**BEWARE: prepare yourself with a large cuppa as this is a photo heavy post!
Need I say, that what happens on retreat, STAYS on retreat.....but I can share a couple of snaps to keep you intrigued!......
It's always a fun weekend and next year it will be hosted by the gorgeous Dawn in Adelaide. It's in early March next year, over the long weekend, so save up your pennies and join us. I know the Barossa Wine Valley has been mentioned *wink wink*
I stayed over a couple of extra days this year....Mr B suggested seeing as I was going so far AND Tasmania is my favourite place on Earth, that I should visit some other places I hadn't seen before.
I booked in to the Freycinet and Wineglass Bay guided tour. I've done the walk before and it is s-p-e-c-t-a-c-u-l-a-r, so decided it was worth the visit again. I was NOT disappointed. The morning started off a bit dreary, nothing short of sleepy weather (so some of the tourists thought, as they caught up on a bit of shut-eye)
Then we headed for our hike up the mountain to partake in the glorious views. Despite the cool, drizzly weather, which was actually a blessing, the views were outstanding. Seeing as the sun didn't pop out its head until after the walk, we didn't get as hot and sweaty on our walk as we expected.....I only took my cardigan off three-quarters of the way up the mountain. Mind you, my leg muscles developed new leg muscles, I'm sure... They're still twitching!
We stopped off at Honeymoon Bay for lunch, where I shared my time with a very interested Pacific
Next was a visit to the Cape Tourville lookout....more views to behold. It's certainly a gorgeous place that's blessed with beauty galore. My legs were like jelly by this stage.
On our way back to the hotel, we visited Kate's Berry Farm. This was another incentive to take this tour, as my boy and I had visited there nearly 13 years ago when he was only 9 or 10.....and you know what? It's hardly changed a bit.... more modern cons, but to look at from the outside, it's the same as in my memories....absolutely perfect!
Needless to say I slept extremely well that night....I don't think I even rolled over!
The next day I headed off on the Bruny Island Gourmet Safari....I hadn't been to Bruny before and this is definitely one NOT to be missed. Such great tour guides with such wisdom and love for what they do.
We crossed to the island by ferry and our first stop was the Bruny Island Cheese Company. I have NEVER tasted cheese like it...I could have eaten it by the bucketload. Needless to say, I'm now on their email list!
Next stop - the Berry Farm where morning tea was served. Ginormous scones (biscuits) lathered with homemade jam and fresh clotted cream. These didn't get a photo, they were wolfed down before I remembered....but I did take some photos of the farm and it's plantlife. Beautiful flora we can't grow in the tropics.
After that, we visited a spot which hosted the feeding of the famous white wallabies which live exclusively on Bruny Island.
These are different to Albinos as they don't have the red eyes and it is not a recessive gene which skips a year as albinos do, but the white wallabies can give birth to successive white wallabies. There were two hopping about feeding whilst we were there.....and a couple of other Bennett's wallabies, one which thought if he stood still long enough, we'd not see him.....he didn't flinch a muscle whilst we were there....too funny!
We visited the Bruny Island Lighthouse next, and what a magnificent piece of history that was.....manned up until 1996, it was the only way to stop ships crashing into the rocks. Now they have a smaller automated one. Seeing how things were done hundreds of years ago, really was an eye opener...the isolation of the lighthouse keepers and their families became more apparent but so did what kept them there....the views were nothing short of magnificent.
From there, we headed off to lunch at the Bruny Island Pub aka Hotel Bruny...a deceiving little place that offered the best meals.....a dead giveaway when you saw the carpark. Again, I scoffed down my share of a seafood platter I shared with a new-found friend from Hong Kong well before I could snap a shot. But if you're thinking of visiting anytime soon, here's a photo so you know what to look out for!
We popped in to the local 'drive-thru' oyster shop, 'Get Shucked', and picked up a couple of dozen oysters to sample while we waited for the ferry back to the mainland to visit our last 'secret' stop. Thank goodness there were four people who didn't like oysters because that meant we got three each!
Our last stop involved an Italian chocolatier who is world renowned for his nougat, holding an award for the second best nougat worldwide - now that's some feat! Needless to say, he was sold out by the time we got there. His shop is disguised as an old service station, and is called the Nutpatch and they even grow their own hazelnuts for their nougat. But even though we couldn't sample the nougat, we did get to sample chocolate in all its forms and had some lessons in chocolate making.
We also learnt some interesting facts about chocolate.....did you know that you can hold good quality chocolate in your hand for ages and it will not melt?! We were given a demonstration and no...it didn't melt! Good chocolate has a 'snap' when you bite into it and doesn't melt in your mouth immediately but has a smooth flavour. 40 grams of quality dark chocolate a day is good for you and helps ward off heart disease and other health issues. (I'm feeling like a bit of a chocolate connoisseur now!) I just had to further test my newly-found expertise by buying some and taking it home to share! *wink* The best thing is, they send their products worldwide, so now I've developed the taste, I never have to do without!
Wednesday was spent travelling home, which despite my love for Tasmania and travelling, was much looked forward to. Now, to get back into stitching.....the weather's just right for it!
As I said in my last post, due to a problem with my internet provider last week and my jelly-headed-ness, I didn't host FNSI last week, however, if it's ok with you, I'll be hosting it this Friday night instead. I know it's Good Friday and I hope it doesn't inconvenience you too much, but you know you can join in all weekend....in fact, let's make it an Easter Weekend Sew In? Same as a FNSI, but stitching all weekend.....sign ups will be on the blog tomorrow. It will be great to have a long weekend to stitch along with friends, don't you think?
xox Sugary hugs :o)