Catching up with friends

It’s been sometime since I’ve written here. We’ve been busy catching up with friends, and I hadn’t realised how long it’s been since I last wrote until a good friend from England let me know yesterday. Apologies to anyone who has been wondering where we are, and what we’re doing.

We spent close to two weeks down at Magra. Our friends from Perth, Marina and Terry’s son, Iain, has a few acres in Magra with their house, and a chalet on it. Marina and Terry are currently staying in the chalet, so we plugged our van in next door to them. We had a great time, eating too much and drinking more than we usually drink – but hey, that’s what happens when you’re catching up with friends.

Iain and Barbara’s place is amazing (but what isn’t amazing on this little Island). Magra is in a valley and is completely surrounded by hills. Although it’s summer, the nights were often cold with mist shrouding the hills in the morning, very, very pretty. Iains property has a vege garden, chooks and abundant fruit trees laden with fruit. We had the sweetest plums picked fresh from the trees each morning on our cereal, feasted on apricots during the day, ate eggs with the most orange yolks I’ve ever seen in eggs, and herbs, squash and zucchini from the garden were frequent additions to our meals.

I hate to prattle on about food, but it seems every where you go on this little island you see fruit trees with branches almost weighed down to the ground  with more fruit than any one family could possibly eat , and lots of people have veges growing in their gardens. We don’t know many people here, but frequently we’re being given fresh produce from someones garden. Even the owners of the caravan park we’re currently staying in invited us to their house for morning tea last week-end and we came home with a big bag of fresh nectarines from their garden. But I digress…. What did we do, and where did we go while we down in Magra.

In the first few days we visited Peta, an old friend from Perth who now lives here in Tassie. Peta re-married a few years ago, and this was the first time we’ve had an opportunity to meet her husband Ron. Peta and Ron left Perth a few years ago in a yacht to sail the seas, which they did for a little over a year. They sailed into a little place at the south of Tassie, loved it, and decided to make a new home for themselves there – not an unusual occurrence here – we hear similar stories from people where ever we go. It seems this place understandably captures many people’s hearts.

Anyway, we had a lovely lunch with Peta and Ron, and enjoyed catching up immensely at their property down in Middleton. Their house is amazing, also on a small acreage. They overlook Middleton Beach, although their view is a little obscured by a few too many trees lining the beach. Peta tells me every time there’s a strong wind she hopes it will take out a couple of the trees.

Marina and Terry took us to Richmond which is one of the many heritage listed villages in Tassie. It’s a lovely place, and we can’t wait to visit it again. It’s sometimes hard to do justice to a new place when you’re visiting with people who have been there before. It’s not easy to get the balance between doing justice to our own visit without it all becoming a total bore for the people with you that have seen it all before. We found the best way was to have a quick look with a mental note to re-visit at another time.

Marina had her birthday while we down there, so we shared the costs of a unit in a little place called Eagle Hawks Neck to celebrate her birthday in style. Eagle Hawks Neck is the narrow strip of land between most of Tasmania and Port Arthur. Port Arthur was a penal colony when Australia was first settled, and is now probably one of the most visited tourist destination in Tassie. As the neck is such a narrow area, they confined the prisoners in Port Arthur with a row of guard dogs across the neck.

Sitting on the balcony of our unit at Eagle Hawks Neck.

Sitting on the balcony of our unit at Eagle Hawks Neck.

We spent a few hours there, and purchased a two year pass to enable further visits. There’s far to much to see on just one visit.

Sadly though, Port Arthur is also the place of the infamous Port Arthur massacre which took place less than two decades ago and made news all over the world. The site of the massacre was a sobering place for silent reflection on the senselessness of it all. There are no words to describe what it felt like to realise we were in the same place dozens of people had been such a short time ago, doing the same things they were doing only to have their lives mercilessly cut short by some crazy gun man. No words at all….

I’m sure Marina and Terry had probably had enough of us by the time we left.We’re now back up in the north of the state staying at a little place called Longford.

Today we picked up my sister Wendy and we went up the Tamar river to a place called Beauty Point and again had lunch with Peta and Ron, who are moored there for a few nights in their yacht. They’re currently on a six week sail around the Island. How celubrious that was, sitting on the deck of their yacht, Finesse, sipping wine and eating lunch moored on the picturesque Tamar River. We’re hoping to catch up with Peta and Ron again in a few weeks when they reach Strahan. Strahan is another favourite place in Tassie for locals and tourists alike, so having a reason to get there soon is something we’re really looking forward to.

More news. Our son Kelv is currently on his way to Tassie. He’s booked onto the ferry to come across on Sunday night, so Monday we’ll be catching up again. How exciting is that!!!  It’s hard to imagine that life could get any better.

Apologies for the lack of photos – we’re having a little trouble dropping photos into the blog. Where is our grand son, Tim when we need him! He’d have it sorted for us in no time at all, and I’m sure he’d also show us how to enlarge the photos we do manage to drop in so as to show them full sized. One day…..

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