Tassie Times

Hi

Well we have been in Tassie for almost 2 weeks now. We mostly just hung around the caravan park area for the first week since we only had one car, the place was fairly buzzing with local holiday makers over the Easter weekend, kids on bikes everywhere and the inlet was crowded with people of all ages fishing. I do like Devonport, it is not too big or busy and the temperatures are mild like Albany. We hired a car last Monday and so have been able to get around somewhat more since. We have clocked up the miles looking at a few properties and just enjoying the scenery from the Tamar River across to Smithton. The boys have been getting in soccer practice wherever we go and fill in their extra time with playing irish music on the tin whistle, guitar and bodhran, we should get them into busking I think. We shifted yesterday from our onsite van into a cabin in the same caravan park which means we actually have floor space now, it is a great improvement!

We have not fallen in love with any properties yet, and are being fairly cautious and checking everywhere out pretty thoroughly which takes a lot of time, not helped by being in a caravan without good internet access. We are not in any rush though so can afford to take our time which is good. I think we will end up with land somewhere to build on, but that takes even more research to ensure we can build on the land and find out what we can do with each property so I don’t expect we will have a place of our own in the immediate future.

The roads in Tassie are interesting. The “A” roads, the main connecting roads between the cities are great, similar to freeways really with good markings and you can go at good speeds. The “B” roads are usually not bad either, although the speeds at which you can travel vary wildly depending on how tight the bends are and there are a lot of bends and ups and downs over here. The “C” roads are a mixed bunch, some are as good as the B’s, but they often have even more tight bends and when they suggest that you take a turn at 25kph they can really mean it, not all C roads are sealed which can add to the excitement too. The other fun thing about navigating is that the maps give you no idea about altitude, so what looks like a perfectly reasonable path to take through the Launceston suburbs can have you straining up and down miniature mountains with the oncoming traffic having their own road 3 metres higher than the one you are travelling on.

We’ve been down to Launceston and beyond to see the house we will be renting in Blessington. Launceston is very much a city, a bit too busy for me, but at least it is not far until you are out in the suburbs and then the country. It seems lovely and peaceful at the house and I think we will enjoy it, it is about a 25 minute drive to the suburbs of Launceston and the main road seems good, there is only 5km of gravel after the turn off. Everyone is looking forward to having a bit more space to spread out into, and the property is set on 4 acres which will give the boys a great soccer pitch, it will be rather nice to have our own rooms again for a bit of privacy too. The house has 2 large bedrooms on the top floor along with a bathroom with a bath. The bottom floor has 2 smaller bedrooms, the lounge, kitchen, laundry and another bathroom with a shower this time. Outside there is a 6×9 garage with cement floor and power, 2 carports, a woodshed and a workroom with power. The little creek flows behind the house and along the side of the block, I am told there are platypus in it and trout as well. There is a pump to shift water from the creek to the house’s water tank and in the paddock there is a spring fed dam which the platypus also visit. There are also wallabys and wombats to discover. There is a wire fence around the house and yard which may be a bit too flimsy to contain our dog, we may need to reinforce it in places.

Speaking of the dog, she is doing well, we have had her out a few times to take her for walks and she is always thrilled to see us, but she then she also seems content to wander off with the people back to her kennel when we take her back again. We are looking forward to having her home with us soon, the date we move in is uncertain, either the 23rd or the 26th April, we should know soon. We are getting the Volkswagens on Tuesday, Kim particularly will be pleased to have his cars to drive again. Caleb and I are flying back to Melbourne to collect them and will bring them back with us on the boat. That is cheaper than having them delivered to Devonport believe it or not.

The weather over here has been delightful, Kim keeps getting up each morning and looking out the window and commenting “Another day in paradise”. The days have been warm and fine with the nights being cool and crisp, we are still waiting to see some rain. Next week we may drive down the south west a bit which should resolve that as I am told it always rains there. The air seems to stay cool but because there is little or no wind it is quite pleasant, on the other hand the sun feels quite hot so how warm you feel can depend a lot on whether or not you are in the sunshine. I can see myself getting a whole bunch on long sleeved white shirts to wear.

Well, I don’t really have a lot of news so perhaps I will leave it there for now. I miss you all and all that is familiar in Albany, and hope you are all keeping well.¬†

love

Cathy

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