This blog is posted mostly everyday when we take a break from our usual retired Life as former full-time RVer's and travel overseas.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Off to the Country Today

Very long busy day including a night trip in search of wildlife in a National Park, plus no Internet, so we are a little behind in posting.


A slightly different view out our window this morning. Have to love the clouds both below and above Mount Wellington with the colorful buildings of Hobart in the foreground.


A near perfect breakfast. Baked beans, mushrooms and ham. How far the mighty have fallen.


Where we spent most of the day. The windows all around made it very easy to see any sights. And Troy and Gordon are the best guide and driver we have ever had. There’s likely more OAT tours in our future.


Our first stop was at Bonorong Wildlife sanctuary, a wonderful place to experience the wildlife of Tasmania. It was our first time to get a look at wombats. The common wildlife of Tasmania is so different from what we are used to.


What’s not to like about a wombat, including its name. The babies are very cuddly, the adults are as likely to attack you as not. Based on Linda’s comments we may someday see a rival to Cinderella Dog Rescue near Retama. It will be Linda’s Baby Wombat Cuddle Farm. Starry Eyed Linda.


A pair of Tassie Devils relaxing in the sun.

Tassie Devil eating, that’s skin, ligaments, bone and meat. There stomach has the acids to digest it all. Looks cute, but has bite five times more powerful than a pit bull.

After you eat you need to wash up.


Linda got her koala bear fix, even if the bear slept through it. Linda was surprised its fur wasn’t soft like the stuffed bears in the stores. I decided that I wanted no part of such a mean, aggressive animal and didn’t enter the cage. I’ll let you readers decide which of the two critters in the cage I was referring to in the previous statement.


Up close and quite personal with a red parrot.


Linda, the Kangaroo feeder, draws a crowd. Why people hesitate to feed I don’t know. They are the gentlest creatures, those they do have a tendency to fill your hand with slobber. Linda knows how to handle that though. When we were leaving and she went to the restroom, when she came out she said she washed her hands both before and after going. Practical Linda.

When she asked me if I did the same, I said nope. She looked at me like I had a bad disease and said something to the effect of yuck. I just smiled and said it was easy, I just used my left hand. Practical but Gross, Bob.


A joey having breakfast. Never again will we look at kangaroos the same way. Heck, never again will we look at Australia the same way. And the best thing is that the people speak something resembling English so we can actually understand them at times. Actually there are very few times we haven’t been able understand something. Need I say it again, Linda really, really likes Australia.


Why get up when a pretty girl will feed you when you are laying down. So why is it she won’t do that for me? Puzzled Bob.

Talk about a happy kangaroo.


Only native birds here.


The reason the animals are at the sanctuary.


At the start of the post I mentioned it was a very busy and long day, and just to give you an idea, we aren’t even at our lunch stop yet, so needless to say, I will be skipping a great deal of what we did. Like not posting the nine videos I took of different things we did with some of the animals at the sanctuary. You’ll just have to go to Tassie and experience it yourself.


Vegemite. Most people hate it, really hate it, or absolutely, positively, totally hate it. My take, a little harsh and a learned taste, but really, not bad at all. Also not something that will be an every morning staple, if even an any morning event. Pucker Faced Bob.


Look at Linda’s piece. A little vegemite smeared on half a loaf of bread. At least she ate some, and not only once, but she also ate another piece claiming it really wasn’t that bad. Maybe there is hope will emigrate to Australia some day. Excited Bob.


That girl knows what she likes even if she doesn’t know what she is eating. Can you believe it, some people travel half way around the world and want to eat American style food. Not us, give us some of that good Aussie whatever it is any day, and we are happy campers. Especially if it is dessert.


The grand prize wool at the Australian Wool Growers competition. I hope I don’t get anyone in trouble here, but I have heard that someone may have purloined a pinch of this prize winning wool. Just call me Sgt. Schulz.


And we think prison sentences are harsh today. Life for stealing a brooch.


We stayed at a cabin in one of Tasmanian’s National Parks tonight. Off our balcony a wombat was busily munching away.


A pair of pademelons. We have never been in a National Park that had such an abundance of wildlife.


Evening skyline from our balcony.


Night time view of wombats feeding.


The Southern Cross. As always we bring you the finest photos of the things you and we have never seen. Don’t worry about what you don’t see, we didn’t see them either. Linda’s take on the Southern Cross. “There were so many bright stars in the sky I had no clue as to which ones were the southern Cross.” My feelings too. Never ever have we ever seen so many stars in sky at one time.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Our First OAT Tour Day



The view from our window this morning. For a tour company that advertises 3 1/2 and 4 star hotels, this is not what we expected our view to be. Traveling on our own we stay in lower class hotels and have better views. Maybe I am still feeling the unpleasantness of our overcooked fish at our OAT included for dinner last night. Grouchy Bob.


Breakfast was buffet style. It most definitely wasn’t up to the level we had at the Customs House. Definitely Grouchy Bob.


We started off the morning with a city tour. Linda and I had trouble understanding why a guide with a soft voice would chose to stand by a noisy fountain to give a lengthy monologue on the history of the immediate area. Not trying being picky, just trying to give an honest review of the mornings events.


Heading down to Port Arthur, the most notorious of all the convict sites. Troy filled us in on all we were seeing and often had us laughing at his bad jokes, while Gordon, who will be driving us around Tassie was also great. I guess I could say, previously I gave the bad, now I’ve given the good, and with photos of me coming up, the ugly will also be included.


Troy told us that in the mid 1800’s Angelo and Giuseppe Tesselini emigrated from Italy and settled in this area. Trained as stone masons, but unable to find work they decided to show off their skills by carving the rocks along the shore near their cottage into a tile like pattern. So that was the story he told, but the real story is that it is Tesselated pavement, a natural pattern of erosion of the rocks caused by the deposition of salt crystals and wearing away of the rock by water. Personally I liked Troy’s version much better.


Long time readers know exactly who is getting a smashed penny. Just before we left the States, our grandson Zachary texted us asking us to be on the lookout for any penny smashers. The best part was that we had checked the penny smasher website and it wasn’t showing any penny smashers at the places we were visiting. Sara N. Dippity helps us out once again.


Lunch at the Port Arthur visitors center. During our overseas travels we have time and time again eaten wonderful meals at historical sites and museums. Today was no exception, especially since we had gobbled down almost all of our food before either of us thought to take a photo. It was an egg and cheese pie for Linda and and a steak and mushroom pie for me, both being absolutely wonderful. The photo shows less an a fourth of the Hedgehog Slice we had for dessert, at least that’s what the label said. Think decadent chocolate and nut dessert and you have an idea of what it was. Very Happy Linda.


I keep saying the British sent convicts to America, there it is in black and gray.


As part of the entrance package we each received a card we used to find out which actual convict we were. Linda received the eight of clubs and was transported for seven years for stealing a picture. Then was sent to Port Arthur for running away from a chain gang.


Later we learned that she ended up in leg irons. But just why is she smiling in this photo. Is it possible it is because she has finally found something that might keep me in line?


My card told a different story. All I did was steal a handkerchief and for that I got 14 years. Linda however skipped all that and went straight to the bottom line. Both literally and figuratively I might add. She looked at me, smiled and said, “Obviously the correct card.” At least she understands me. Bob the Idiot.


A walk around the grounds at Port Arthur with a guide brings the site to life.


A boat trip around the Island of the Dead where the convicts were buried, hundreds and hundreds.


What remains today does not even begin to speak of the horrors that took place here.



A stop at Tasmin Arch where the sea has cut through the sandstone.


Tasmania is the only place in the world where you see these signs. It is to watch out for Tasmanian Devils crossing the road.


Small world category. what are the chances would be sitting with people we knew at the Hobart Playhouse. We were on our own for the evening so we had secured seats, right up front in the third row I might add, for a performance of Forbidden Broadway. It turned out the actor who who had played the four different characters yesterday, remember the photo of Linda and the other criminal, were sitting right in front of us. Talk about a good time was had by all. We even got to met the play's director, and learned Colin will be off to Sydney in two weeks for a role in Sound of Music. Sara N. Dippity was working overtime tonight.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A Fun Day


Morning has been special at the Customs House with the sun rising over the distant mountains and spreading across the harbor. I wonder what morning will look like from out new hotel room?


One of the many “terms of endearment” I have for Linda is “Ms. Snoop a Lot.” There was a large stack of laundered bedding beside the elevator. Linda just had to pick up the paper laying atop the stack and see what it said. When I remarked after entering the elevator, “I see Ms. Snoop a Lot is at it again,” she looked at me in a most serious way and informed me it was a a most important piece of paper because it would allow the accounting department to ensure they were paying for the correct amount of laundry.I guess I just don’t understand what is really important.


When a female convict being transported from England to Tasmania misbehaved, they were placed in a box such as this. I note that it is just the perfect size for her. Wonder if the plans are available?


The photo doesn’t begin to due justice to how heavy these leg irons were. Any prisoner wearing them was not going to move from the spot.


We participated in another of the actor portrayed historical reenactments, this time in some of the old buildings next to the harbor. As you can see, here are two criminal types hatching some nefarious plot to lift the valuables of some unsuspecting stranger.


1800’s potty.


What a difference. Instead of multiple turns, stairs and hallways, now we can step off the elevator and see our room. We both liked the find the room in the maze much better, but change is good, it helps you better appreciate the difference in things.


Stopped at a grocery store to pick up a few tide us overs for the beginning of the tour. I can’t go anywhere with me Tim Tams.


To the unknowledgeable it looks like a dead end alley. To a local like me it is a shortcut from the main shopping area to our new hotel. I’ll just say Linda was not impressed when I started to walk back in it, and leave it at that.


Proof we are on the OAT tour.


Our first group dinner. Our fearless, if somewhat sartorial challenged, tour leader, Troy, is at the head of the table.


Me hat is always on me head. Late night, early morning, short post.