road, then on to Huonville. Then followed the Huon River valley to Glen Huon and on towards the Snowy Range, on unsealed tracks, kind of following the river. Then we found ourselves amongst forestry operations, and where they are any resemblance of tracks to what is on the maps, ceases! So we decided that was enough track exploring in that direction, and took the 4WD Link Track to Lonnavale and then came back along the northern side of the Huon River, to Huonville – a pleasant circuit. We could see where the recent fire had burnt.

We drove 164kms today.

This part of the coast seems to be becoming a focus for fish farming – in this case, salmon. As we have driven along the coast road through Surveyors Bay and Police Point, have seen the distinctive round cages out in the channel that is the Huon estuary. Interesting. Logic would suggest that intensive fish farming has to be more sustainable than increased wild fishing, though I don’t know how many species lend themselves to this.

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Buoys marking fish farming activity

Back at Dover, collected the mail. Had letters from our Hawker friends and from the WA sisters we’d met at Atherton, in ’98; they sent us a book on free camps in WA, which was really lovely of them.

Tea was soup and a chicken stir fry.

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2000 Travels February 13


The weather was much better today.

John worked on the van brake, which took much of the day, but seemed to go ok. He thinks a part may have been put back in the wrong way up, at the last service.

The traveller next door was an interested watcher/”helper” without being obtrusive at all. The best sort!

A lady who was staying in one of the cabins came over and introduced herself – from Sydney. They have a 19 foot Trakmaster Simpson. She said it weighs 3 tonnes! I am very glad we are not towing something of that weight about the country. We swapped “Trakkie” stories, briefly, before she went off sightseeing with her travel friend.

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The barbeque area and more of the caravan park

I made potato and bacon soup. We had some of that for tea, followed by cold roast lamb and vegies.

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2000 Travels February 12


Today was wet and windy and generally unpleasant.

John intended to tackle the van brake repair, but it was too horrible to be outside.

Fetched the papers and spent some time reading those, then just read books. John played on the computer. I did some more messing about with share market research.

Tea was roast lamb and vegies.

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2000 Travels February 11


After last night’s rain it was a really humid day.

After discussing it all, last night, today we drove back to Nicholls Rivulet, to Pav’s mill, in order to put in a firm order for the silver wattle timber for the kitchen. We will need a fair quantity, so the lead in time will allow him to find us really good wood.

I suspect that, when Pav saw us coming, he was worried that we’d come to cancel yesterday’s sassafras purchase and demand our money back! After all, how many retirees wander in and buy a ruddy great log, on impulse?

We gave him the silver wattle order and paid a $100 deposit. Again, this will not be needed for at least a couple of years yet.

Back at Dover, found the brake part parcel had finally arrived at the Post Office. John was pleased that it had finally come, as he really wanted to fix the brake before we moved again.

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The pleasant outlook from our van at Dover Caravan Park

Tea was fish and fries.

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2000 Travels February 10


This began as another warm day, but became increasingly humid as the day progressed. By late afternoon, there was a big build-up of cloud; by evening it was raining.

We set out to go to Nicholls Rivulet to visit The Deepings – woodturner – mentioned in the tourist information material we have. This was a place that ran residential classes, as well as having wood products for sale.

To get there, had to drive north to Huonville, then turn and follow the coast back to Cygnet, then head inland a little way, into hilly and timbered country. We followed the Esperance Coast Road around, rather than going the more direct highway route. It is such a scenic way to go that we do not get sick of it and consider the extra distance worth it.

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Unusually situated shed at Brooks Bay – maybe there was once a jetty here?

The Deepings had the same sort of products for sale that we had seen elsewhere. I actually thought that the Forest Centre in Geeveston had a far better range. We bought a small myrtle turning blank, that had an appealing grain pattern, for $10.

From there, we went on a bit further, to Craftwood Timber Supplies, a small timber milling operation, that we had been told about. This was a real find – a magic place. The owner – Pavel – was great, and really helpful and keen to show us his stocks, and talk timbers with John.  We spent about three hours there, and ended up buying a sizeable length of blackheart sassafras log. Slabbed, it would make beautiful coffee tables  – about 6 of same. Also bought sassafras for legs and celery top pine that would be under slats, if John decided to put magazine racks under. We paid a $500 deposit, in cash, on an $1100 purchase! They were beautiful looking slabs that would take two years to finish seasoning and kiln drying. so there were no worries about us not wanting it sent for another two or three years.

Pav had some beautiful blackwood there, too, with superb graining. We priced that, and his silver wattle, for future reference. He said that he could supply us with silver wattle, for our kitchen renovation, and would ensure we got top quality. This seemed very promising, as we do like the timber.

Pav also has turning blanks and burl materials. He told us of some tracks worth exploring, on the west coast, for when we go there.

Back at Huonville, we got diesel – 83cpl – and did a quick shop at the supermarket. Noted some phone messages, while we were in range. I phoned our sharebroker and put in a sell order on a batch of shares whose price had climbed to a level I was happy with.

John was anxious to get back to Dover to go to bowls practice. However, by the time we did get back, there were already some showers of rain, and the looming storm clouds had seen bowls called off.

Back at the van, John did a quick price comparison on silver wattle from the two places we’d seen that supplied it. Craftwood Timber was a little dearer than Island Specialty Timbers, but would probably be worth it, given the attention to quality Pav will guarantee. John will no doubt negotiate, anyway.

Tea was kumara soup, fettucine with a tomato sauce.

After tea, John phoned daughter R, who’d left several messages for us. Seems the government job she started a few months ago, will end soon, but she has some interviews lined up.

Overall, it was a most interesting day. We drove about 160kms.

It was quite pleasant to hear the rain on the van roof. They certainly need the rain in these parts.

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2000 Travels February 9


It was another hot day.

We drove to the Post Office, to find that the expected parcel from Trakmaster was not there. John phoned them, to be informed that it had been sent – by ordinary post. Lord knows when it will get here!

We also discovered that the mussels gathered at Southport the other day, and overlooked in Truck, were making an extremely nasty smell. They were dispatched to a bin.

John worked on completing the GST tax form now required for our company. More bureaucratic paperwork. He had to phone our accountant to check some details.

I amused myself by doing some research work on shares, trying to graph and analyse price movements, as I was doing yesterday.

In the late afternoon, John went fishing. All he could find about the van, for bait, was some pork strasburg I’d bought for lunch sandwiches. He fished off a little jetty not far away and caught a heap of fish! Amazing stuff, stras! He caught enough for three meals, for him. It was a good experience for him, because the “fishy” people in the park had been telling him they’d been seeing lots of flathead in the bay.

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Caught on pork stras!

Tea was late! After 8pm. Sweet potato soup and cold salmon patties.

I phoned K to ask him to send a batch of mail. He informed me that the fridge at home, which they have been using, broke down and needed a new element. $270 – which I guessed we’d have to pay for. Apparently, they lost some frozen meat and other foods, before they realized there was a problem – and K ate some “off” food that made him ill. I wondered how come he didn’t notice it was off?

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2000 Travels February 8


Today was another hot one.

We pottered about camp in the morning.

John went off to bowls after an early lunch, doing quite a bit of wondering whether he should be playing in their President’s Day, as a non-member. As it happened, he lost two games and won one, so any possibly awkward situation was well averted. He enjoyed his afternoon.

I read, sewed, did some research on shares, made sweet potato soup.

Tea was some of the soup, and salmon patties.

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Esperance Bay at Dover