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Krista's Travels

Tassie Camping Tour

USA | Monday, 12 January 2009 | Views [701] | Comments [2]

Lavendar Farm

Lavendar Farm

The last 6 days and 5 nights I spent touring some of the primary tourist attractions of northern and eastern Tasmania with two japanese ladies (Tsubasa - 29, and Naoe - 55) that I met WWOOFing at my last site. We split the cost of a rental car and shared Tsubasa's tent, picked up some pots and pans at the second hand store, and off we went. Of course, everywhere we stopped my friends simply had to buy more second-hand clothes, even though our car was overflowing packed with stuff (it was a small-sized Hyundai 4-door sedan and we had lots of backpacking gear not to mention Naoe's huge suitcase). We visited the rugged mountain wilderness of Cradle Mountain, perhaps Tasmania's most well-known national park (also a world heritage area), which is part of an enormous intact tract of protected wilderness that makes up the majority of western Tassie. Since it was raining and near freezing at night, we opted out of further exploring the western (rainy) wilderness and headed the next day for the sunnier, balmier east coast. We checked out the biggest lavendar farm in australia on our way, and stopped at a honey farm which has 50 different types of honey on sample (a little blood sugar issues following for all of us after that stop!). We explored the beaches of the Bay of Fires with its orange lichen-covered rocks and Freycinet National Park with its pristine bays, torquoise waters, and steep rocky cliffs (my favorite, I think). We mostly camped at caravan parks because we needed the kitchen facilities, but I got one night of free bush camping out of us (it took me three days to convince the girls it really was ok to eat a cold dinner!). Caravan parks are as horrid as our RV parks (same thing essentially) and free campsites have the same problem with getting the annoying partiers (we had a group of unsupervised drunk high schoolers up all night across from us). On the way home we stopped at a bakery that is famous amongst japanese tourists because it is similar to the bakery in some japanese cartoon featuring some characters named Kiki and Gigi or some such thing. I didn't learn any japanese except some funny expressions, it took me days to decipher yes from no because yes seems to be just a soft "mmm" and a raise of the eyebrows, or a "it's okay", which to me translates as "I'd prefer otherwise but it's ok if that's what you want". I got impatient at the end with explaining things over and over again (I'll never be a good english teacher), but we really had a fun time together all in all. The girls we thrilled to come along because neither can drive in australia so they couldn't have done it alone. 

The highlight of my roadtrip was after I dropped Tsubasa and Naoe off back in Launceston. I then drove 15 minutes up the road to visit my "gardening guru" Steve Solomon. He wrote the books "Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades" and "Gardening When it Counts", the best references for our climate I have come across. His advice has turned me from someone hoping to become a gardener one day into someone who is proud of what she can produce from a patch of soil. Surely I have so much progress to make, but I am thankful to Steve for having written those book, so since I knew he lived in Tasmania now, I contacted him about a visit. He had me for tea and I spent a delightful 2 hours with him and his wife Annie talking politics, health, food, and gardening. He gave me much advice on life, career, gardening, and other things, and we really had a nice chat. He has a big suburban garden and they sell their surplus out of 2 refrigerators in the back alley. He advised the a valuable thing to do is to educate suburban and urban residents about what real food tastes like. He's doing that, and it reminded me of my desire to teach by example and also to find a way to grow a lot of food in an urban/suburban setting, so that I can be close to community and public transport but still live a farming life and feel close to the land and healthy in my lifestyle.

Now some random ponderings (if you're still with me): The roads in Tassie are a joy to drive because the scenery is so beautiful, and there is so little traffic. BUT, when there is traffic, it is scary, because the lanes are oh so narrow compared with the US, the shoulders non-existent and/or non-paved, and the oncoming traffic is reckless and more often than not on the curvy roads, quite over the centerline!

There are more health food stores in Tassie than on the mainland, but it is still difficult to find organic produce and when you find it it is still expensive.

Australians unfailingly want to know what I think of Obama and of how I see the future of the US and of the world panning out.

The sun here really is intense. I don't seem to be able to tan any further, just burn, so I have no choice but to cover up or put on the dreaded lotion. Steve says he doesn't think the veggies respond any different to the extra UV but I'm curious if anyone has researched it.

I'm getting homesick finally...especially when I talk to people from home. Why do our winters have to be so long? I think 3 months away is perfect, but I have been here 2 1/2 months and I have 3 1/2 to go.

I am keeping up on the news by downloading my news program (Democracy Now) on a weekly basis, but that means at any one time I'm 1-2 weeks behind on the news. Still not sure if things have been resolved in Israel/Palestine because the last day I listened to was January 5.

The Japanese have a custom where you don't speak your opinion if the other two want to do one thing and you want to do something else, because you are already outnumbered so the polite thing to do is just do what they want and keep your mouth shut. I tried to practice that on the road trip. Oh so difficult for an outspoken aquarian girl!

I need to marry a farmer, or someone inheriting farmland. HAHA!!

Love to all, until next time, Krista



Hey Aussie lavender girl!!

You sure are seeing some beautiful country and sounds like you're having a blast. Can't believe you've been gone for 2 1/2 months already. It's awesome reading about your adventures, thanks for keeping us all updated. Needing a care package? Is it possible for you to get mail? I'm still in Seattle with my new babies....yup got two christmas puppies! They are so adorable. Two blue heelers that we rescued. Some days I can't believe it, but most days I'm loving it. They are so smart. The girl is Cricket and the boy Roo. They are a couple of terrors. Can't wait for you to meet them. They are going to be awesome in the forest, already training them. Went for our first stalk a couple of days ago and they were great. They're bushwakking and loving it here at Quinten's place. Making sure they're potty trained, sleeping through the night etc. etc. before I take them home. Scout is doing great with them. We all go on hikes and she's even more friendly now because she's a bit jealous but taking it well and she's getting tons of treats so she's happy about that. Oh crap, one of them grabbed my hat and took off, better go for now, but I just wanted to say hi and wishing you all the best my friend. I'll write again soon. Love Nik

  wren faery foxglove Jan 18, 2009 4:45 PM


Oh, now I know where Tassie is! Gorgeous photo of you. We miss you!!

  Debbie Jan 23, 2009 12:10 PM

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