Klara went off with Mick Saturday morning for her first ever stay at a boarding kennel. We had taken her for a visit the week before and she was quite nervous of all the barking dogs. She yelped in fright when an elderly, half blind, cocker spaniel ambled over and sniffed her. We really liked the fellow who showed us around last week and the dogs all appeared to like him too. He kindly put a video on Facebook today so we could see she was running around happily with some new doggie friends.
So, Saturday afternoon we drove to Station Pier in Melbourne to put the car and ourselves on the ferry to Tasmania. There had been a bit of drama on the pier on Friday with the ferry and a cruise ship being evacuated. Lucky for us it wasn't Saturday. We were saying how quiet and smooth the ferry was..... until we got through the heads of Port Philip Bay. Mick and I lay in our single bunks hoping Carol wouldn't fall out of her top bunk in the cabin she was sharing with a couple of other women. The ship pitched back and forth and we could hear enormous waves crashing against it. On the news it said there had been swells of 5-6 metres!
With the wake up call coming at 5.45am we were all ready to go at 6.30. By 7.15 we were sitting in a Devonport cafe ordering breakfast. Mick and I love Tasmania and have been several times before. We stopped at some of our regular spots - a dairy farm with fabulous cheese shop, a very odd antique shop, then a market in Latrobe, and a good walk around Deloraine. At Deloraine we strolled down to the bridge to look at the river and pretty gardens and a couple across the road called out to us that they'd seen a platypus and it was making its way beneath the bridge to our side. I've never seen one except in a wildlife park and either has Mick. It was a real treat to see it appear on the surface of the water, swim along for a bit and then duck back down. We watched it appear and disappear for a while and I got a couple of photos.
From there we browsed some shops and Carol found herself a top to buy but she had left her purse in the car. I went to ask Mick to retrieve it and when I walked back into the shop a few minutes later Carol was holding an upturned felt hat. She beckoned me over to peer inside and there was a sleeping baby wombat. The shopkeeper had accidentally hit and killed the mother while driving so was now caring for the baby. Such a cute little thing curled up in the hat.
We stopped in Westbury for a takeaway coffee and to show Carol the village green (a rarity in Oz). Carol got so busy chatting to some people outside the bakery that she returned to the car without her bag containing money, credit card and passport! Luckily it was still sitting on the table where she had left it. We browsed a few antique shops as we headed on from Westbury. Mick and I bought a pair of heavy cast wheels to use as bases for an outdoor umbrella. Mick found some lovely old bound carpentry books and I bought a couple of pieces of fabric for my quilt.
Eventually we made it to Longford where we are staying tonight. We spent a couple of hours at
Woolmers Estate. Carol did the tour of the house which we have done about four times before. We enjoyed the gardens and the many old buildings as well as the National Rose Garden. We tested out a lovely old Adirondack chair and Mick decided he will one day make a pair for home.
Our final stop for the day was Brickendon Estate, also in Longford. These two estates were started by two Archer brothers. There are two other estates in Longford that once belonged to the other two of the four brothers. We love Brickendon. It is still being passed down to the oldest son and in chatting to the lovely lady whose husband is the current Archer, she said her son has also taken a keen interest in farming and after attending agricultural college had returned to farm the land with his dad. I recall 10 years ago or so when we visited here, she said her son was a teenager and they were hoping he would not feel obligated to continue the tradition. But, how happy they must be that he has chosen this path after all.
It was late in the day and it had been a busy one, but we wandered around the stunning old farm buildings and said hello to the many chicks and ducklings dotted around with their mothers.
Tonight we are staying in one of the farm cottages. We can't see another building from our windows and we have a lovely view. We are all looking forward to a sleep in after not sleeping so well on the ferry.