We spent the weekend staying with Scott and Katie down in Hobart. Had a really fantastic time hanging out with them, seeing the sights, drinking, eating, meeting some of their friends and catching up with our other mates who've moved down there, Martin and Jo.
Thursday night we were collected from the airport and taken back to their pad to be fed delicious mussels, rice paper rolls and pickled squid. Yummy! The seafood down there is spectacularly good and bloody cheap.
Friday we drove down to Cockle Creek on Recherche Bay, a gorgeous spot right down in the South-East of the state. The only sad part was seeing the moonscape left by clear-felling of trees by the rapacious logging company that owns Tasmania.
Friday night we hooked up with some of Scott and Katie's for a few drinks, then ate a fantastic meal down on the docks with Martin and Jo. More brilliant seafood (I had the ocean trout with sumac) and some good Tasmanian wine. The beers at the place were the fantastic (but overpriced on the mainland) Moo Brew, especially the really rich dark brew.
On Saturday we went to the amazing Salamanca Markets, which are a long strip of stalls selling great local food, tourist nick nacks and the like. I picked up an luscious blackberry jam and a small block of the most amazing, richly-flavoured percorino that had been aged two years. Lots of fun and the bratwurst made a good breakfast. Scott and I dropped into Parliament House for a tour of this big old building. Nice to see where all the dodgy decisions get made.
Saturday afternoon we drove around town a bit, and up Mount Wellington where the initial view was obscured by clouds, but just as we were leaving the clouds cleared and I got some good photos. We had a look at the outside of the Cascade Brewery, though the tours were all booked out so we missed out this time.
Today was another great day. We dropped in to see Martin and Jo's house, which is really incredible. They've been very fortunate to find such a lovely house, all ready to go. Next we all drove into town for a quick late seafood lunch on the docks again before we had to head to the airport.
Loads of fun and Hobart seems a beautiful town. Scott and Katie would love us to move down there, but I'm not sure I could cope with the cold so well. I'd miss the long, languid summers and the afternoons spent outside. I'm sure you get some of that down there, but not as much as in Sydney! On the plus side, it'd be the perfect place to grow all the fruit trees I want.
Holly and I just got home from a week's snowboarding at Perisher with Holly's brother Ben and his mate Warren. It was a great week with brilliant weather, a deep base of snow and even a mid-week topup of the snow.
My boarding went from a bit rusty through to quite good by the end of the week. Sadly Holly gave up on this snowboarding thing and has decided it's not for her.
Now I'm thinking about going to Niseko in Japan in February...
Well we made it to Sydney yesterday. The flight was uneventful and we spent the day with family. Was lovely to see everyone again. Mum and Dad are now on their way to London, we dropped them at the airport on the way down to Holly's Mum's place.
We're staying down in Wollongong for a bit, probably until the weekend. Will try and catch up with everyone in Sydney on the weekend, then maybe head up to the Central Coast for a few days.