Monday, December 15, 2008

Tamar Valley - 30th Nov

On Sunday 30th I went and hired a car out for 6 days to do the rest of the island. I still had one night left in Launcester so took the car down the tamar valley route.

Although it was a nice drive I think there were better ones I could have done for my first day.

My first stop was Tamar wetlands which is a nature reserve just outside of Launceston. I did not even know the place existed as its in no guide books. I did a nice little walk around it. The place was full of black swans and some other waterfowl.

Main viewing area and swans

Two headed swan - very rare!

Purple swamp hen

After the wetlands reserve I drove all the way down to the end of the valley, past Beauty point and right down to Greens beach where I went onto the sands, looked around for 2 minutes then went back to the car and drove back. I was going to down to Georgetown which is on the other side of the river valley but only made it across the Batman bridge before zonking out and stopping for a much needed kip.

On the way back to Launceston I did one more detour to a small reserve called Notley Fern Gorge. I did a small walk down through all the trees and ferns to Bradys tree which turned out to be a rather disappointing burnt out tree. Still it was a nice old forest.

Allegedly Notorious Bushranger (Aussi for highwayman) Matthew Brady and his gang hid in this tree - what were they - midgets!

Back at Launceston after some food I decided to go out for a couple of drinks. Luke, Connor and Samy had to work the next day so stayed in and went to bed early. The french girls had left for the mainland (I have that effect on women!) so I just did the johnnynomates thing and went out by myself. I ended up going to the Irish pub in town which had a band on that night.

It was an interesting place which was pretty fullup but I managed to get a chair at the corner of the bar with a reasonable view of the band. The band were quite good and were doing slightly middle of the road rock oldies.

It might have been the copious amount of alcohol or perhaps sniffing too many fern spores while in Notley Gorge but I began trying to view the place as a forest full of different plants.

For example what looked like a very large walking tree trunk decided to obscure my view of the band for half the night. The band's lead singer started reminding me of a tree fern as she had a weird sticky out hairstyle. Quite a lot of the other trees (sorry people) were that drunk that they seemed to be swaying like they were in a force 8 gale. One began swaying so much that he had to be 'chopped down' and removed by the bouncers.

Then at the end of the night this young thing came over and started chatting to me. (I was shocked too!) I soon found out that rather than being a succulent cherry tree she turned out to be a parasitic mistletoe out to steal as much sap as she could.
Before I could stop her she had ordered two shots of tequila which I had to fork out for. She was about to order more shots saying 'Last one to finish pays for the shots' when I managed to stop her by telling her I had no more money left. She soon left and got her tendrils into another guy. When I was leaving 10 minutes later she was attached to yet another guy.

Bring more money to the pub!

Whiteheaded Heron
Great egret
Purple swamphen
Australian shelduck

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