I woke with a start at 3.50 in the morning, wondering where I was. John woke too, maybe because I’d disturbed him, so I made a cup of tea and we showered and got ready for our final flight to Hobart. There, my sister in law would be waiting to collect us to take us to their house in Margate.
We took our trolley of baggage, which we’d parked in our room overnight, checked out of the hotel and caught the shuttle bus to the domestic terminal of Sydney Airport for our 2-hour flight with Virgin Australia at 7.40. Check in was a shambles because the check in machines were either out of order or cabin baggage only. Tired and cross, we finally ended up going to the bag drop desk and checking in there. Security, food, and then gate for boarding… a familiar routine now.
The flight went smoothly and soon we could see the coast of Tasmania, with long sandy beaches lapped by turquoise sea, and rolling hills covered in green trees. After landing at the tiny airport we passed guards with sniffer dogs before walking straight into the arrivals hall where Rachel was waiting for us with a smile and a hug.
It’s great to be here with Richard, Rachel, Lexie and Thomas, finally seeing where they live. Rachel showed us around the house then, at lunchtime Richard arrived home from work to show us around the local area. We had a leisurely lunch by the beach in Kingston, popped to the shops in Margate and then had a wander around their land, which spans several acres, before the sun went down.
The house is huge with 2 stories and lots of large airy rooms and, although Rachel had warned us the place was a mess because they’re having a lot of work done, it’s lovely… spacious but very homely and comfortable. I can see why Richard fell in love with the property, but also why there have been times when they’ve regretted buying it. The buildings here in Tasmania seem much less solid than British buildings, and they’ve had to do a lot of work to improve the house and land, including adding central heating, insulation, new floors and ceilings, a new kitchen, better drainage to prevent flooding… the list goes on!
The views from their land are beautiful, towards the sea and over rolling fields, hills and woodland. They have 3 horses in a paddock at the front of the house and, at the back, we walked past a small lake, through woodland to further paddocks bordered by a stream, all belonging to Richard and Rachel!
I’m looking forward to seeing and attempting to photograph the local wildlife. We’ve already seen turbo chooks and pademelons in the garden… the former are flightless birds, which roadrunner was based on, and the latter are small marsupials, which were very cute, bouncing round the garden after dusk. Thankfully, at this time of year, we won’t see the large venomous snakes that inhabit the garden. I’d love to see the platypuses that live in the creek though 🙂
After a lovely Thai curry prepared by Rachel and too many bottles of wine, I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer and I was in bed and fast asleep by 8 o’clock. Unfortunately I then woke at 12.50. I tried reading for a bit but John is snoring so loudly, that I’ve given up and come downstairs. I’m quite enjoying writing this blog with a cup of tea, listening to the strange sounds outside… frogs, I think, and occasionally episodes of screeching that I assume is birds. It’s all very different from home, and I’m looking forward to getting out and exploring.