Wednesday 28 December
I woke up at 2:30 a.m. to the sound of howling wind and rain lashing our thatched beehive bungalow, and after an hour or so of listening to it, dropped back to sleep. The next bout arrived a bit before 6 o’clock and I thought the chances of going snorkelling in two hours seemed slim. At 7:00, with the wind still howling and dark clouds filling the circumference of my field of view, I had our morning-shift staffer at our bungalows phone D&B to take a rain-check on the snorkelling until the next day.
Wednesday 28 December
Sunday 25 December 2016
A twelve-hour sleep gave way to a gorgeous morning at Dream Beach on Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia. The journey of the day before had deposited us here, a cove buffeted by wily waves, the ocean making its way wildly to the shore. Cliffs eroded by millennia of this provided a ruggedly spectacular frame for the vista from our room. Where the foaming white water curls in under the cliffs it has been eroding forever, carving out a niche that it fits, just so. Somehow, through the roar of the waves and a torrid wind, we had slept, the first act to filing away the roughness that the year had been.
I’m embarrassed to admit that of the many places in the world that I have been to, our nation’s capital had not been one of them. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to go, I just had never got around to it. There was a plan, about three years ago, to have a rendezvous there with a Sydney friend to take in some fabulous international touring exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, but we couldn’t line up our schedules, so it fell to the wayside. Continue reading “Canberra short break”
Back in Launceston, or ‘Launnie’ or ‘Launois’, so say those in the know (not LaunVegas?), our Sunday was all organised with a four-hour cruise on the Tamar River booked. This was to take us straight up the middle of where we had travelled the previous two days, and give a completely different perspective. We arrived at the Home Point Cruise Terminal to see a small crowd already milling about, jostling for pole position to board the Tamar Odyssey catamaran as soon as the captain gave the word. This was obviously a very popular activity for the over-60s visiting Launceston. Continue reading “Tamar River cruise (part four)”
Waking up in our little cottage on the dunes at Barnbougle, I discovered that I hadn’t made it up in time for sunrise (hint: I wasn’t trying), but the early low-slanting light that I did catch was incredible, making the grasses glow a fierce gold and giving the golf course green the look of having been processed through an Instagram filter. We packed up and took a quick spin 4km down the road to Barnbougle’s sister resort, Lost Farm. We had a sticky beak in their restaurant just to ogle the spectacularly dramatic view through the floor to ceiling windows, and then drove into Bridport for brunch. Continue reading “Bridport and the west Tamar Valley wine route (part three)”
The next morning – Good Friday – after a slow start, we headed over the hill to the beautiful Cataract Gorge Reserve. Arriving there at about 11am, I was surprised to find the carpark close to full, but apparently this is not an actual surprise because it turns out that Cataract Gorge is Launceston’s number one tourist attraction. Entering the grounds of the reserve, visitors are greeted with a plaque that proudly announces that it is home to the world’s longest single span chairlift. With a total length of 457m and a centre span of 308m, it was also an official carrier of the year 2000 Olympic flame. Continue reading “Cataract Gorge and the east Tamar Valley wine route (part two)”
A short hour after taking off from Melbourne airport, the plane dropped through the clouds revealing a carpet of green as far as the eye could see. We were going to land very soon, but I couldn’t quite make sense of that. It looked as though we were going to land in a paddock; I couldn’t see anything out the window that suggested that the city of Launceston was anywhere nearby. I’d had my head in a book and tunes in my ears throughout the quick flight so hadn’t heard any of the usual announcements that you get about the time of landing and weather at the destination. Were we making an emergency landing in a field? Had I somehow got on the wrong flight? Continue reading “Launceston – it’s nice to meet you (part one)”
Everyone’s busy all the time, right? Squeezing things in around work, obligations, chores and errands, and I for one am definitely guilty of getting stuck in the routine of it all and not always looking for something different to do to keep things interesting. Boring! Continue reading “The 1000 Steps”
Melbourne is the first city that I’ve lived in that’s far enough away from the beach (and I mean real beaches, not where water meets sand, bayside), that a big chunk of the population ups and migrates to the coast for the summer. It reminds me in a way of the Manhattan glitterati decamping to the Hamptons. But probably not quite as highfalutin. Continue reading “Barwon Heads and Flinders – a summertime coastal retreat”