Tuesday 11 January 2011

Welcome to 2011

New Year was celebrated at the delightful free campsite in the town of Oatlands in the Tasmanian Midlands with friends old and new - Peter, Robyn, Allan and Laurie.  We all enjoyed various barbequed delicacies cooked on Allan's Baby Q while overlooking Lake Dulverton with its abundance of birdlife, including a procession from the resident family of black swans.

Once the New Year traffic had died down we headed north to Campbell Town - the main attraction at Campbell Town (besides the sandstone buildings and stones inlaid in the footpath with names and details of convict's crimes) is the excellent Providore and Cafe RIGHT NEXT to the free camp - very handy for breakfast, morning tea, lunch......

Whilst in the area I revisited one of my favourite places - the historic village of Ross with it's beautiful convict-built bridge and lovely old stone and wooden houses.
The bakery at Ross sells very good pies and pasties (including the obligatory Tasmanian Scallop Pie) and also delicious pastries - mainly of UK origin, including a delicious Banbury slice.

After leaving Campbell Town Allan and I camped on the banks of Lake Leake for a couple of days- a nice, if rather cramped, camping area ($5 unpowered and $8 with power)with toilets, showers (20 cents) barbeque and dump points available.

Whilst there we had 2 lovely young backpacker neighbours - Sarah from the US and Celine from France - we invited them to dinner the first evening and enjoyed a delicious spicy pasta that Allan concocted.  Sarah is a Registered Nurse and is hoping to come and live and work in Tasmania and Celine has just completed a major in Art History.

Both young women were very fit and were doing lots of bushwalking in Australia - Sarah, in particular thought it was "fun" to go for a 10km jog most days !!!

The following night the girls invited us for dinner - it ended up being rather late as they only returned from the local Inn at 7.30pm and then proceeded to START preparing the meal involving lots of cutting of vegetables and borrowing cups of milk and packets of rice from their older neighbours. Eventually the meal was ready and we all encamped to my motorhome with the heater going at full blast as it was another unseasonal Tasmanian summer evening.

The next port of call in a southerly/easterly meander was the eastcoast town of Swansea - there's a very handy camp beside the town's recreation ground (watch out for cricket balls on Saturdays!) - the local Council has made this site available to self-contained motorhomes and caravans and it's a very short walk from there into the small town and beach.

Swansea is directly opposite Freycinet Peninsula and the views of the bay are very beautiful. The town also has a number of cafes - my favourite was the Ugly Duck Out which is almost next door to the Rec ground.

In 2004 when I was in Tasmania with Danni we had a memorable meal at Kate's Berry Farm - the best mixed berry pancakes I'd ever eaten.  A return visit there was a must - unfortunately the meal this time didn't quite live up to expectations - Belgian waffles with mixed berries and icecream - it was OK, but that's about all - apparently Kate has been in business there for 19 years and is trying to sell the property so I imagine she is feeling rather tired and lacking in enthusiasm and it shows in the food.  The surrounds are very pretty - vine covered trellis and an outstanding view over the Freycinet Peninsula.