When I left Mt. Osmond on Monday March 8th for my new home in Cygnet, Tasmania, there was not a cubic millimetre of space remaining in my car, so full was it of bedding, food and bits and pieces to see me through the first week or so, before the removalists arrived. Mary squeezed into the front passenger seat with the essentials for the trip at her feet, including her home made sour dough bread, butter and fetta, plus grapes and pears from her garden.
The drive to Horsham, Victoria was mostly into torrential rain along with a constant stream of cars, campervans and huge trucks, all of whom wanted to go faster than I did..... well, when you can barely see the road and the windscreen wipers can't go any faster, it seemed to me a good idea to reduce speed! When trucks sped past in the other direction, we were totally blinded by the spray from the road, such was the down pour. When it hadn't rained for months, why oh why did it have to pour all day this day! Tuesday was almost as bad but it did, thankfully, stop raining as we approached Melbourne which was good because, even without the excuse of poor visibility, we managed to get lost twice before reaching the ferry terminal!! We watched the sun set over Melbourne as the ferry left the dock..... farewell mainland Australia.
The overnight trip to Tasmania on the ferry was wonderful and Mary and I both enjoyed the rocking of the ship caused by the large seas resulting from the gale force winds accompanying the rain we had driven through for 2 days.... but not everyone was so lucky and many passengers were bringing up the expensive dinner they had eaten while the ferry had been still sailing in the calm waters of Pt. Phillip Bay!
By 7am or so on Wednesday we were watching the sun rise as we drove off the ferry at Devonport to begin our trip to Hobart, where we were to stay with Erica and her family for the night. The air was cold and crisp, the sky was clear and the grass was green. It wasn't long before we arrived at Deloraine where I spied a bakery advertising excellent coffee and so promptly pulled over, discovering then that Mary does not usually drink coffee or tea..... but she had brought several little packages of dried herbs so all she needed was a cup of boiling water to make an infusion.... at this point I thought I had definitely been lucky that Mary wanted to come with me. As the journey continued I found that she could pull from her bottomless bag something for every occasion!
A short walk from the bakery was a green grocer, attracting our scavenging minds with boxes of local, backyard tomatoes..... could we fit in 10kgs ? Mary said yes and walked out of the shop with one box before I had time to argue. The very small space we had made from eating our way through 2 days was more than filled with these beautiful tomatoes.
In the bakery, a customer had told us we must visit Ross..... the first of many customers to offer us advice over the next week; a rather lovely characteristic of Tasmanians. As luck would have it, Ross appeared just as my stomach was beginning to rumble loudly for lunch. It is a quaint little town with a fabulous wool and wood centre, documenting the history of both in this area. There were bins of dozens of different wools to feel and woods too..... and I bought a Tasmanian myrtle wooden spoon. Ross deserves another visit but not only for this reason..... it has a fabulous nursery and open garden, run by a lovely lady who grows and sells and knows all about fruit trees in Tasmania. Needless to say, Mary insisted we could fit in a box of vegetables seedlings..... ok, so who was I to argue with that? But I did draw the line at buying a fruit tree!
Walking back to the car, I saw this seat, with 2 large squash just sitting there...... and then there was one!
It was great to see Erica and her family again and find that Toya, the dog whose pelvis had been cracked in a fall while I was there before, was now happy and well on the way to recovery. Mary and I left for Cygnet on Thursday morning with bags of beans and plums from Erica's garden, and some gardening tools on loan until mine arrive. On the way down the coast we bought some mussels for dinner and 2 loaves of sourdough from a little place I discovered on a previous visit..... as well as some flour to feed the sourdough starter Deb had given me, which was beginning to look hungry!
This lovely trolley had been left behind by the previous owners and was just the thing to top off our arrival at my new home.
So, here I am, in my new paradise..... please visit me soon..... and stay tuned for the further adventures of a vegetable vagabond....
(I am posting this today from my laptop, in Hobart where I have had to go to get some jobs done. Hopefully I will have the internet installed at home early next week.)