Well what an awesome way to spend one's 33'rd birthday! How bloody lucky am I? Yay for cheap flights to Tassie, and yay for Mat who reluctantly agreed that even though we couldn't afford it, I really needed and deserved a holiday after what was, in many ways, a tough year.
I chose Launceston since I like to go to new places and hadn't been there before. What a gorgeous town it is! Set so beautifully in a gorgeous valley, with houses clinging up the steep slopes of the surrounding hills, I think it's the prettiest city I've ever seen. Well, apart from Venice and Florence, but that's some stiff competition! Certainly Australia's prettiest city.
On the first day there we went to Cataract Gorge, a beautiful place five minutes from the city centre, with a lake and a huge pool surrounded by gorgeous cliffs. It was hot, so Indi and I got to swim swim swim, and we had a ball splashing and giggling and buddying around. She's a lovely girl that one, we had lots of fun.
We hired a campervan, which is a great way to travel, since you can stop anywhere and you are home. But the down side was that we needed one that could accommodate a car seat for Indigo, which meant a van that was a bit weird layout-wise, and with not one but two very uncomfortable beds for us to sleep in. I must say, despite having a lovely time, it was heaven to sleep on our big, soft, luxurious bed last night when we got home. I kept waking up and being amazed at how much room we had! This was our home for four days (that's Indi asleep on my lap):
So on my birthday morning we woke up from our first night in the van, stretched out our kinks, and drove to an amazing rainforest gorge. It was GORGEous! No, really, it was. Stunning. It involved an hour's walk, down and then up a steep hill, whilst carrying a sleeping baby who weighs ten kilos. We were thoroughly put to shame by an old couple (I'm talking maybe 70's) who RAN the circuit walk three times while we trudged our one lap. Between them they had about a gram and a half of body fat, and they just exuded cardiovascular health. By the time they passed us the third time I felt like a walking chocolate eclair. Anyway, on the way down to the gorge we saw this amazing old tree.
Indigo woke up at some point, which I was really glad about, coz I really wanted her to experience the beauty we were surrounded by. It felt good to be sharing it with her, and I think she really appreciated it. It really was a magical place.
Then we had lunch at a beautiful winery overlooking the Tamar River. It was a true gourmet meal, and was my birthday present from my family. I finally got to sample some of Tasmania's much raved about food, and it certainly didn't disappoint. We were oohing and aahing our way through the whole thing. And this was the view from our table on the verandah.
We kept driving (we were able to time our drives with Indi's naps most of the time) and camped by a beach that night, and since Indi went to sleep early (she actually fell asleep during a beach walk at sunset, and then stayed asleep for the rest of the night) Mat and I got some real one on one time (both the talking and the not-so-talking kind), which was really great.
Indi did so well during the trip, in terms of driving and being happy in unfamiliar surroundings and just generally being a good sport about being carted off to way too many places per day. She's not a happy car traveller generally, but Mat and I were both so impressed with how she coped nonetheless. Here are some pics of my sweetie:
Over the next two days we drove back to Launceston and saw some sights, got caught in a storm and almost got blown off a bridge (well that's what it FELT like!), got a bit of cabin fever during a wet evening, and had a yummy chinese meal. We got to see a cuttlefish (Mat's highlight of the trip; he has a special connection with the cuttlefish. They are pretty amazing creatures.) Also went strawberry picking, and bought a yummy strawberry wine. And then on the last day we went on the most amazing bushwalk through Hollybank forest, which was really brilliant, another magically beautiful place of lush green wonder, and which had a long path called the Walk of Change that led us to the most amazing river and waterfall, totally secluded and brilliant and lovely. We all drank from the waters in a ceremonial gesture of thanks and connection, a libation to commemorate a great walk, and a great way to end a special holiday.
Thank you Mat for making it possible. I love you.
A Happy Birthday it was. Travelling with my beautiful family. I'm a lucky lass!
Weekend reading - Congratulations to Meg Hopeful who has won one of *The Simple Home* books for her encouraging and helpful comments over the past few months. Meg, please...
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