Saturday, April 3, 2010

Wynyard , Tasmania and Other Good Stuff

****Edited to add platypus photo ****

Elizabeth told us that Tasmania is for old people! If so, we are glad we are old people! It's a beautiful place. Elizabeth, our friends Chris and Gayle in Brisbane want you to know they honeymooned in Tasmania and Ross wants you to know that he and Michael vacationed in Tasmania. None were old at the time; nor, for that matter, are they old now.

We drove through sensational scenery to get from Launceston to Wynyard. There are many small farms as agribusiness doesn't seem to have a hold ... lots of sheep, cattle, and horses and many of them in fields divided with hedgerows rather than fences. There are many, many wineries and they look so strange as all the grapes have netting over them. We were told over and over again that it has been a dry year and that the landscape is not as green as it usually is. Some trees were changing color, but we yokels didn't dare ask if that was because it was fall or if that was because it was drier than usual.

The land is very hilly; even Launceston is hilly and it was fun driving the streets looking at charming Victorian homes.

We visited a couple of tourist sights that were side by side. One was a platypus and echidna information center. I have to double check how clear my photos of the platypus (platypi? platypuses?) are before I post them here, but this is one of an echidna. Platypus are smaller than I imagined and echidna are bigger. The echidna were in a room where they - and we- could roam freely.

The tourist sight next door to it was called "Seahorse World." It was interesting too; it was called "an education and interactive attraction," which it was, but its main purpose seemed to be to raise seahorses to sell to petshops.

Some of you know that one of my "bucket list" items was to visit Wynyard, Tasmania, the only other Wynyard in the world besides my hometown. I sincerely hope that Miss Ford, my grade one, two, and three teacher, was looking down from heaven to see me achieve this goal. She was the one who taught me that there was only one other Wynyard.

Let me digress from our day for a paragraph: Miss Ford also taught us that there were only two Kandahars in the world ... the one seven miles down the road from our Wynyard and the one in Afghanistan. Our nephew John is presently in Afghanistan and he told us if we wanted to visit his Kandahar, we would have an "explosively good time"!

Back to Wynyard, Tasmania: I am enamored with this town. It's a town of 5000 and its only chain store is a Woolworth's grocery store - or, that is so according to the very friendly owner of the toy store there. We loved walking the main street and seeing all these shops with names we didn't know. I loved the window display of the butcher shop. I took a photo of some of the houses listed in the real estate agent's window. That's so Jocelyn and Marty can consider this Wynyard as a retirement locale. They could afford a house here. The town is on the water, but there isn't beach. The land leading to the water is glacial, sedimentary rock. Nonetheless, the views are breathtaking.

For those of you who had been wondering if I was going to add to my button collection in Australia, the answer is "yes." I went into a secondhand shop in Wynyard and bought a packet of them.

Saskatchewan people be in for a shock! Bob and I have to change our time back an hour tomorrow for this totally weird thing called daylight savings time! Since it is fall, Tasmania is actually going off daylight savings which they had all summer. For those not from Saskatchewan, I have to tell you that Saskatchewan is one of the places in the world that refuses to switch time. Don't ever talk to a Saskatchewanian about this; it's a touchy subject.

Happy, happy Easter, everyone!

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