Off to Swansea
22 November 2011
Rise and shine, next morning we were off to Swansea on the northeast coast. We were advised by Greg, an employee of Hotel Collins to stop at Katie's Berry Farm on our way to Swansea. It was a pleasant spot for tea, fresh baked scones with cream and jam. Tasty! After 2 to 3 hours on the road this was a nice break and before we knew it we were in town. It was cold and very windy so we both decided kayaking was a no go. Instead it was the perfect time for the exciting task of washing our clothes. Why here do you ask? Because at the Waterloo Inn the guest washer and drier were free, though perhaps a little temperamental. Sometimes the drier dried and sometimes it just made a lot of noise. What was still wet was hung in our room to dry. On Wednesday morning we drove to Freycinet National Park and hiked up to the look-out over Wineglass Bay. It was a breath taking view though it was crowded with tourists who had the same idea. On our way down we decided to take the cut off to the beach. The trails here are well maintained and we passed work crews on our way. We also came to a spot on the trail where we waited for a 4 foot black snake to cross. Best to give them the right of way since most of the creatures here are poisonous. Upon reaching the sand we saw friendly wallabys amongst the visitors looking for a handout. Feeding these wild animals is strongly discouraged for numerous reasons. Fortunately we had no food so the temptation to feed them wasn't an issue. The water here is so cold I had no desire to risk loosing broken off body parts in the frigid bay. Gordon took off his shoes and waded in for almost 10 seconds. There was even one brave/crazy gentleman in a budgie smuggler (Aussie name for speedo) who dove in. He was out very soon after, looking a little more blue than when he started. We hiked out and this time spied no other venomous or frightening creatures. We grabbed a meal at Coles Bay before winding our way back to Swansea. Next trek on Thursday was northwest to Launceston to the Hotel Charles. Our first day was spent roaming the streets and using the hotel's computer to catch up on our blogging. Friday, we visited the gorge. We splurged on tickets to ride the chair lift across the gorge and wandered our way up and down the trail until we came all the way back to the parking lot. It was beautiful, though it rained on us more than once. A great male peacock welcomed us off the chair lift with all his finery on show. Of course he was just preening and showing off for his ladies, but it was quite impressive. Gordon and I dined on seafood at the waterfront before making our way back to the hotel.