Saturday, September 02, 2006

2 - September 2006

We felt like we were in the middle of nowhere when we woke up this morning. The wild bird calls were unlike anything we've heard before, and the view of the treetops from our balcony was incredible (we had a very friendly black currawong on the railing for most of the morning).

Thank you for the anniversary cards (we've been married 11 years today!), Sawyer and Sadie (er, SNI and SKI)--they made our day super!

It has become clear to us that Aussies love their morning bacon. Nearly a quarter inch thick, about three inches wide, and close to a foot long, the curly, fatty, soggy Australian bacon bears no resemblance to the crispy, flakey American treat we love so much. And they give you, no joke, about a pound a serving! (Trust me, it's hard to hide under a piece of toast to be polite.) They also like to eat strange things like spaghetti on toast and baked beans on toast--yep, for breakfast. Luckily, they serve good fruit (I enjoyed my first passion fruit), yogurt (albeit the heavy-cream variety) and cereals (but skim milk is hard to come by--why aren't these people fatter?).

After breakfast, we took the Fernglade Walk on the lodge property. It wound through gullies of ferns and forest trees and around a lovely creek that is home to the occasional lost trout and lots of platypuses (platypi? Anyway, we didn't see any). We did run into a couple of wallabies and heard many frogs and birds.

We then made our way to Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. We saw our first wild kangaroo on the side of the road along the way (unfortunately he was camera shy) and a wombat (my, are they ever plump!), and then, at the visitor center, we parked right alongside a couple of confident wallabies (one with a brand new, pink baby in her pouch).

(That's a foot peeking out along with the baby's head--flexible little fella!)

At the visitor center, we met up with the very friendly Ken and Helen, a couple from Sydney (Australians are quite chatty, we've found), and they gave us all sorts must-sees and must-dos for when we hit the mainland. They have traveled to Tassie multiple times, and they said that even on the high season, it's not at all crowded here. The world is clearly missing out on this place!

It was icy cold at Dove Lake (the signs say it can rain and even snow there any given month of the year), but what a view of the aptly named Cradle Mountain!

We're now in Launceston, the northern capital city of Tasmania, which feels like a "real" city--traffic noise, Chinese restaurants, neon lights, and all. We're staying at The Old Bakery Inn, and we're dining in tonight on cheese and crackers (we found another cheese factory today called Ashgrove Tasmanian Farm Cheese--this one offered tasty and unique wasabi cheese and lavendar cheese), apples, and chocolate truffles from Hobart (lest the airline confiscate them tomorrow!).

--Wombats poop cubes.

--Pedestrians do not have the right of way here. Even the locals look like they're running for their lives when they cross a busy street.

--While many towns have easily accessible public toilets and information centers, Tasmanian highways (almost all of which are two-laned, often curvy, and nearly void of traffic) don't have rest stops or emergency call boxes. We're without a cell phone Down Under, so we're grateful that our car (a cute and comfy Nissan X-Trail) has been reliable!

--Many hotels here have a socket in the wall to insert your key when you enter the room; that serves as the master switch for all the lights. Nifty energy conservation!

Today's sign of the day:


jessica said...

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!!!!! We love you!!!!!!

11:45 AM  

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