Final expenses for six weeks in the Huon Valley…Final favorite photos…This morning we’re on our way to Sydney for a cruise…

This is one of our favorite photos in Tasmania, taken through the glass of the living room window as the sun began to set. 

By the time you see this post, we’ll be on our way to Sydney, flying from Hobart International Airport.  Upon arrival and after a 25 minute cab ride to the pier, we’ll immediately board the ship, Celebrity Solstice, a ship on which we’ve sailed on two prior occasions over these past years of world travel.

Boats in the river channel on a cloudy day.

We’ve loved this particular ship on the past sailings, especially the Cafe Al Bacio, where we’d sit each morning while I prepared the day’s photos and post while we sipped on the most delicious coffee we’d had on a ship.

Church located outside of Geeveston, Tasmania.

Now, that I’ve given up caffeine, coffee and tea (due to the acidity), for the time being, its going to be tough to resist but I have no choice.  Instead, I’ll focus on having fabulous conversations with guests while they walk by as we lounge in the cafe.

After a big rain helicopter blades dry the cherrry orchard across the road.

We plan to get off the ship at a number of ports of call in countries we’ve yet to visit.  We’ll be staying aboard the ship when we arrive in two different ports in Fiji.  Right now I’m associating Fiji which we enjoyed at the time with having contracted this awful digestive issue while there for four months on two different islands.

A calf nursing an almost same-sized mom.

Yesterday, by noon, we were almost completely packed less the items we were wearing, with fresh clothing set out for today’s travel day.  We weighed our bags and each of the three bags weighed slightly less than the 23 kg (about 50 pounds), the maximum allowance for the two free checked bags with Virgin Australia.  The charge for the third checked bag is AU $70, US $54.  That’s fine with us!

Also, we were able to eliminate one of our carry on bags, the duffel bag which we’ve hauled with us since the onset of our travels.  It been loaded with jeans, shorts and cargo type pants too heavy to place in our checked bags. 

Calla lily in the garden.

On the last cruise we purchased a new carry on wheeling bag easier to manage than the duffel bag which had impossible wheels to manage. Instead, Tom ended up carrying it by the strap.  My new black carry on bag has the capacity to fit our “pill bag” (includes prescriptions, emergency medical supplies, Epipens and a few over-the-counter products) plus all the jeans and pants. 

Decorative item they’d puchased in Africa shown at the entrance to Anne and Rob’s garden.

I’d always carried the pill bag while Tom insisted our carry the heavier Costco bag, the duffel bag and the computer bag.  Now, we’re down to two carry on bags, one each, since I don’t own or carry a handbag. This will make a huge difference for us making our way through airports.  No longer do we need or use the metal cart we carried in the beginning.   

Huon River from the front lawn.

We were able to fit the Costco bag into one of the checked bag along with the cloth Africa bag and one small insulated bag, all of which we use in every country for grocery shopping.  They add less than one half kg (1.1 lbs) to the checked bags. In all, we have five pieces; three checked and two carry on.  This is the lightest we’ve been since day one.

As mentioned, below is our chart of total expenses for the six weeks we spent in the Huon Valley of Tasmania.  To see the final expenses for Penguin, Australia, please click here.

Expense US Dollar Australian
Vacation Rental  $                  3,490.99  $                        4,550.30
Airfare   $                     241.68  $                            315.02
Taxi   $                                   
Rental Car/Fuel  $                  1,979.2  $                        2,579.86
Wifi   $                        48.00  $                              62.57
Groceries  $                  1,174.96  $                        1,531.49
Dining Ou  $                                 $                                     
Cleaning  $                     191.50  $                            250.00
Medical & Pharmacy  $                     709.51  $                            924.80
Total  $                  7,835.91  $                      10,214.04
Monthly Cost
 $                  5,554.21  $                        6,964.12
Avg Daily
Cost – 44 days
 $                     185.14  $                            232.14

Wood carvings with historic themes are found throughout Tasmania.

These costs fall into the mid range for our vacation/holiday home living comparing them to all of our past expenditures.  We stayed within our budget of AU $7,807, US $6,000 per month and thus are pleased with the result.  Of course, adding cruises to holiday home living has quite an impact on annual total costs.

Next time you “hear” from us, we’ll be posting from the ship at the usual time other daily posts are uploaded.  See you soon!

Be safe.  Be happy!


Photo from one year ago today, March 1, 2016:

It was one year ago today that we lost our dear friend Richard, who made our four month stay in Kauai an absolutely glorious social stay on the gorgeous island.  We’ll always miss him and his dear wife Elaine.  Please click here for details.