This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.


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1999 Travels December 31

FRIDAY 31 DECEMBER     HOBART

Today, we planned some time out, at the Constitution Dock area in the city, where the Taste of Tasmania Festival is being held. This is also where the race yachts berth.

The Taste of Tasmania is an event that started about ten years ago, to take advantage of the drawcard of the finish of the Sydney-Hobart yacht race, and showcase Tasmania food, produce and wines.

I ate a very early lunch before we went, not being sure what I would find to like at the Taste stalls.

We drove to the Constitution Dock area, even managing to find a nearby parking place – much easier than I’d expected. Hobart is such a privileged city, like Sydney, having this dock area right at the centre of town. Here, of course, it is a very historic area, with some buildings dating from the early days of settlement.

12-31-1999 Old IXL Jam Factory Constitution Dock.jpg

Old warehouses and factories by Constitution Dock

We walked around a little and had a quick look at some of the race yachts. Could see the sailing ship “Young Endeavour” that acted as a radio ship for the race, coming in.

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The Young Endeavour radio ship coming in to dock

John was anxious to get into the Taste area, along Princes Wharf, on the southern side of the Dock area, to get his lunch! He bought a cooked quail, and after that, a “hot dog” roll, with a special kind of bratwurst type sausage in it. He had a Tasmanian apple cider; I had a coffee. We both had a delicious icecream.

Some of the food, and sampling menus on display, were really innovative and most attractive. However, I was reluctant to sample widely, being intolerant of reheated meat products. I also thought the conditions for preparation and storage were a bit dicey, here, though I was really tempted by some of the offerings at the Turkish stall!

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The eating area at the Taste of Tasmania

After John ate, and we looked around, we walked back to the yachts for a proper look.

12-31-1999 first 3 yachts nokia, brindabella, wild thing

The first three line honours place getters in the Sydney to Hobart race

We watched “Hi Flyer” come in from the actual race, being towed to berth, so we did get to see a finisher of sorts! She was one of the smaller boats that had gotten caught in tough conditions down the east coast. She did well to get here at all – they looked rather relieved, I thought!

12-31-1999 towed in after rough trip

Hi Flyer arriving – with some assistance

We looked at “Cadibarra 7”, the ONLY yacht to finish this year’s Melbourne to Hobart West Coaster race – she arrived earlier today. Now they had certainly had really atrocious conditions for sailing!

12-31-1999 only finisher west coaster

The ONLY yacht to complete this year’s West Coaster race from Melbourne to Hobart

It was quite windy down at the Dock, and very cool – it will be a cold night for the festivities.

About 4pm, we drove back to the caravan park. The place was really crowded and the amenities was full of people getting ready to go out and party. I was glad we were staying in!

We had a light tea – John was still feeling full after his gourmet treats. Soup and salad only.

We watched football on TV – Carlton Vs Collingwood – a treat for John the Carlton follower. It was a special Millennium match, put on out of season. Carlton won by miles. I read for most of it!

Just before midnight, we opened a bottle of sparkling burgundy – it was a Xmas present from me to John, as he really likes it. Toasted the coming Year 2000, as midnight ticked over. The world did not end!

We walked up to the top of the hill, with our glasses of wine, from where we could see quite a bit of the fireworks display in central Hobart. It was cold up there and we did not stay too long.

We continued to watch New Year TV coverages, until about 1.30am. The TV still worked. There did not seem to be any disasters, we think the world is still out there!

We did not win the $21million, but did get a bottom division win on our ticket, and also on the syndicate one.

We hope it will be a great year of travelling to come, in 2000 – and that life will continue to be good to us in the 21st century.

 

OUR STATISTICS FOR 1999      (1998 in brackets for comparison)

* Kms travelled for 1999:  32450kms      (29848kms)

* Kms towed van for the year:  10827kms    (8220kms)

* Cost of diesel:  $3061.47     ($2532.21)

* Average fuel consumption:  8.1kms per litre   (8.3kms per litre)  Approx 12 litres per 100kms

* Dearest diesel: $1.15 – Mt Dare  (93cpl – Seisia)

* Cheapest diesel: 56cpl – Toowoomba  (63cpl – Charters Towers)

* Accommodation costs:  $4757.35   ($4845.10)

* Dearest accommodation: $64.80 – motel Alice Springs; $26 powered site Yulara. Cabin on Spirit of Tasmania – ??

* Cheapest paid accommodation: $5 – National Parks; $10 – powered site Boulia

* Average cost of fuel and accommodation per week:$150.36. Budget allows for $200. In 1998 was $141.87.

* Number of different places stayed at: 56   (46)

* Longest stay in one place: 3 weeks and 5 days – Healesville.  (5 weeks – Atherton)

* Number of times we moved camp: 60   (53)


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1999 Travels December 30

THURSDAY 30 DECEMBER    HOBART

We had another quiet day.

John watched the Test cricket on TV. I read.

After lunch we went for a walk around the streets, and alongside the railway, for an hour or so.

The caravan park is really filling up now, as people flock in for New Year celebrations, I guess. It feels too crowded here.

Tea was soup, ham, salad.

After tea, I phoned V, thinking she would probably be out tomorrow night. She was tired from a hectic Xmas, and then having to work for the rest of the week. She was pleased with how her Boxing Day party went – all the disparate family elements mixed well, though R arrived a couple of hours late and did not stay long. It was great to talk to V.

None of the offspring has commented on whether they liked their Xmas presents! V was the only one who sent us any gifts, apart from cards. Made me appreciate her effort with the book vouchers all the more.


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1999 Travels December 29

WEDNESDAY 29 DECEMBER     HOBART

After breakfast, we drove to Glenorchy shops to do a stock up before New Year.

Because it is the end of the 20th century coming up, and the start of a new Millennium, there have been all sorts of dire predictions being made, for a few years now. Apart from the usual way-out ideas that attach to such occasions, there is some genuine concern about how our modern computers will handle the transition to year 2000. Personally, I do not subscribe to disaster and end-of-the-world theories, but it is possible that there might be the odd computer glitch, so it seems prudent to allow for same. Food, medications, money ,fuel, reading matter…….

I stocked up on books at the Library. At the Post Office, we collected a script for John’s Celebrex – he’d phoned before Xmas and asked our doctor to send him this. This script will see him back to Melbourne, in April. We had that filled, and other needed pills too.

Bought some more tickets for the big New Year Lotto draw. Made sure we had a good supply of cash – just in case there are bank and credit union hiccups.

Drove to Claremont and bought wine, beer and bubbly. Topped up the diesel so we have a full tank – 74cpl.

After lunch, I made vegetable and barley soup.

Tea was soup, ham and salad


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1999 Travels December 28

TUESDAY 28 DECEMBER     HOBART

We were up early and left Hobart at 7.15. While we were still at White Beach, John had committed us to play in the Nubeena Bowls Club “cray” bowls day – on this day. They were trying to drum up numbers to ensure a good turnout and “leaned” on him to come back for it.

The weather was bleak looking as we left.

When we were crossing the Tasman Bridge, could see the super maxi yacht “Mari Cha 111” coming up the river towards Hobart – a huge yacht. She was just coming up to finish the fastest ever Sydney-Hobart crossing – well under two days.  Because she is a new class of yacht, she was sailing the event by special invitation and was not officially eligible for placings. It was being estimated on the radio news that the actual first place getter would finish in another couple of hours. It would have been great to be able to go to the Docks and see the winner finish, and earlier I had hoped to do so. But it became obvious yesterday that it was going to be a fast race, and that I would miss out, because of the bowls.

We went through a number a squalls of rain on the way to Nubeena, and we were having thoughts of going all that way for nothing. However, it was a bit clearer there, though cool.

It turned out to be a 10am start, not 9am as John had thought, so we could have left later!

Club officials had teamed us up with the absolute klutz of the club – who no-one ever wanted to play with, even on social days, let alone when there were prizes attached! Not a nice way to treat visitors who had gone out of their way to attend! The klutz’s wife made up the four – she was a better player. John made him lead, and me play second, because his greatest talent lay in taking out friendly bowls! So it was not a team that was going to take home any crayfish, from the outset. It was pretty obviously deliberately done by the organizers, and not a random draw.

We lost the first game, drew the second, and won the third, so we maybe did a little better than expected. It cost us $24 to enter (plus our fuel costs to get there) and we got morning and afternoon teas provided, plus a lunch of cold meats, salad, fruit salad and icecream, so there was some return for the outlay.

I think John was really disappointed by the team formation and did not have the enjoyable day he had expected. I have certainly had better days!

It was about 7pm when we got back to Hobart. Drove 238kms.

We had a light tea – ham and salad.

Early night – we were both tired.


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1999 Travels December 27

MONDAY 27 DECEMBER     HOBART

We had another quiet day. It was a public holiday in Hobart.

After lunch, we drove up to Tolosa Park, in the foothills behind Glenorchy. The park contains the lower Glenorchy Reservoir and we thought it would be a pleasant change to walk in parkland, rather than around the streets. There were picnicking groups and families there – far too many of them severely the worse for wear for alcohol. This public drinking in Tasmania is so awful, and seems so much the norm. I saw one man, sitting on the ground with a family group of men, women, children, clutching his can of beer, turn his head, vomit over his shoulder and down his back, then turn to the front again and take another drink! No-one in the group batted an eyelid! That seems typical. I find it hard to deal with.

We walked around park paths for about an hour, then drove back to camp.

The cricket in Melbourne was still getting spells of rain.

Tea was cold turkey and salads. That finished the turkey.


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1999 Travels December 26

SUNDAY 26 DECEMBER     HOBART

We had a quiet day.

John was keen to watch the Boxing Day Test cricket, on TV from Melbourne. I did get to watch on TV, a bit of the start of the Sydney-Hobart yacht race, which is the Boxing Day event that interests me. But the cricket took priority.

After lunch, we went for a walk around the local streets. Again, the area was really quiet.

In the late afternoon, a huge thunderstorm set in, in Melbourne, that disrupted the cricket and caused much local flooding. I thought of V and the family gathering she’d planned, and hoped it hadn’t been washed out.

Tea was cold turkey and salads.


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1999 Travels December 25

SATURDAY 25 DECEMBER     HOBART

Xmas Day. Last year we were in Toowoomba. Wonder where we will be next year?

I got up at 8am, to stuff the turkey and get it in to cook. We are being more ambitious with Xmas lunch this year, than last, actually having a turkey. I cooked the bird in the van’s oven, but finished it off in the electric frypan, outside, to ensure it was cooked through.

John phoned family. Left a message on K’s machine. Spoke with brothers R and C, sister H, daughter R and left message on S’s machine. She phoned back – was actually very busy at work! She had received her parcel, via the diplomatic mail bag,  but had not opened it, so we do not yet know what she thought of the zircon earrings.

Our roast turkey lunch was very nice. We lingered a couple of hours over lunch. The SA people, from the only other van down in this section, came by, and we talked for an hour or so.

After lunch was all cleared up, we went for a walk, along the footpaths towards Claremont, looking at the houses with the water frontage. We walked for about an hour. Everywhere seemed really quiet.

Tea was light! Some cold turkey, salad and mango.

Finished up the day having enjoyed all the eating, but without feeling that I’d over done it.

Former colleague G phoned. They had enjoyed my card and the letter. They will be in Tasmania at the start of the Term 1 vacation and would like to catch up if it suits us. He said he’d phone again, closer to the time. That call was an unexpected pleasure.

We phoned P and K. They’d had a pleasant day with her family. I had to ask him to clear around the water meters in the front garden, since we had received an estimated water bill for the empty flat – because the reader could not find the meter! K and John had a cricket discussion.

I tried to phone V. Had to leave a message on her machine.

Overall, it was a pleasant Xmas Day. I miss the family, of course, but in some ways do not miss all the cooking and organizing I have to usually do for a big family Xmas.