Saturday, 19 November 2011

the top of the bottom of the world

is what Tasmania is. We sailed in on the Spirit of Tasmania overnight Thursday-Friday, and commenced our campervan adventure. I have never done this before. I thought you had to be Dutch to holiday in a campervan, I sometimes think there is no-one left in the Netherlands, because everywhere you go in the world there is a Dutch family in a campervan. Anyway, it is fine, although our vehicle is not the most stylish, nor the most luxurious, it does what it should do, which is both convey and accommodate us. I would love to own one of these things, I now discover, even though I have no driving licence. I like the small space and the discipline of putting everything away all the time. sig other does not. He has a tendency to bellow with rage when things are not where he thinks he left them - which is usually on the floor. Neither acceptable nor possible in a campervan. We don't cook much in the vehicle, just make tea etc in the morning, and either eat picnic food or eat out. But Australian caravan and camp grounds are great - they are the only ones I know so far - you just roll up and say you want a powered site, then drive on to it and plug in your cable and you have power. We need it only to boil a kettle and charge our devices (mobile devices and cameras) otherwise would not need to go on to a site. But being on site means we can use their other facilities and so are not limited to the not exactly spacious loo and shower in the vehicle. The one we are in tonight even has a heated pool (necessary in Tasmania) and they mostly have a barbecue and camp kitchen.

The heavy rain that began soon after we arrived in Tasmania yesterday morning stopped around the middle of today, and we have had sunshine this afternoon and a perfect pink and peach sunset. And how cool is it to eat local strawberries, in season, in November? Tasmania is green and gentle, rather like the English west country, and makes cool-weather wines such as the Rieslings and sparkling Chardonnays we are used to in Alsace. And have been sampling here. The little towns are boring, and perhaps a little depressing, but the landscape and the history make up for that. Settled very early by Europeans, the place has mostly Cornish and Devonian place names. I don't think anything very exciting ever happens here, but Tassie, as they call it, is none the worse for that.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds brill - especially the pink and peach and also the strawberries. But I am worrying about the toilet in that camper van - and it is taking the edge off everything. Are you just ignoring it, so to speak?

Jane Griffiths said...

so far we have not used it - and if we don't use it we don't have to empty it! Genius, hein?

Anonymous said...

Hein and triple hein!!!!!!

I rest assured!!

Anonymous said...

but if you did, it would be Martin Salter's fault, hein?

Augustus Carp said...

Wasn't Tasmania the site of one of the world's worst genocides? IIRC the aboriginal population was exterminated a long time ago, by disease as much as by brutality. Is it memorialised in any way?

Jane Griffiths said...

Anon 1741I think a soothing milky drink and a lie down are called for. Gus that was my understanding too, but we have seen no sign as yet, and. have even seen some references to aboriginal use of this land. Hope to find out more when we get to Hobart.