This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.


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1999 Travels December 22

WEDNESDAY 22 DECEMBER     HOBART

We went to Glenorchy Post Office to pick up the bag of mail from home. There were lots of Xmas cards in it.

We then continued on for a drive, across the other side of the river on the Bowen Bridge, then south, to Lauderdale and on to South Arm and Opossum Bay. This is the hook of land that curves around and encloses the lower Derwent estuary. We went that way just because of sheer curiosity to see what this narrow, strange looking promontory was like.

It was a pleasant drive, through some newer suburbs, initially, but then into small acreage open country, with the shallow coves of Ralphs Bay to one side. Going towards the village of South Arm, the road was right beside one of the shallow inlets, only a couple of metres from the water. There were so many places with superb views of the Derwent estuary. Water views are so easy to come by in Tasmania.

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The D’Entrecasteaux Channel from South Arm

We ate lunch sitting in Truck, overlooking the Derwent at Opossum Bay, which is as far as it is possible to go. This, we decided, was once an area of fishing shacks that lined the bay and both sides of a narrow lane. That lane is now the sealed road through Opossum Bay, but it is still very narrow and some front doors open virtually onto the road. Some of what were once beach front shacks have been converted into very nice, modern, beach houses, Mediterranean style. However, they are small, due to the constraints of being on a very narrow strip of land, fronting the beach.

We went for a walk along the beach, looking at the brilliant river view, and at the seaward sides of the houses we’d driven behind.

Then drove back to Hobart and went for a walk in the Botanic Gardens, where John had not yet been. We visited the Conservatory, fuschia house and Japanese garden. I was struck again by the excellent use of conifers and their display in these gardens. I am coming to think that we should use small conifers around our swimming pool, in the problem areas. Some of the ground cover ones are lovely.

I particularly wanted John to see the French Fountain, which is made completely of timber. It was built about thirty years ago, to mark the bicentenary of the first French exploration voyages around the Tasmanian coast. It is certainly unusual.

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The French Fountain

Refuelled at Glenorchy on the way back. 77cpl – much cheaper than on the east coast.

We drove 121kms today.

Back at the van, opened the mail and cards. Some had lovely newsy letters in too.

Tea was marmalade and soy coated chicken breasts with potato and salad. Very nice.


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1999 Travels November 20

SATURDAY 20 NOVEMBER     HOBART

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!