This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

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2000 Travels January 26


We were all up early. R wanted to have lots of time to explore Richmond, and she also wanted to be at the airport an hour early.

We left camp at 8am and were in Richmond by 8.30am.

It was a drizzly day.

We all went and looked at the Catholic Church, then agreed to separate and sightsee at our own paces.

John and I went and looked at the jail, then had a lovely morning tea at the bakery – coffee and jam doughnuts and cheese sticks.

As agreed, we met up with R at midday. She gave us two large wine glasses, with a stained glass effect decoration – to thank us for the trip. They were quite lovely. As our storage space for fragile items is virtually non-existent, we asked if she could take them back with her and keep them for us, till we are home again.

It did not take long to drive from Richmond to the airport, so we had over an hour to sit around before the plane boarded.

After R’s flight left, we went back to camp, where John watched cricket on TV and we began to relax.

I went to the park office and paid $20 for the five nights R had stayed with us.

I was checking the bank and card statements that had been in the mail bag yesterday and found a strange item on our Mastercard statement. It was an overseas charge, for something that sounded vaguely indecent. It was for almost $50. John knew nothing of it, so we decided to go see the local bank branch tomorrow to try to sort it out.

Tea was a chop and a sausage each, potato, eggs for John, followed by cherries.

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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.