Apologies for the delay in bringing you all up to date but this has been the first real opportunity to access the internet and have time to copy & paste from the calender.....Monday 18th July....Well, officially our twelve months is up today..!!!..It's hard to believe this time last year we were actually driving up to Queensland at the start of this one year adventure .. Oh Well..!!.. As one chapter ends, here begins the next exciting stage in the lives of "Henry & Songhi".. Our Jet Star flight arrived into a 10deg."FFFresh"..!!.. Launceston winter afternoon on Wednesday the 13th...Quite a contrast to the weather we had experienced recently in India & Sth. Korea. With a -2degs. the previous night we had arrived on what we were told was the coldest day so far, though the recent snowfall on the surrounding hills is always an eyecatching & picturesque view before you come in to land.. Songhi's elder sister Misuk was there to meet us in their new Ford Focus... Thursday 14th..Being carless we both decided to go into town with Misuk & John while on their way to work and catch up with David and the staff at Stallards Camera House and Songhi's friends & colleagues from Myer..Little did we know or realise what surprises were in store for us that day..With much appreciation and a huge thankyou to a good friend & boss David Stallard & wife Karen we are now completing this twelve month trek around the globe with a few days at their holiday "Shack" in the quiet little coastal township of Lulworth on the north east of Tasmania.. With Bridport, the nearest city being approx. thirty minutes away, this has been the perfect & ideal spot for us to plan & ponder our decision to settle on the Sunshine Coast for the next few months & more importantly, it's also the perfect opportunity to resolve that bond with Dante, who we have both missed very much over this last year...Pat, your love & care for him while we have been away will always be remembered and deeply appreciated and though small, we look forward to returning the favour when you fly out to Vietnam for three weeks on the 2nd. of August.. Being somewhat cut off from civilization we stocked up with groceries & necessities for the few days we are here. It has given me the perfect excuse to start jogging again. A 40min. run along the deserted beach & thru some bushland tracks each morning seems the ideal way to build up an appetite for breakfast...There's plenty of reading material that keeps us busy by the fire on these cold Tasmanian winter evenings...Dante seems quite content with his daily walks on the beach, catching sight & chasing the odd rabbit and like us, just lazing around in front of the wood fire...Isolation does have it's drawbacks though, as we have no access to the internet or a mobile phone connection...Thanks once again to David & Karen for the loan of the Mazda RX8 it looks like we may have to drive to the nearest McDonalds to catch up on emails & updating this blog...
Tuesday 19th & Wednesday 20th....We took the 45min. drive into Launceston to catch up on a few important errands & a little more shopping..A new signing for a twelve month lease by new tenants renting our house in Longford has begun with the purchase of a new oven, so a "big thankyou"..!!..to our good friend Christine Usher at Harvey Norman for the good dael & advice..Songhi & I look forward to catching up with you and Malcolm once we are back in town & before we head back to Queensland... Wednesday...We woke to a slightly colder sea breeze this morning though it was still not enough to stop me from a jog.."Must stay motivated..!!!!..Other than that it has been a pretty lazy day...We did make the effort for an afternoon stroll though so it did not leave us with too much of a guilty complex...A couple of glasses of Australian Shiraz each and a jointly prepared Chilli Con Carne & rice was a perfect way to end the winter evening by the fire....Tomorrow..???..well it's another day, we shall see..!!!!!
21st to the 28th....Doesn't time fly when your having fun..!!!..No internet, no phone reception, no TV .. We feel totally cut off from civilization and yet only an hour away from Launceston, the nearest city..!!..We have kept ourselves fairly busy though and probably now know most of the bush tracks and back roads in the area including making some new friends amongst the locals, both humans & wildlife.. The only ones we cannot seem to make friends with are the rabbits..!!.. I guess we can blame Dante for that...!!..The two resident Kookaburras lookout for us each morning and I am sure if we were to stay here another week I'd probably have them eating out of my hands...Considering we are in the midst of a Tasmanian winter we have been extremely fortunate with the weather during our stay here in Lulworth, our warm and clear sunny days have apparently been no match to the frosty, foggy and near freezing conditions being experienced further inland...David, Karen and son Ryan along with Karen's mum Gerda paid us a visit over the weekend, with Sunday being the perfect excuse for a barbecue when Songhi's sister Misuk & family drove up to spend the day with us too...After a recent storm had brought part of the fence down around the house and we still had another week to stay, Songhi & I offered our help in the necessary repairs to the fence over the remaining days of our stay...To our surprise we had it completed by Monday afternoon and we were both most impressed and proud of a job well done too...!!!..Is there no limits to our talents..haha..??..Well maybe there is, after my unsuccessful attempts at trying to fix the TV ariel for a better reception... On Wednesday we had the pleasure of Gerda and Anya's ( her pet doberman ) company for lunch and afternoon tea...Needless to say that by the end of the day Dante was totally worn out from a day out on the beach with his new four legged friend who was about five times his size..!!.. Thursday 28th (Today) we took the drive into Launceston mainly to catch up on what's been happening in the real world.."Mcdonalds, always the perfect spot for a couple of gypsies to catch up on emails & the internet over a coffee and free WiFi ...It's always good to drop in and say Hi to everyone at Stallards...It just does not seem as though we have been away for twelve months, I was even tempted to pick up and answer the phone when it rang in the shop this afternoon..!!!!!!..After stocking up on a few more groceries to last out the rest of our stay we headed back to our quiet seaside recluse and a not very happy Dante..!!!..
Coastal track run (Approx 5km)/Strong & Blustery windy conditions this morning with high waves...Had a slight fall along the track, fortunately no injuries..Songhi's astonished look and reaction "What happened to your face..??"..Dante caused some concern too, after he decided to wander off and search for me or was it another rabbit that caught his eye.. Needless to say we were both in Song's bad books for a short while... Thankfully all is well and the three of us are friends again ..!! Turned into a beautiful sunny winter's day and ideal for our afternoon walk..
Saturday,30th...Overcast with a slight drizzle of rain...While Songhi & Dante went for a walk I ran approx. 5km through a newly discovered bush and forest trail...Around noon we took a drive out along the Tamar Valley wine route with a stop for lunch at Pipers Brook Vineyard...Established in 1974 it's one of the oldest vineyards in the region and tend to mainly specialise in cool climate wines...We chose the Tasmanian cheese platter for lunch and to compliment the meal Songhi decided on a glass of the Ninth Island Chardonay and myself the Pinot Noir...Headed back to Lulworth and helped to work off lunch with a walk along the beach to the next small township of Tam O'Shanter and back...Though raining & wet it ended a beaut' Tasmanian winter's day out..
Sunday, 31st...Our last day in Lulworth today so after our morning walk and breakfast we decided to tidy up around the house to save us time before we headed in for the big smoke of Launceston tomorrow morning...At 1530 hrs. while Song & Dante took off for a walk I managed an easy 6 kms. jog to the Weymouth turnoff and back along the beach taking advantage while the tide was still out...We have had a fantastic two weeks here, with special thanks going to the "Stallards" family for the loan of their beautiful cosy shack on the north east coast of Tasmania...All in all the weather has been pretty good considering we are in the midst of a Tasmanian winter...There is still nothing to beat spending a cool winter's evening in front of a warm wood fire with a glass of your favourite red wine...Well once again, all good things come to an end & I look forward to keeping you all up to date with the next chapter of the "now" three gypsies....
Thursday, 25th August...Well, once again I am sorry it's taken so long to get back to this blog and keep you all updated, though to be honest we have not really got much to report for this last leg of our trip in Tasmania... I guess it's back to reality now..!!!..It has been a busy three weeks since we arrived back in Longford while housesitting & taking care of Dante & girlfriend Madeline, while Pat's away in Hongkong..Unfortunately we've had a few issues with the previous tenants at our place, which thankfully are mostly solved to date...It has taken Songhi & I with the help of good friend Terry almost all our time in Longford to bring our garden back to it's original state...Needless to say the previous tenants were not gardeners or just "Lazy" & not bothered 'cause it was not their own house...To top that the real estate agent simply returned the month's rental bond without our consent or consultation... As you can imagine it was not a pleasant situation to return to and a lesson learnt by us with more clauses drawn up for the new tenants who have leased for the next twelve months...Anyhow,enough said as I can feel the blood pressure rising again..haha!!!..We have managed to catch up with a few friends though and do apologise to those we have missed while we have been in Tasmania..
Being without a car too has been a slight drawback and it's amazing how much it's missed & a must have necessity here in Australia..It's a priority & at the top of our shopping list when we return to Queensland... We depart Launceston today at 1555hrs. on Jetstar Airways & arrive in Brisbane at 1830hrs. to pick up our hire car that we've rented for seven days. This we hope gives us enough time to test drive & purchase a new car without being too rushed... Having booked our return flight to Brisbane before we flew down to Tasmania we were not aware that Jetstar did not take family pets, so unfortunately Dante is having to fly up with Virgin Blue, with a couple of hours stopover in Melbourne.."I just hope Songhi has given him enough pocket money to spend on Duty Free etc. while in transit..!!"..He arrives in Brisbane approx. 40 mins. after us, which gives us enough time to collect the hire car and then pick him up...His first flight and first time out of Tasmania, so we even got him a short haircut to cope with the warmer temperature of the Sunshine Coast...He did look a little bewildered in his tiny cage for the flight but we are sure all wil be well when we catch up with him in Brisbane this evening...It's a cold,wet & windy day and we're at the departure lounge, preparing to board as I write. "So for the next and probably the final entry to this journey of a lifetime we shall bid a short farewell to family & friends in Tasmania and say a big hello to the same in Queensland"....