4

Cee’s Black and White Challenge – Trains and Tracks

Here is my contribution to this week’s Black and White Challenge

204 Straun Railway Engine

Strahan, Tasmania, Australia

205 Straun Old Railway Station

Strahan, Tasmania

349 Train coming in

Train coming into Cardiff Railway Station, NSW, Australia

380 Darling Harbour train

Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia

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Trenitalia

8

Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge 19 December 2017

This week’s Fun Photo Challenge from Cee calls for photos that begin with R and have at least six letters.  Here is my contribution.

2009-12-30 42 Rhino Earl

Rhinoceros

057 Rabbit

Rabbit

204 Straun Railway Engine.jpg

Railway Engine – Strahan – Tasmania

205 Straun Old Railway Station

Railway Station – Strahan – Tasmania

285 Lorikeet

Rainbow Lorrikeet

2

Cee’s Odd Ball Challenge 2 July 2017

Here is my contribution to This week’s Odd Ball Challenge

Australia is a land full of odd things.  Here are a few.

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Their swans are black

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Kangaroos pull Santa’s sleigh

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Nothing odder than a Duck-billed Platypus

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The Oddest Police Station I’ve ever seen!  (Strahn, Tasmania)

5

Australian Adventure – Day 15 – Cradle Mountain to Hobart via Strahn and Queenstown

It was freezing when we woke up and I didn’t want to leave the cosiness of my bed to get to the bathroom.  But we had a long drive today so I braved the chill, packed up and persuaded the almost naked chef to cook us an ‘Early’ breakfast which of course he did to perfection

As it was our last full day in Tasmania we wanted to make the most of it and Earl was keen on seeing the West Coast town of Strahn.  Everybody had told us that the West side of the island was boring and not to bother with it.  But we were blown away.  The mountain passes were spectacular and once again we passed through tiny and interesting villages, eateries in remote places, rivers, lakes, trees, interesting vegetation and of course the occasional interesting bird!  We also drove through the copper mining town of Queenstown and over the incredibly scary mountain pass but the spectacular views made the journey all the more entertaining.

We left at 8:30 in the morning and did an average speed of 45km per hour arriving in Hobart at 7:00 pm.   We stopped frequently and now that the road trip is over feel we’ve really taken in almost the whole of Tasmania!

Originally we were to fly from Hobart to Melbourne and then get a connecting flight to New Castle on the same day.  Before we left Discover Australia changed this as the flight to New Castle was cancelled so we were booked on a flight the next morning necessitating a stay in a hotel in Melbourne.   At the last minute we decided to ditch those bookings, get a flight to Sydney and then hire a car and drive to Cardiff.  Now that I am sitting comfortably with a glass of excellent Australian Sauvignon Blanc in my aunt’s home I am delighted that we made that choice.  It was a fabulous trip but another day of travelling would just have spoilt it all.

I am posting the photographs which I fear will not do justice to the amazing experience we had while taking them.   But I shall let them do their best to give you an idea of  what Tasmania has to offer.

One of the amazing rivers we crossed

One of the amazing rivers we crossed

Passing through a village near Cradle Mountain we found this teddy bear house - we went in for a gold coin donation and were blown away by the amazing home made teddies

Passing through a village near Cradle Mountain we found this teddy bear house – we went in for a gold coin donation and were blown away by the amazing home made teddies

Earl couldn't get enough of the boats at Strahn

Earl couldn’t get enough of the boats at Strahn

More Boats

More Boats

We had lunch at this restuarant.  I took out a R100 not and showed Aunt how similar it looked to a $10 note - same colour.  A man came over and asked - Is that S.A. money - Please may I swap it for Australian because I will visit South Africa one.  I got $10 Aussie dollars of it!

We had lunch at this restuarant. I took out a R100 note and showed Aunt how similar it looked to a $10 note – same colour. A man came over and asked – Is that S.A. money – Please may I swap it for an Australian note because I will visit South Africa one day. I got 10 Aussie dollars of it!

Old railway station

Old railway station

Old Railway Car

Old Railway Engine

Police Station!

The  Police Station amused us!

Two female Superb Fairywrens

Two female Superb Fairywrens

European Goldfinch

European Goldfinch

Yellow-throated honeyeater

Yellow-throated honeyeater

We saw a few of these Tasmanian Native-hens along the side of the road but when we stopped they disappeared very quickly. We managed to get this one and some friends because they were quite far from the road although they too vanished as soon as they realised we were watching them

We saw a few of these Tasmanian Native-hens along the side of the road but when we stopped they disappeared very quickly. We managed to get this one and some friends because they were quite far from the road although they too vanished as soon as they realised we were watching them.

Another pair before they scurried away - they are flightless but run fast

Another pair before they scurried away – they are flightless but run fast

The wild flowers were beautiful

The wild flowers were beautiful

Copper Mine Equipment in Queenstown

Copper Mine Equipment in Queenstown

Mountain Pass

Mountain Pass

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Copper Mountains

Back in Hobart

Back in Hobart

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Dinner at The Loft Bistro – Wrest Point Hotel

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Delicious Dessert

Today was spent travelling so not much to report other than it was great to get back to Aunt’s home where Colette had prepared a lovely supper for us and we could just relax and let the past two weeks sink in.  What a privilege to have taken that amazing road trip.

2

Australian Adventure – Day 14 – Launceston to Cradle Mountain

Apologies for not posting last night but there was no internet connection at Cradle Mountain unless you paid an exorbitant fee and then only got 15 minutes!

20 December 2013
Today we made our way by the scenic route to Cradle Mountain. We were once again stunned by the beauty of Tasmania. We crossed many scenic rivers and had to stop at each one so that Earl could see whether there were any trout or bass leaping up. Sometimes there were and we had to restrain him from throwing a line in as time was of the essence.

Good bye to The Tamar River - Launceston

Goodbye to The Tamar River – Launceston

One of the many stunning rivers we crossed en route

One of the many stunning rivers we crossed en route

We visited a little village called Exeter where we filled up with fuel and surprise-surprise – a white man came out to help us fill up. Aunt said that was a first for her in Australia! Perhaps he smelt that we were from South Africa.

Even in Australia help is at hand

Even in Australia help is at hand

I enquired at the bakery as to whether they served breakfast and this was answered in the negative – nowhere in the village would we find a breakfast serving restaurant but she would give us ham and cheese croissants and coffee – so that is what we had!

The Bakery at Exeter

The Bakery at Exeter

We took a wrong turn and found a beautiful little Methodist Church and cemetery on the Supply River. It had an interesting history having been started after a man dying in the bush requested the services of a minister.  A certain Thomas Travers took a hazardous journey to bring Reverend TB Harris back to minister to him.  After this it was decided to build a small church and have services there.  It dates back to 1857.

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The Supply River Methodist Church

The Supply River Methodist Church

The rest of the trip was scenic taking us over rivers and through beautiful forests and into beautiful mountains. We arrived at Cradle Mountain expecting a Villa but found a rustic cottage that highly amused us.

Our Grand Villa

Our Grand Villa

We were in the middle of the bush

We were in the middle of the bush

Facilities were limited here and we had to shop in a tiny grocery store belonging to a different establishment. They would not sell us beers as it transgressed their licence agreement. We bought frozen lasagne, ice creams and tomatoes as well as breakfast supplies. For supper we used up our salad stuff and had a very pleasant meal – It saved us having to go to the very expensive restaurant!
We did not go into the ‘wild life’ reserve as the cost was ridiculous – $60 per vehicle and a chance of having to wait as it was already oversubscribed with people. This would cover a 10 minute drive to the lake where we thought we might see water birds. We figured that we’d seen all the possible Australian animals that it would have and in here they are hardly ‘wild’. Earlier in the day we stopped at a wild life park that charged $ 22 to walk in to see animals in enclosures. When I refused to pay explaining that I wanted to see animals in their natural habitat the assistant was highly upset. She said – we can’t let our Devils roam wild because they are endangered. I didn’t argue – simply told her that in S.A. we let our endangered animals roam free. I explained that we’d already seen the same animals at Healesville and paying $22 each to see them again was not within our budget! She seemed not to understand the concept of free roaming and letting animals find and hunt their own food.
In the rest camp (for want of a better word) a paddy melon came right to our cottage and posed for us. This was better than seeing one in an enclosure. Our room brochure told us it was fine to feed the visiting animals fruit but not bread. Really – Australians have a lot to learn about setting their wildlife free!

The wildlife came visiting in the form of this paddy melon

The wildlife came visiting in the form of this paddy melon

Yellow Rosella

We were also pleased to get a photo of a Yellow Rosella

We stayed just one night at Cradle Mountain.  It rained in the afternoon and was very cold that night.  This morning Earl cooked us one of his inimitable breakfasts before we set off back to Hobart where we are presently.  It is late now so I will only post Day 15  tomorrow night.  We fly to Melbourne tomorrow, spend a night there and then it’s back to New Castle/Cardiff.

2

Australian Adventure – Day 10 – Delayed at Melbourne Airport

We woke to a lovely morning and Earl made us a scrumptious breakfast – fruit and yogurt to start followed by fried egg, mushrooms tomato, bacon and banana.

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The not so naked chef serving breakfast

We left at 8 to drive to Melbourne where we were to get our flight to Hobart.  Just as we were craving a coffee and loo break a sign on the freeway indicated that truckers and others could slip off for a quick espresso. What a surprise – just a van with an electric outlet and fabulous coffee and food on offer – what a good idea. The owner’s dog was an extra attraction – he lay quietly waiting for unsuspecting guests then asked for his ‘ball’ to be thrown to him!

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The Van Coffee Shop

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Note the picnic table in the background – with Barbie facility

The Dog

The Dog

Of course I couldn't miss a bird photo - This is a butcher bird

Of course I couldn’t miss a bird photo – This is a butcher bird

We were in good time for our flight (1 p.m.) and tried to check in but were told we’d have to wait till 2:30 as our flight was only at 4:30.  No problem – we had ham and rolls we made from our left overs and each other for company but – horror – no chairs or benches on which to sit – until you checked through! NOT very friendly we thought. So we sat on our suitcases and ate our lunch.  To add injury to insult when we did finally check in we were told our flight had been cancelled!   What! – the next one would be at 6:30! -We could have used the time to explore Melbourne had we been informed earlier!   And they hadn’t even changed the notification from the board.

Well we finally arrived in beautiful Hobart, waited ages for the luggage to be offloaded, got our hire car – a red Golf – and with a difficulty found our accommodation – very posh with a fabulous view but all in one room!   It was late so we ordered room service.  Fettuccini with creamy mushroom and bacon sauce.   And they only brought after I’d repeated the order four times!   Anyway – it was an adventure – and things could have been worse.

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The Bridge

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The View from our window