Bruny Island – day 2 (part 1)

This morning we woke to a few spots of rain. Juniordwarf was quite upset by this and demanded an umbrella. When we told him there wasn’t one, he said he’d get his own umbrella.

The nearest available umbrella-type object was the cover of his camp chair.

ImageInnovative.

Today’s maximum temperature in Hobart was forecast to be 38 degrees.

We had no idea how this would translate to Bruny Island, and whether we should expect a scorching hot day or whether being surrounded by water would make things cooler, whether it would be windy or what would happen.

All we knew was that 38 degrees wasn’t going to be pleasant, and that it might be better to be either under a tree somewhere in water or in an air conditioned car.

One of the plans we made before we arrived was to do a few of the shorter walks available on the island. We thought that the Mount Mangana walk, through what looked like cool-ish forest would be something we could do before it got too hot.

Mt Mangana, at 571 metres, is the highest peak on Bruny and is in a State Forest Reserve. The guide to Bruny says that the track “ascends through the many and varied species of flora and fauna which make up this amazing rainforest”.

We headed back along Coolangatta Road to find the start of the walk.

ImageIt was an unusual walk. It started out with similar rainforest to the walk we did yesterday, the main difference being that there were lots of rocks and it was quite a bit steeper at the beginning.

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As we walked, the trees got thinner and smaller.

ImageObviously if you’re going up to 571 metres, there’s going to be a bit of an incline.

We weren’t sure whether the track was a loop that would bring us out higher up the road, or whether we’d reach the end and have to turn around to come back. The map seemed to indicate a circuit, but the “90 minutes return” sign suggested otherwise. After we’d been walking for 45 minutes, we started to wonder if we’d reached the middle and were heading out of the forest, or if we’d eventually get to an end point.

The forest was constantly changing.

ImageWe’d get out of the rainforest into a more sparse, drier and warmer area with scrubby trees and rocks, and think that we must be near the end, then all of a sudden the track would start to descend back into rainforest again.

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It felt a bit like Groundhog Day.

Eventually we got to a clearing, where there was a huge maritime radio tower.

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I had to stand on a rock to see the coastline. It was a gloomy overcast day, so it wasn’t the perfect viewing time, but it was still a nice view – I wished I could have gotten a bit higher to see over the trees.

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It seemed like that was the end of the road, so we had to turn back. The trip back down was easier, though there were some slippy parts, especially when clambering over the rocks, and a couple of times Juniordwarf wasn’t as careful as he should have been.

This tree looked like a bear’s head.

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After we got back to the car, we continued along Coolangatta Road, and found the other lookout on the way. There was an interesting board about the Island’s trees, and apparently from this point the view took in all the different types of areas of vegetation that could be found on the Island. It was a pretty good view to The Neck from here.

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We ended up at Lunawanna on the Western side of the Island, and decided to have lunch at the winery, Bruny Island Premium Wines.  This is a lovely spot, with great wine and fantastic food. Who could ask for more?

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It certainly didn’t get to 38 degrees and the storm that was expected seemed to be passing us right by while we were having lunch, with just a change in the wind to signal something was going on.

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We were pretty happy about this. Tenting in a 38 degree storm wasn’t the most appealing thought.

I could have easily stayed there all day, but we had more exploring to do.

12 of 12 January 2014

I was introduced to 12 of 12 by my friend Snuva, who has been doing this for ages.

All you do is take 12 photos of your life on the 12th of each month. Some days will be mundane, even boring, and totally normal, others will be exciting and something unusual will happen. But, much like the 365 project and the 52 project, you’ll have a neat record of your life as it happened – in 10 years time (or maybe even next year!) you will have forgotten what was ‘normal’ in 2014.

I’m finding this a lot easier to keep up with than the 365 project, though on some days it’s been a stretch to find 12 things to take photos of.

So for the first time in 2014, here we go.

Sunday 12 January 2014. We stayed home all day apart from a few errands. It was hot and windy.

1 of 12 – Today’s forecast doesn’t look too bad compared to the rest of the week.

Image2 of 12 – Juniordwarf learned to use the coffee machine at the end of the year and now he insists on making all of the coffees all of the time. Most of the time he does a pretty good job, but sometimes things go a bit pear-shaped.

Image3 of 12 – Juniordwarf has been doing a show on our local community radio station for almost 18 months. Lately, on the weeks I’ve been taking him in to the station, he’s wanted me to be a guest on his show. I have reluctantly agreed.

Image4 of 12 – I finally got the strawberries (and a stray squash) in the ground a couple of weeks ago. Last time they were languishing in pots.  This weekend my project was to set up the dripper hose around some of the plants. Today we went to get some straw to mulch the beds and cover over the hose.

Image5 of 12 – The raspberry patch is also part of the “irrigation system”. This is one of those things where I bought the canes not really knowing where they were going to go, and then having weeks of terrible weather and not feeling like gardening before I finally managed to prepare a place for them. I’m surprised that nine of the ten are still alive. And now they’ll get some decent water, I’m hoping they’ll do OK.

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6 of 12 – I posted in September about how much I love my Keshet leggings.  Keshet also has these lovely summer dresses that are made out of old saris, and which are completely reversible – so you basically get two dresses for the price of one. They’re very loose and flowing, which is not a style I’d normally choose, because they do look a bit baggy and maybe make me look a bit bigger than I am – but they are so comfortable on a hot day, and comfort trumps style!

(Note to self: clean bathroom mirror.)Image

7 of 12 – I had another flick through this book today. One of the things I found really interesting (and a bit sad too) is the number of buildings in Hobart where the old façade is still there but has been covered over by hideous looking steel sheets. (And don’t forget Find Me Friday from my last post: go out and find where the photo was taken!)

Image8 of 12 – Preparing to go “tenting”. I like my comforts.

Image9 of 12 – It felt hotter.

Image10 of 12 – Juniordwarf was given a kids video camera for Xmas. Here he is filming the teddies at the party we had this afternoon. It was a fantastic party: four courses, including laksa (with a garlic bread dipper); cheesy noodles (which is what we actually had for dinner); ham, a pork chop and a bread roll; and ice cream for dessert.

Image11 of 12 – Cheesy macaroni, pancetta and pecorino bake – aka cholesterol and carb fest – for dinner. A recipe from Delicious magazine from a couple of years ago that someone on Twitter posted a picture of and I had to try. ¼ cup of wine for the recipe, one glass for me. Fair enough?

Image12 of 12 – The budgies. They are changing quite a lot as they grow and are becoming a lot easier to tell apart.

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camping

Last week Slabs, Juniordwarf and I went camping at Mt Field National Park.

We really love going there, and it’s been the subject of several previous posts (examples here and  here). It’s wonderful to be so close to such a beautiful place, so peaceful and so far removed from the rest of our lives.

I’ve already told the story of how Zoe went swimming on our walk to Russell Falls. Here are some photos to tell the rest of the story.

Slabs and Junordwarf did some fishing
Lake Fenton, where we had hoped to see a glorious sunset, but it wasn’t to be

The amazing colours of these trees almost made up for the lack of a sunset

They were beautiful trees
Pandani on the Urquhart Track near Lake Dobson
Eagle Tarn
Mt Field from Maydena

Russell Falls
A grateful Juniordwarf and Zoe after the great rescue
Juniordwarf is getting the hang of using the camera
Tyenna River, right where we camped
Tall trees at dusk. They really are massive!

We had only intended to stay for two days, so we weren’t too put out when we were told on the Thursday night we would have to leave by 9 am the next morning as they were closing the park due to the forecast high temperatures (forecast 39 degrees, it actually reached 41 in Hobart) and strong winds, combined with the fact that there was a bushfire relatively nearby.

It seemed impossible to imagine, in the cool and still of the evening, that such conditions could eventuate. But eventuate they did, and not long after we got home, the sun came out, the clouds disappeared and Tasmania sweltered and burned.

Late on Friday afternoon, the sky around town looked like this

from the fire that had prompted the precautionary closure of the park. It was nowhere near us, but it was still a fearsome sight. In the following days we heard of heartbreaking losses from communities around the state, especially around the Tasman Peninsula.

Today it is a lot cooler, even though the rest of Australia had its turn for record temperatures, but the fires are still burning and everyone is hoping for some relief very soon.

P365 – Day 294 – camping day 2 (21/10/2011)

After a night of very little sleep, courtesy of a range of factors, including the ever-so-comfortable single air mattress, the party music and late night outbursts from our fellow campers and, quite possibly, some members of our party being rabid snorers*, it was nice to wake up in the fresh air to the sounds of happy birds.

Slabs suggested that at least one of these factors could be eliminated by camping** in the actual bush. (Reference to yesterday’s post.)

Coffee was necessary.

Serious camp coffee!

Today was a day of packing up and fishing before heading home. We decided that it really would have been better to have stayed the extra night. It’s a lot of trouble to go all that way and set up the tents only to have to take it all apart again the very next day.

We went back to the same spot we were in yesterday, and had as much luck as we had yesterday.

Nive River near Wayatinah

Power line – hydro country

Wayatinah Lagoon
Wayatinah Lagoon
Juniordwarf had fun. He fished


 He paddled




And he practised blowing bubbles like he does at swimming. 

Interesting.
By the time we’d had enough of fishing, we were too late to get any lunch on the way home.
We’d planned on going to the Two Metre Tall Farm Bar later in the afternoon anyway, so we ended up going there for a very late lunch and a few ales.

Forester!


Jack fell down and broke his crown . . .


Picking up the spent spelt


Off to feed the spent spelt to the beef.
Does anyone else see the Pied Piper resemblence?
A lovely end to a great couple of days.
*Lil Sis has often recommended that I adopt the practice of using ear plugs at night since I find it so hard to get to sleep when it’s noisy. I’ve constantly rejected the idea because I find them so uncomfortable that I can’t get to sleep anyway. She tells me that it’s easier to get used to the discomfort than it is to get used to the noise. I have a feeling I might have to give in . . .

** We’ve decided that “camping” is what you do when you are in the bush and there are no actual facilities. So what we did was “tenting”.

P365 – Day 293 camping day 1 (20/10/2011)

Slabs and I had been talking about going camping* for a while, but we weren’t sure when we wanted to go or where.

Today was Hobart Show Day holiday, and like a lot of other people, we decided to take advantage of this by taking tomorrow off work as well to give ourselves an extra long weekend.

Since the weather has warmed up, we thought it would be a good time to go on the much-discussed camping trip. We asked Lil Sis and Mr Tall if they wanted to come, and they were keen to try out their new tent, so they were in too.

Originally we’d thought we’d go for two nights, but then we did the nappy calculation and realised that tonight was going to be Juniordwarf’s last nappy. The thought of dealing with a wet sleeping bag in the middle of nowhere if he had any accidents filled us with enough dread to make us opt for only one night.

We decided to go to Wayatinah, which is about half-way between Ouse and Tarraleah on the Lyell Highway. It’s the site of the Wayatinah Power Station, and the caravan park and camp ground  is right next to the Wayatinah Lagoon on the River Derwent.

The camp site is a lovely big area, bordered by the bush, and we picked a relatively secluded spot right at the end.

Much entertainment was to be had as the tents were erected, with Juniordwarf attempting to go inside at every opportunity before the tent was actually up. He was very excited about the whole deal, as it was only his second time in a tent, the first time being last year when we ‘camped’ in our friend’s backyard.

He decided that he was going to sleep in between me and Slabs, so the only decision to be made was who was going to sleep on the queen airbed with Juniordwarf and who was going to sleep on the single one. Hmmm, I wonder who drew that short straw?

Can you guess which is the three-person tent and which is the two-person tent?

Once the tents were up, we settled into the serious business of cooking lunch – only to find we’d left the gas bottle at home, so we needed to find a public BBQ to use. Luckily there were a couple near the lagoon, so while lunch was being prepared Juniordwarf headed off to make friends with a local dog and her owner.

 The lady insisted that Juniordwarf wasn’t being any bother, but I hate to think what she made of his stories about various previous budgies staying in the cage when the door was left open, dying, flying away and dying yet again. ‘You haven’t had much luck with them,’ was her comment at one point.

Indeed.



After lunch the boys went off to get a new gas bottle – as Lil Sis and Mr Tall needed one anyway, they figured they might as well get one now and then they’d have one for themselves.  They ended up having to go back to Ouse. Lil Sis and I stayed at the campground in the rain.

Once that had been sorted, and we’d played the obligatory game of Qwirkle (which I lost), we went for a drive to the other side of the lagoon for a fish, which was the main purpose of the trip. 







We had no luck, although I understand a stick was caught, which Juniordwarf was very excited about, because he thought he heard someone say that they’d caught a fish.

Never mind. There’s always tomorrow.
* I am yet to be convinced of the merits of camping in the actual bush where there are no ‘facilites’, so our discussions focused on which campgrounds had which facilities and how much it was all going to cost.