Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Surrounded by Nuts

After it being rainy yesterday, we awoke to a beautiful sunny morning.  We packed a picnic lunch and headed off to Stanley.  This was one place that Jim really wanted to go and see, so we thought that this would be a good sunny day to do so.  What to they say about the best laid plans??

Stanley is a beautiful historic town on the far north west coast of Tasmania. The most popular attraction in Stanley is The Nut, which provides a great view right along the coast. Historically, Stanley was known for wool production and fishing. Fishing is still the dominant Industry.

The Nut itself is 152m tall. It was formed when lava cooled to form basalt rock. It is possible to either climb a walking track or a chairlift can be used to reach the top. The Nut was known as Moo-Nut-Re-ker by the Tasmanian Aboriginals, and by 1851, sailors had come to know it simply as The Nut.

The old wharf was designed in colonial times to fend off the fierce seas which batter the cape. Although always a fishing town, crayfish and shark have replaced whales as the most popular catch.

Historic buildings are another large attraction in Stanley. Many are over 150 years old, and including the birthplace of Joesoph Lyons, Australia's only Tasmanian Born Prime Minister. Close to Stanley is the Highfield estate, an elegant 1830's homestead including a chapel, cottages and farmyard buildings. These Buildings were built for the head of the Van Diemens's Land Company. This company had been set up 10 years previously to make the most of the North West coast's wool-growing potential, but although a large farm was established, financial losses forced the company out within 30 years.

As we drove to the Nut it started to rain. It rained fairly heavily, but when we arrived it slowed down to a drizzle and then stopped. We ate our lunch and then bought tickets to take the chairlift up to the top of The Nut. Jessica chose to walk up. Jim and Joshua both hate heights, but they decided to go up the lift. Sam has no fear and I quite enjoy heights.

Some views from the top of The Nut

When we got to the top, we had a brief moment of no rain, and then it started to drizzle again.
Sam absolutely loved the puddles and splashed in every single one.

Jim and I didn't walk quickly enought for Joshua and Jessica, so they took off ahead of us.  They didn't have to wait for Samuel to jump into every single puddle!

The rain got heavier and colder. 
We got very, very wet. 
I usually do not whinge and complain.
I will admit to a bit of whinging.
We were so wet, my pockets filled up with water.

There goes Jim and Samuel down the chairlift.

Going down was a bit different than going up......

It seemed much steeper going down.

I found it invigorating and wanted to chat about the experience.
Joshua didn't have much to say on the way down.
I suspect Jim didn't either.

Poor Jessica had a difficult time walking back down.  All the rain made the path very slick and we watched her slip and slide all the way down.

They had a nice little gift shop at the bottom and they had a nice big wood fire burning.  We had a change of clothes for Sam, so we got him dried off and warm.  We dried off as much as we could and browsed around.  Then we headed off to Burnie to see my sister Gayle.

Of course, as we were leaving, it stopped raining and the sun came out.

We had a good visit with Gayle.  Her son, David, Daughter-in-law, Denise and their little boy Freddie, came by.  They bought Samuel some wonderful Australian children's books.

We called into Auntie Lyn's in Penguin, she had some fish for us and that was going to be tea tonight.  Just around the corner from Auntie Lyn lives Yvonne Dudfield.  I grew-up with her daughter Angela and spent a great deal of time at their house.  We popped in to see her and catch-up on her news.  She is a very proud Mum and Grandmother!

Then it was home to dry off and relax for the night.
We pretty much had the same routine every night.  Cook tea, play with Samuel, play a few hands of Spades and Tim Tam Slam.

My favorite thing about vacation time is spending time with Jim, Joshua, Jessica and Samuel.


As a little side note, I can't resist the urge to tell you of a funny experience when I was going to pick Jessica up from school today. I was driving down Hwy 92, minding my own business. In front of me was a rather beat-up red van. A scraggy looking guy gentleman was riding his bike down the other side of the road. The rednecks people in front of me must not have liked the gentleman riding the bike because they all leaned out of the van windows and flipped made a rude gesture at him. They were so busy doing that, the driver didn't pay attention and drove the van off the road and into the ditch.

No rednecks were hurt in this story - otherwise I would not have laughed

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