Saturday, June 29, 2013

Greenwich Adventures

We are back from our hols in the beautiful land down under, and despite still waking up at silly hours, we headed out on Sunday for a day of fun. We didn't have a plan apart from wanting to end up at Greenwich Market.

Our first stop was at North Greenwich for the O2 (formally known as the Millennium Dome). If you look closely at the picture below you can see people walking over the Dome - not quite as daunting as Sydney Harbour Bridge.

The next few piccies are taken inside the Dome - there are lots of restaurants, a cinema, and the concert/exhibition area.

Check out my bike
Now before I go any further I must mention my gorgeous boots which I got this week. They are truly a thing of beauty.

After our mooch around the O2 we went to the cable car across the Thames which was built last year. The views from the top are amazing and well worth the ride. Here are just a few that show this fab experience.

Aw - how cute

The O2 from above

I was very impressed with my beloved going on the cable car as he has a slight tendency to be scared of heights, but he was fine.

We got on the Docklands Light Railway back towards Greenwich, but after just one stop  we got back off as we saw the below creation from the train. It's made of scraps of wood by a very creative person.

We eventually made it to Greenwich, and these interesting people were wandering the streets - great hair don't you think?

The market isn't very big but it's still really nice to look around as there are some quite eclectic stalls. Here are a few pics from the market, including some food stalls.

After a bit of a mooch we had lunch in a yummy Mexican restaurant, just across the road from the market. On the way we found this lovely crown on a wall that Ken wanted to get in his size - I think he looks very dapper.

Yummy food
A new friend that my beloved adopted for me - he's made out of socks
Malibu creamy cocktail - too nice
It was a really fun day out, and Ken amused himself by bothering a total stranger. There was a woman sitting in a cafe with one of those disposable rain ponchos on, so Ken took it upon himself to bang on the window and yell, take it off. He's either traumatised her for life, or he possibly made her day having a gorgeous (in my opinion) man wanting her to take her clothes off.

Strange man who accosts women in rain ponchos
 That's it for today - apologies that it's a bit long. Make sure you have a fun week, keep smiling, stay safe, and eat cake.

Pamela & Ken

P.S: Final two pics are of my furbies enjoying their catnip mice that we got them at the market.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Communing with the native Tasmanian wildlife

One of our great days out, despite some rain, has been to Wings Wildlife Park in Gunn's Plains, which is just over 30km from Penguin.  They take in lots of injured wildlife, especially ones that have been injured on the states roads, or are found in the pouch of animals that have been killed on the roads.
Mum being eaten by a devil
Our real highlight of the visit was that as soon as we arrived we were in time to pat a devil!!!  How wonderful!  It was a young devil that was being held by one of the staff, and because I was so excited at being able to pat it I haven't got any photographic evidence - I nearly cried at the experience, it was such a privilege.  The young devil's fur was really soft, not what I was expecting at all.

So now on with the rest of our visit.  The devil's had not long been fed, so they were getting ready to go to bed, but they were still incredibly cute - I've only shared a few photos during the blog, I actually took many more.
Tasmanian Devil - not at all like the cartoon character
Kookaburra - their call sounds like laughter
Ying and Yang - I think they're pademelons.
Love the name - it's so fitting for an emu as they are a bit mad.
Gorgeous rabbit that I wished I could have picked up and cuddled as he looked so soft.
The next highlight of the visit was the chance to see the Koala's fed and to meet a young wombat that had been rescued from his dead mothers pouch.  Now just to give any non-Tasmanians reading this a naturalist lesson, koala's are not native to Tasmania, these ones are immigrants.

The koala's were doing what they do best, and sleeping soundly until just before the keeper came with their eucalyptus leaves, when suddenly they woke up and became very active - one even jumped off his tree and went for a little run - it was the most active I've ever seen a koala be.

The keeper with the young wombat.
Awake koala.
Me patting the male koala.
And then the female koala - she had much softer fur.
When Ken was moving into position to pat the male koala, the koala suddenly moved and turned his back on Ken with his bottom in the air (the koala, not Ken) which made Ken look very nervous, as you can see from the picture below.  You see, my beloved has a habit of having God's wonderful creatures deposit faeces on him - a pigeon pooed on his head in Dubrovnik, Croatia, and a parakeet pooed on him in the Glass House Mountains in Queensland.  Disappointingly there was no incident here, as that would have been a great story to tell.

My beloved successfully patting a koala
Patting the very cute wombat.
Very adorable devil
Sleepy time.
After we'd been through the smaller wildlife section we then went out to the farm part with the bigger beasts - just to point out that hardly any of these creatures are native Tasmanians but they're still lovely to look at.

Shaggy sheep and an ostrich
Bison - I wish I could have stood next to him to show you how huge he was.
More cute, scruffy sheep.
I hope you all enjoyed the look at some of the lovely animals at Wings, it's definitely worth a visit, especially if you get to pat a lovely devil.  Just a reminder to anyone travelling on the states roads, watch out for wildlife, and if you hit anything please check it for babies, or if it's still alive give Wings a ring, or your nearest animal rescue.

That's it for today - be good, look after each other, and enjoy life.

Pamela & Ken

P.S:  Scruffy sheep's bottom to finish.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Sunny (but windy) Stanley

Yesterday mum was kind enough to take us for a drive down the coast to Stanley which is in the area known as Circular Head, or more appropriately the gateway to the Edge of the World.  On the way we made a detour to the Table Cape Lighthouse and Look Out - it was such a clear day that we could see for miles.

View of Wynyard from the Look Out

There are information panels near the light house that show how it looked a long time ago - there were houses around it for the lighthouse keepers and their families.  It was built in the 1880's, and sadly, the head lighthouse keepers son died just a few weeks after it was opened.  The grave was put near to the lighthouse so that the family could tend to the grave.

We continued our drive around table cape, stopping at another good vantage point to take a photo looking west towards our destination of Stanley - if you look really closely you can see the Nut in the distance between two of the nearer hills.

When we stopped to take the above photo we had the pleasure of some very motley sheep's company - a disgraceful state they were in, didn't they know we'd come all the way from England to view the beautiful Tasmanian flora and fauna.  It looked like some of them were only half dressed - very cute.

Eventually we made it to Stanley and guess what one of the first things we did was?? Coffee and Cake!!  We went to a lovely cafe called Touchwood which is behind a gorgeous gift shop and for a change I wasn't the only one having the unhealthy looking food.
Touchwood gift shop and cafe
Three lovely looking sweet treats
I had to take a closer picture of Ken's cake for you - it was a Persian Love cake with Fairy Floss!
There are three things I really love about Stanley (did I mention it's one of my favourite places to visit).  The first is the beautiful colonial architecture that is everywhere you look, the second is of course the Nut which towers over the town, and the third is their respect for penguins - there are signs around to warn people to take care of them.  Just realised I hadn't explained what the Nut is for those that aren't familiar with Tasmania.  Just like Table Cape it is a long extinct volcano, or really a lava lake to be more accurate, and it is 143 metres above sea level.  There is a chair lift that goes up it in the nicer weather, and it's well worth it as the view from the top is amazing - you can walk up but the track is rather steep.  We did see at least one brave soul walking up - let me tell you now, he probably got blown all the way to Victoria from up there as it was windy enough down at street level.

Here are a few pictures from around the town to show you how pretty it is - if you've never visited then next time you're in Tassie you must.
The Nut - doing what it does best, just being there.

If you look closely you can see the giant crayfish on the front of Hursey's Seafood 
Beautiful lattice work around the veranda.

Now for the photos of the penguin signs - just so cute, though my favourite penguin thing in Stanley has been painted over, and that was a penguin crossing, a tiny little striped path across the road which was only big enough for the penguins.

Now I know the sensible ones amongst you will read the above sign as saying that humans must shut the gate to protect the penguins, but me, I read it as whoever goes through the gate, humans or penguins, must shut it.

The last time we were in Stanley was on our trip home in 2010, the trip of my infamous back injury, and because of this Ken wouldn't let me step foot in the Stanley cemetery as that's where I first felt it twinge - I had to take a photo for you to see though as it's such a pretty cemetery, sitting below the Nut right on the beach.

Cemetery established in 1828
The picture below is of a very famous house in Stanley - it is where Joseph Aloysius Lyons was born in 1879.  For the less knowledgeable amongst you, he has been the only Tasmanian to ever be Prime Minister of Australia.

If you look closely enough in the picture below, you can just see Table Cape peeking through the hills, so the reverse of the earlier picture - showing our journey's beginning and end.

That's it for today - we hope you enjoyed a look around another beautiful part of Tasmania and maybe has inspired you to visit yourself.

Until next time, be good, keep smiling, and eat a cake - you know you deserve it.

Pamela & Ken

P.S: Final shot of the Nut for you to enjoy.