Last week I repeated a walk I did in Tasmania twenty years ago and strangely … it seemed a lot harder this time. It’s probably fair to say that I slightly over-estimated my fitness level, and under-estimated my age! Nevertheless, I made it to the last day, and managed to eat everything that was put in front of me (and a few things that weren’t).
The Freycinet Peninsula is one of Tasmania’s most beautiful spots, and once you get away from the usual trails and into the bush, solitude, wildlife and deserted beaches abound. Guides Nick and Sarah were very knowledgeable which greatly enriched our experience, and for the benefit of the foreigners amongst the group, we “enriched” it even further with tales of venomous snakes, spiders, ticks, leeches, sharks and other endearing Australian creatures.
Black Footed wallaby – somewhat portly!
Wild Swans on Friendly Point lagoon
Sea bird at Friendly Point
Wombats – first on the beach every day
Tiger Snake joins us for lunch
I walked for four days with Freycinet Experience Walk. Each day we were taken by vehicle or boat to a remote spot, to walk back to our comfortable eco-lodge – the only lodge within Freycinet National Park. Hidden in the sand dunes behind Friendly Beaches, the lodge with its comfy lounges, well-stocked library and indigenous art was a welcome sight at the end of each day.
The walkway to my room
Entrance to the Lodge
Somehow, the wonderful Gemma and Dan managed to produce fresh tasty food every day, even catering dairy-free, gluten-free, no red meat and vegetarian. Unfortunately, I eat everything, and it was the thought of their food that kept me going on days two and three …
Beach Bento Box with a view
Julies Birthday Cake
Freshly gathered oysters and abalone
Fruit toast breakfast on the beach
Next on my walking list will be something a little less strenuous, perhaps Bruny Island?
If you ask me whether I prefer sweet or savoury food, I always reply with “Oh savoury, definitely”. I don’t eat biscuits and I rarely eat cake. But something strange comes over me when I go away on holiday.
This time it started in Adelaide at LenzerheideRestaurant …
Although I much prefer summer to winter, and I don’t mind a bit of steamy weather, this summer seemed a little longer and more trying than usual. So when a friend suggested a short trip to the cooler climate of Tasmania, it was immediately appealing.
We flew in from Sydney over the Tasmanian Wilderness …
Enjoyed the sights and tastes of Hobart …
Tassie Truffle Oil
Sweet Treats at Battery Point
Fig & Mascarpone Tart
Mountain view from our apartment
Hugged a few ancient towering trees in the Huon Valley …
On our last night in Colombo, we decided to visit the Seafood Cove Restaurant on the private beach at the historic Mount Lavinia Hotel (which features in the 1957 film Bridge Over the River Kwai)
Sitting at our table on the sand, only metres from the waves, sipping our margaritas, we were treated to a spectacular and constantly changing palette of pinks and blues as the sun set through monsoonal clouds.
Tempted by the fresh seafood on display, we ordered lime and chilli cuttlefish, garlic butter prawns and steamed whole Modha fish. All delicious … and a wonderful end to our time in Sri Lanka.
We’ve arrived at the second last destination on our Sri Lankan trip, the idyllic Garden House in Habaraduwa just outside the historic port of Galle.
Even though we have exclusive use of the house, we are never actually alone. First there’s the dawn chorus of grunting chattering and crashing by a troupe of Purple Faced Leaf monkeys as they make their way through the garden …
Then when we go down for a refreshing pre-breakfast swim we might be greeted by a frog or two with the same idea …
During the day as we sit and read, nap, sip on drinks or recover from expeditions we are serenaded by exotic and colourful birds …
And late in the afternoon we take turns in the pool with birds having their afternoon wash …
Finally as we drop off to sleep, safely shrouded within a canopy of mosquito net, there are the sounds of unknown creatures that snuffle and scurry in the dark.
I spied this large insect at Yala game reserve on the beach where 47 tourists and locals were swept away by the devastating 2004 tsunami. I was standing on the beach trying to imagine how such a peaceful place could in a matter of minutes turn into a scene of devastation, when I noticed a large insect hovering around some unusual lilac coloured flowers. I followed it through the sandhills for some time. The glare of sunlight made it almost impossible to see what I was photographing, so I was thrilled to discover later that I had managed to capture this Carpenter bee.
It was the size of a small mouse, or perhaps a large gobstopper. Now I’m suffering from bee envy!