This is not a Vacation, it’s an Adventure! It’s Galentines Day!

We rode our bikes back to the shop and hopped on the Tram back to the CBD, Central Business District. We tried to get the A/C fixed in our room and two nice maintenance men tried to make it colder and even gave us their key card to keep the A/C on all day. It was better. We planned on taking a little nap so we could stay out later. But we spent the time trying to book the camper van for Tasmania and decide on flights from Hobart to Sydney. Had a few drinks in the the room and then ventured out to the riverfront.

The riverfront was a gorgeous mix of old majestic buildings and Morse Ron sleek skyscrapers. It was very well lit and beautiful. So many people having dinner and drinks. We looked for a fun little spot and found one after listening to some street music.

As we walked down the steps the door magically opened. It was called Beneath Driver Lane. It looked like a speakeasy but it was an old place that they used to sort money orders. And it was a whisky bar. I had an amazing Old Fashioned and Megan had an Espressos Martini. We may go back for live music

At Port Arthur Today South Tasmania

Death. Visited by God. That is the medical examiners diagnosis for many of the prisoners that were transported from Europe and the rest of the world. Over 75,000 prisoners were brought to Tasmania to Port Arthur for what may sound like a petty crime of stealing a loaf of bread but we were told repeatedly not to feel sorry for them because most were repeat offenders.

We stayed for part of the tour. It could have been an all day event for some. In to the Blow Hole and traveling North. Beautiful country side. Some roads we saw twice. Navigating here is interesting with spotty internet and very small signs. And only one sign indicating a turn off! It was a Sunday and most things were closed. In Launceston we stopped for a bite and a pint at The Irish. Great food!

Finally got to the campsite Abel Tasman campground. Time for mojitos and gin rummy

Friday

We decided to have a day a relaxing, finding a park and doing some reading. We started out with a walk towards the Queen Victoria Market hoping to find some coffee and internet, instead we found breakfast. So yummy

We love the architecture here too. So many fascinated buildings.

We walked in the heat and humidity to a beautiful park but stayed in the air conditioned museum lobby for a bit. The park was beautiful and we had a little wine, read, napped and watched a storm roll in.

So in the blustery afternoon, we walked home. Didn’t t rain on us but it sure looked like it.

Time for some food that we bought at the market before going out

We walked to a Irish Pub and had some drinks and met a delightful Australian man named Hans. Someone in the US told me that Aussie men don’t give women attention, well he was wrong! Fun night with live music, dancing and drinking too much from Valentines Day right into my Birthday!

Off to the airport and on to Tasmania!

Thursday Tram and a Bike

We went to the Queen Victoria Market. It was a 15 minute walk. The sky was blue and cloudless and the temperature perfect. Yoga and holding a cup. Ultimate multitasker?

We stopped in the cured and preserved part of the market first, saw all the delicious cheeses, meats and antipasti items. The cheese guy was so fun that we bought his cheese.

Then we hopped on the tram, then off and then back on!

Sometimes it hard to decipher the directions…. we wanted to go South to St. Kilda Beach where we reserved some bikes. Just a little confusion on the way. The bike shop was near this amusement park similar to the one in San Diego’s Balboa Park.

We got the bikes and started to bike south towards Brighton Beach.

There are the famous Brighton Boxes. They are over 100 years old, never sold to an outside and go for over $350.000 each, without water or electricity!Time for lunch. We just headed inland and Megan found a great place. They let us bring our bikes in. More great food!Back to the bike shop with a short people watching stop

Thursday February 13, 2020

Today we venture out to Queen Victoria Market and then we will take a tram to go bike riding.

We had a chatty Uber driver from Somalia. He seemed a little shy to say that he was from Somalia until I told them that he had been there. He quickly realized that we weren’t the typical short sighted Americans. He then told us that he and his family fled to Qatar when he was very young. They felt comfortable there because there were many other Africans there too. He had been in Melbourne for a while. He dropped us off on a corner and told us that the hotel was in the Mall. Hmmm where? Megan pulled her GPS out and we found it very quickly. It was a very basic hotel, maybe a dorm or former boarding house. We would rather spend money on food and booze and experiences than a better rooms. But this barely covers the basics.

The view! But it’s quiet. The A/C doesn’t work well but the shower does. Hopefully we are preparing for smaller quarters with a camper van in Tasmania.

We briefly checked out a map and set out to wander. So many races, ages, sizes, shapes. It’s very diverse and quite a few homeless. We walked towards the river but then decided that we were hungry. We have both experienced issues with GPS sending us completely in the wrong direction and this happened again but we corrected it and headed to a Spanish Tapas restaurant called Movida. It is located on a famous street, called Hosier Lane, with graffiti and art. Apparently the art was covered by graffiti to protest the art. What? We sat at the bar. This was a pretty popular place with no reservations available. We ordered some red Spanish wine that was fantastic and some appetizers.

We were so impressed by the food, fantastic olives and croquettes. Loved cold smoked swordfish with pine nut gazpacho sorbet and the chickpea tortilla with baba ganash and parsley salad. As we rolled out of the restaurant we realized it was way too early to go to the hotelStopped at a bar with live music and had a little more wine. Great basement atmosphere. Still light out! We decide to stop for a couple things like broccoli and vodka and then we had a miscommunication! Megan thought I left and I thought she had a diabetic coma! Lol. Finally I texted her and she was at the hotel. I had been looking for lotion and probably crouched down or in the designated alcohol area where only one person could be in at a time. It’s always good to have a meet up plan if you separate. Back to the hotel for an early night.

Wednesday Melbourne

Another freezing cold night. The A/C is either on or off, no in between. The room brochure said that the A/C would turn off during the day so we were happy that it stayed on all day and happier to come back to a cold room. No blankets in the room so I put my jackets on top of me to sleep, mostly because of the draft of the air, not the cold.

Early morning wake up at 6. Nice to have a coffee pot in the room. We drove the beautiful Captain Cook drive which we didn’t know before but it’s the most beautiful stretch of Highway in Australia. And it was! Megan drives on the wrong side of the road well! Luckily, we left early because there was traffic going into Cairns. At check in, at the airport and we had to check bags, which we hate, and they informed us that the flight was delayed an hour. That was great because we wanted to eat something. They when we got our food, they announced that it would be leaving sooner. We had plenty of time. Now on the way to Melbourne. We spent too much time yesterday trying to decide where to stay but we chose the Central Business district. Our plan was to take public transportation into the city and be close to a stop but the cost of two tickets vs an Uber is very little. We like to use the ap Rome to Rio which now is a part of booking.com

We hope to see some live music in Melbourne and see a few of the sights.

“A Wicked Idea….”

That was the suggestion from our Hostel Host, Ray at 5:30pm…..and the way he said it, and the long pause after was strange….he wanted us to meet him just outside the lobby for drinks.That is ice in the Tupperware, thank you Ray. He has managed the hostel for about a year and loves it. He’s a bit too friendly, or is that just me being suspicious and cautious? We tried to get out of the situation by walking to the Port Douglas Yacht Club, after that I took a quick swim in the salt water pool, and Megan took a nap.

We remembered on the walk to the YC that one of the sides of the road had crocodiles and the other side didn’t,  but couldn’t remember which one was which. The Yacht club was very close, so we didn’t worry too much. As we arrived they told us that they were closing soon and that the kitchen was closed. We could get a drink though. Megan had a local beer and I had a local rum and Coca-Cola Zero. Mine was almost undrinkable. We sat on some bar stools overlooking the docks and the marina that we had been at the day before. It was a beautiful sunset and fun to watch the boats come in.

On our way back, no crocodiles, but huge mosquitoes were biting us. No sign of Ray when we got back, so we hid in our room but, sure enough, Ray soon knocked on the door with more ice. We had to join him. He moved a table so that we could be under the fan. A couple from Great Britain joined us and we all had a drink or two. They were nice, very well traveled and pleasant to talk to. Ray was still a little uncomfortable to me but enjoyed talking to his customers.

Megan and I headed to pack and get some sleep.

Mossman Gorge February 11, 2020

Last night we had a great dinner at the recommendation of our hostel host, on the inlet. We sat outside, it was hot but the fans were ok. When this town is busy, it must be crowded. There are so many shops and places to eat. The restaurant was full but there was still more room upstairs. We actually had service, albeit not great! Our waitress hadn’t eaten any of the food, so she couldn’t tell us about much. Megan has a tuna steak and I has a while fish. Both were perfect.

Drove back to a nice well air conditioned room. In fact it was a little too cool in the night, but needed to use my big black shawl that U always travel with.

In the morning, I had coffee again on the little veranda, did a little reading and writing. No more Vegemite or bread. Just a little peanut butter and fruit.

There are 20+ waterfalls in the area. We decided on one with a hike in the tropical rainforest. Mossman Gorge, about 20 minutes away. Disappointment set in when we were told that we couldn’t swim under any circumstances because of the crocodiles and the flash flood warnings. I hate to be disappointed! So we took the longer hike and were amazed by the foliage and beautiful rain forest.The hike was beautiful, hot BBC and humid as expected There was some climbing! And some swinging.And finally some swimming in the forbidden waters!And then a little lunch at the Exchange Hotel in Mossman. A been and some food!

We had several more things to do here like swim in the ropes of area of the beach. It was to protect from the deadly stingers. What? A beautiful four mile beach and only a tiny spot to swim. Kinda crazy. Next the salt water pool and probably a little nap.