Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Tasmanian relief - PART 7

(Return to - PART 1, PART 2, PART 3, PART 4, PART 5, PART 6)

Burnie. Our first taste of disappointment. Had to happen somewhere I guess. Quickly went through the cheesery and distillery. They were absolutely worth missing completely. Highly recommended by someone at Jules work. First bum steer we’d come across. At least they didn’t get to sting us with an entry fee first. To top things off the info bureau sent us to Wynyard Waterfront Motel for the night. It was crap. Don't stay here. I've stayed in better rooms at some of the mines I've been too. Over $100 a night too. Ripped off. We finally found a place that sold "turned wood items", (available everywhere), for reasonable prices so all was not lost.

Annsliegh gardens, 4 acres of landscaped gardens. Beautiful place. We spent a few hours here. Gets a tick.

Spent an hour in Devonport having lunch and looking for a bank. Didn't see much and didn’t enjoy it. Too much traffic and too many people after so much wilderness.

Latrobe, home of The Axemans Hall of Fame. Bit of a rip off. They promise platypus and deliver stuffed ones. Very disappointed in that. Good history of wood chopping but we felt they misrepresented themselves. The bloke at the tourist-fleecing counter put us onto the next place though, and managed to redeem himself.

Reliquaire. What an experience. You could easily miss this unassuming shop front and you’d be that much the poorer for it. Actually we were quite a bit poorer for having found it but only monetarily. We were greeted at the door and offered fudge and a map. Yes this place needed the map. It was jam packed with thousands of unusual and very unique toys, dolls, furniture, lead lights, games, books, sculptures, masks, clothes, jokes jewellery. Stuff that you only ever see in exotic catalogues. I can’t fully list what this place contains. I’d hate to do a stock take. They had bought up the shops around them and kept on expanding. Walking from room to room had constant surprises and different themes. It was like being transported to the twilight zone. Absolutely unmissable in my opinion. If your kids are clumsy don’t take them in or you'll end up owing thousands. You could barely move without knocking down a thousand dollar ceramic facemask or some other expensive item. They have a web site that doesn’t do it justice. Look it up to get an idea though. I'm not exaggerating.

Ashgrove Cheese Factory. Ate a lot of free cheese here. We bought a lot too, as well as chocolates again, (supposedly for gifts this time).

Pearns Steam World. A must see for anyone who loves old, steam-powered machinery. Very well displayed and looked after. I'm really glad there are still people who give up so much of their time to preserve what could so easily be forgotten, to rust away unnoticed. Really good value. A lot of the steam engines still worked and were ready to go.

Launceston. Didn't see much here. Got in late. Booked a hotel and walked around for half an hour. Stayed at the Mercure. The rooms weren't air-conditioned and the windows wouldn't open far in case you decided to dive out. I wanted to, it was so hot.

We had to travel back to Hobart on our last day very fast. I told everyone we weren't stopping for anything, figuring we needed to keep a bit ahead of schedule in case of a flat tyre etc. So we immediately had to stop at Ross to look at another old bridge. The lead lights in the nearby church were worth a look too.

Jules decided it would be quicker to go from Oatlands to Richmond the back way. So we got off the nice smooth 110-kph highway and took a majorly hilly, run down old B-road, Targa style. Used a lot of fuel on that bit too.

Had to go past the airport so the ladies could check our 30 million dollar lottery tickets. We both won, coming out $1 ahead of the ticket purchase price. That's the only reason we got on the plane and came back to Brisbane economy class.

Managed to finally catch up with my brother Dennis and Carla and their new addition, Thomas, in Brisbane. I can report that Thomas has taken over the entire house. His camera recognition and reaction time is spot on. Got some great shots to send to Granny and Grandpa.

Tried to fly out the next day and surprise, surprise the flight was delayed. We got home hours later than scheduled, couldn't get a taxi after waiting 45mins, then, when we finally got home, the tree was still lying in the yard. Combined I can thankfully count this as No. 3. Now at least I wont be waiting for it. I think the good outweighed the bad in hindsight. Still, some good luck wouldn’t go astray.

(Like it? See - Underground Mining).

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