Interesting and appreciated comment from a reader…Worries of risks when traveling…

Hillside scenery.

Over these past several years, we’ve received many excellent comments on various of our past posts. As a result, some readers may read our posts out of chronological order or start from the beginning on March 15, 2012, when we first began to write about our lives of world travel.

Now, 1674 daily posts later, we’re often amazed by how readers from all over the world continue to read our old posts, often commenting on any given post or sending us a thoughtful email.

Many of our readers write into the easy-to-use “comments” section at the bottom of each post and may stay anonymous if chosen.  However, we find many readers don’t hesitate to leave a first name (and occasionally their full name) when they post a comment.

If you’ve never commented, please feel free to do so. We reply within 24 hours (at the latest). And, your comment remains on that post for all of our readers to see for years to come.

Caravans parking in Franklin for Australia Day festivities which we attended last month.

For many, with more personal comments in mind, they prefer to email us at the links provided on our home page, on the right, above the photo of us in Petra, Jordan. Clicking either of these links takes you directly to the email app on your device, and you can write as you would in writing any email message. But, of course, we won’t post your email message without your specific approval.

Most often, your email will reach us promptly, providing we have a good Internet connection. We check our email throughout each day, but a response may be delayed, if it arrives while we’re sleeping.

Before posting each day, I take a peek at my email but seldom respond until after completing the day’s post. I awake on a mission to get the “ball rolling” as soon as I’m showered and dressed for the day.

During this past almost three months since we arrived in Penguin, Tasmania, on December 3, 2016, I’ve maintained my usual posting schedule regardless of how I may have been feeling during this period. 

Houses are scattered throughout the countryside in the Huon Valley.

Of course, as mentioned in a post a few days ago, the exception to our posting and/or replying to comments and email may occur on specific travel days, especially when we don’t have access to Wi-Fi while awaiting a particular means of transportation.

Yesterday, we received this lovely comment from one of our readers who’s apparently begun reading our posts from the beginning. 

Laura wrote:

“Ah, Jess…I know I am reading them years after the fact, but your posts and photos are breathtaking!! I love them! I’ve been trying for years to convince Ernie to agree to an African safari – he’s too concerned with our safety to try it, but I’m still working on him!!”

Upon reading this short comment at the end of this post, I could hardly wait to write back to Laura to thank her for her kindness in complimenting our posts and photos. 
But, the comment Laura expressed over her husband’s hesitation to go on an African safari reminded us of five years ago when Tom was equally concerned over the safety of a safari and, even more so, living in Africa for almost nine months.
Our family was even more worried that we were getting in over our heads when they’d read and heard of countless stories about horrific events occurring in many parts of Africa, some as a result of animal encounters and other incidents. But, they were more concerned as to our vulnerability of becoming victims of crime.
A neighborhood in the Huon Valley.

We’ve never taken these facts lightly, but, as has been the case for most travelers, there are always precautions and concerns over traveling beyond the comfort zone of their home environment. 

Nowadays, there is no place in the entirely safe world;  from the elements, terrorism, crime, accidents, illness, and wildlife. Back then, before we began traveling, we’d discussed these concerns in depth. 

Mainly, I was trying to assure Tom that although the risks were higher in some parts of the world, such as Africa and the Middle East, we’d exercise the utmost caution. For example, in Kenya, where carjackings are common, we used a local driver to take us wherever we desired, thus reducing the risks.
Kayaker on Huon River near a moored sailboat.

As we look back at our old posts, we can’t help but experience the most profound emotions over the fact that we took those risks to see parts of the world previously only in our dreams.

When a year from now when we’ll return to South Africa (with more other African countries on the horizon during our extended stay), our hearts thump with enthusiasm.
This will be the first time we’ve returned to a country for an extended stay hiatus to explore Southeast Asia. As it turned out, we really enjoyed the second two months in Bali at the fabulous villa on the ocean.
Franks, a small cider restaurant and shop.

We had returned to Bali due to its proximity and easy flights to Sydney, Australia, where we’d booked several cruises. However, our return to Africa next February is for an entirely different reason…we wanted to return while we’re still able, young enough, and hopefully healthy enough to embrace the many exciting opportunities awaiting us. 

So, today, I thank Laura for writing and inspiring today’s post, which included our own past concerns, which ultimately ending with the gift of great memories that we gleaned from the extraordinary experiences.

Have a memorable day and be safe.

Photo from one year ago today, February 24, 2016:

Tom standing outside the shopping mall in New Plymouth, New Zealand, last year. For more photos, please click here.

Ten days and counting…More photos from Tom’s boating trip on the Huon River and d’Entrecasteaux Channel out to sea…

Although overcast, Tom had a great day fishing and taking photos while boating with Anne and Rob.

Sure, it would have been great for me to go boating and fishing with Tom. But, I’m on a fast track to feeling better with only 10 days remaining until we depart Tasmania for Sydney to board another cruise on March 1st.

Huon Yacht Club along the shoreline of Huon River.

Speaking of feeling better, a special thank you to so many of our readers who wrote me offering kind and thoughtful wishes for my health. It means so much to both of us that our readers care for our well-being and health, knowing how relevant it is for our continuing travels.

Port Huon facility where farmed salmon are brought in for processing and shipping.

In presenting today’s photos, we decided to embark upon a little research regarding two facilities we’re posting today, Huon River Yacht Club and Huon Aquaculture Group, as shown below:


For many years, the main form of transport in HuonValley was by boat. Small sailing ships would transport local produce and residents to the main markets in Hobart. Sailing skills were highly developed, which led to competition between the boats.

In 1852, the first Huon Regatta was held at Shipwrights Point. The undoubted success of this regatta is well recorded, and over the years, this regatta developed as the social event of the year. Up to 10,000 locals and visitors would enjoy the day’s activities on and off the water at the Shipwrights Point Regatta Ground.

The high diving tower has gone, and the rowing has moved to Franklin, but sailing and cruising are still very much part of the club’s weekly activities. Several yacht clubs have existed at various times on the banks of the HuonRiver, but the present club was formed on 29th October 1947. A resident offered a pickup boat, and racing started within a fortnight.  Since then, club members have enjoyed many successes sailing both at home and internationally.

The clubhouse was built by club members and was officially opened on 12th October 1957. The starter’s box, located on the top of the clubhouse, is a unique feature of the building, providing a perfect view for the officials on race day. The club has a strong future and looks forward to continuing its tradition of sailing vessels on the HuonRiver, D’Entrecasteaux Channel, and as far afield as the wind will take them.”

Salmon farming on the Huon River.
Huon Aquaculture Group

“Peter and Frances Bender commenced salmon farming in 1986 in the beautiful waters surrounding their farming property at Hideaway Bay. What began as a diversification to the family cattle and sheep farming enterprises soon grew into a highly successful business that would dominate their commercial lives and the Huon region.

Our area of southern Tasmania is renowned for its remote ruggedness. This is where water from the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area flows into the Huon River and meets the Southern Ocean in the D’Entrecasteaux Channel.

Our farms are located in this pristine marine environment and on the west coast in Macquarie Harbour – ensuring they stay clean and healthy – a key to the high quality of the Huon product. The strict control of feeding regimes, regular cages, and strategic fallowing of cage sites are among the many world’s best environmental management practices Huon follows to preserve and protect the aquatic marine environment while rearing superior quality salmon.

To this day, Huon attributes the quality of its salmon to the philosophy of ‘getting the basics right and attention to detail.’ Focused solely on the goal of growing the best quality in the world, Huon set a high standard from the very beginning to ensure everything else would fall into place.

The majority privately owned, the Huon Aquaculture Group produces over 17,000 tons of fresh salmon per year and is recognized globally as the premium producer of fresh and smoked salmon products. Huon currently employs over 550 multi-skilled staff in most states of Australia, and both Peter and Frances remain involved in all areas of the business daily.

From biologists to welders, the entire Huon team, divers to factory hands, accountants to truck drivers, and industry-leading sales and marketers all play their part and take pride in producing the Huon product. As a result, Huon prides itself on producing the world’s most love salmon. Our commitment is always to strive to do our best, produce the best, in the best place in the world.”

Another view of Arch Island.
  • Having the opportunity to learn about businesses in an area where we live adds an element to our experiences that enriches every aspect of our travels while exploring culture, way of life, economic conditions, and the diversity of people we meet throughout the world.
The Flathead fish were larger than they appeared in yesterday’s photos.

We remain in awe by our vast experiences as we move from state to state and country to country, as has been the case of our interest and exploration of many areas in this amazing continent of Australia and the South Pacific. 

Decorative “knot” display plaque on the wall in the boat.

We’ve barely touched the surface of this massive continent where one could easily spend a lifetime discovering its endless assets. Tasmania has also been a vital area in fulfilling our curiosity and interest in the continent over almost three months on the island.

Flathead in the bucket ready for cleaning. The diagonal of this bucket was used to determine if fish were large enough to keep.

In 10 days, we’ll be on the move again, back to the main continent, and once again returning to Sydney for the sixth time (with two more to go before leaving this part of the world) in these past almost two years. Thank you, Australia!

Barbecue attached to boat for easy cooking.

Have a fabulous day!

Photo from one year ago today, February 19, 2016:

This was our favorite cow to visit when on a walk in New Plymouth, New Zealand. She always stuck out her tongue and did a little dance when she saw us. For more photos, please click here.

Tom went fishing in the d’Entrecasteaux Channel!…What a haul!…More river photos tomorrow!

Tom was proud of their big catch, all flatheads.
When Anne and Rob offered we join them for a fishing day in ocean waters, near the mouth of the Huon River in the d’Entrecasteaux Channel, Tom jumped at the suggestion. However, with the long day planned, I decided to stay behind for a quiet day.
Arch Island.
As it turned out, the day proved to be the longest Tom and I had been apart in so long we couldn’t remember. But, by no means did I find the “alone time” without him a necessary element to me. I’ve never been one to say I needed time to myself. Plus, we easily slide into quiet times engaged in our own activities in our day to day lives.
According to Anne and Rob, this was a typical catch that is quite adept at cleaning fish.

By 2:00 pm, I started looking out the window to see if they had returned.  We chuckled over how unusual it is for us to be apart for more than a few hours such as when we were living in an areas where I’ll shop on my own. That hasn’t occurred since we lived in Hawaii in 2015.  Not a good driver, I don’t trust myself to drive on the opposite side of the road.

Rob, an expert at filleting, cleaned all the fish while Tom bagged them.

Using a fishing line with three leaders, Tom caught two fish at a time on multiple occasions. So I can only imagine how excited Tom must have been when he pulled up his line to find two fish on two of the leaders. That was a first for him!

Anne drove the boat while Rob worked on the fish.

Flatheads are described as follows from this site:

“A flathead is one of several small to medium fish species with notably flat heads, distributed in membership across various genera of the family Platycephalidae. Many species are found in the Indo-Pacific, especially most pAustralia’spopular sport and table fish. They inhabit estuaries and the open ocean.

Flathead is notable for their unusual body shape, upon which their hunting strategy is based. Flathead is dorsally compressed, meaning their body is wide but flattened and very low in height.

Both eyes are on the top of the flattened head, giving excellent binocular vision to attack overhead prey. The effect is somewhat similar to flounders. In contrast to flounder, however, flathead are much more elongated, the tail remains vertical, and the mouth is large, wide and symmetrical. Flathead uses this body structure to hide in the sand (their body color changes to match their background), with only their eyes visible, and explode upwards and outwards to engulf small fish and prawns as they drift over, using a combination of ram and suction feeding thereby improving their chances to catch prey.

Flathead has two short spikes on either side of their heads and on top of their heads that contain venom. The venom, while not fatal, can cause pain and infection for no more than about 2 days. Some anglers believe the pain of the sting of the flathead fish can be reduced by rubbing the slime of the belly of the same fish that caused the sting on the inflicted wound, due to a particular gland in its belly.”

It was a hazy day, but it didn’t rain during their fishing trip.

Rob explained that flatheads have a toxin along the gills which he carefully avoids when fileting. Tom was careful to avoid cutting himself with the gills, doing so without incident.

Lighthouse along the Huon River.

Anne and Rob had brought along food for breakfast and lunch. They’d informed Tom not to bring along anything to eat as they had plenty for him as well. But, in an attempt maintain our usual low carb, interval fasting way of eating, he graciously declined, especially knowing I was preparing dinner back at the house.

Anne and Rob are a delightful couple, and Tom had a great day. They were out from 8 am to 3 pm.

Had I known he’d catch so many fish, I wouldn’t have made dinner and we’d have eaten fish. But, with fishing, one never knows. I often fished from our boat or at the dock at our former home. In our old lives, Many days, we ended up empty-handed, never planning fish for dinner. This is obviously not the case fishing with Anne and Rob.

Anne drove while Tom and Rob were fishing, although once they stopped, they anchored.

We’ll have fish tonight, freezing the balance to enjoy over the remaining 11 days until we depart for Sydney on March 1st.  Recently I’d purchased a batch of flash-frozen barramundi, an Australian favorite, leaving us with many upcoming fish dinners. 

“Sleeping Beauty” can only be seen in this area of the Huon Valley.

That’s no problem for me since I especially enjoy fish and Tom, only slightly less interested in fish dinners, will hopefully join me in the pursuit to use everything we have on hand.

Closer view of “Sleeping Beauty’s” brow, nose and lips from right to left.

Of course, Tom enjoyed the lively conversation. When I asked him if he enjoyed time away from me, he replied, “I missed eating sunflower seeds and smoking cigarettes while fishing. You? No so much!”  We laughed. That’s my guy!

We’ll see you tomorrow with more of Tom’s photos from his fishing expedition. Thanks to Anne and Rob for Tom’s enjoyable day and our supply of flathead!

Enjoy the day!

Photo from one year ago today, February 18, 2016:

The botanical garden we visited in New Zealand was creatively designed with colorful groupings such as this. For more details, please click here.

A surprising visit to a popular local point of interest…Thinking about pesticides..Bees and worms…

It was Saturday (yesterday) when we stopped by, but it wasn’t busy. Very few venues are overly busy in this quiet laid back area.

After the rain settled down and the clouds began to waft away, we were chomping at the bit to get out. Deciding to make it a dual-purpose trip, we included the weekly shopping, albeit a few days earlier than necessary, and to include some sightseeing on the same sunny day.

The sign on the highway to the Huon Valley Visitor Centre and The Honey Pot.

With a plan in mind to visit a few popular spots, afterward, we didn’t hesitate to drive with nowhere in mind after having visited those few venues on our “to do” list. We love the surprises we encounter when driving aimlessly on country roads.

This particular visitor center has many more interesting items than some we visited in the past.

One of the attractions we were anxious to see was the Huon Valley Visitor Centre. Of course, one wouldn’t think a visitors centre wouldn’t be all that interesting, but with this particular centre, regarded as one of the more interesting to visit, we weren’t disappointed.

The center offers these services and more:

Services Offered:

  • Free Information

  • Itinerary planning

  • Booking service for attractions, accommodation, tours, and cruises

  • Local knowledge

  • Maps and brochures

  • National Park Passes

  • Gift Shop with Souvenirs, local crafts, and products

  • Free WiFi

  • Free parking on site

  • Toilets on site

  • Baby Change Facilities on site

After reading reviews at Trip Advisor and discovering this center is listed as #4 of 12 Things to Do in the Huon Valley, we weren’t at all surprised when we entered the property to find a wealth of interesting products, services, and the popular Honey Pot, located at the rear of the shop.

Stuffed wombat, koala, and other popular Australian critters. 

No more than a minute after we entered, a rep approached us, asking if she could assist us. We explained we were interested in browsing and taking some photos if they didn’t mind. Of course, they were delighted to comply.

Hand-carved wood guitar.

Upon entering any facility, we usually ask permission to take photos, and we’re seldom refused, especially in Australia. However, on occasion, due to religious beliefs, we have been asked not to take photos. 

A stuffed Tasmanian Devil and others.

Recently, at Australia Day celebrations in Franklin, a vendor snapped at us when I took a quick shot. At that point, I’d taken one photo of his handmade product display and promptly deleted it. I suppose some makers of specific products fear others will copy their designs. When refused, we politely apologize, accepting their choice, never making a fuss or negative comment.

At first glance, we thought these were baguettes, big and small, when in fact, they were rolling pins. 

After we perused the many interesting items in the shop and collected some free brochures for future outings, we moseyed to the back of the store to the somewhat separate Honey Pot shop where everything “bee” was on display, including an actual live honeycomb as shown below.

An enclosed honeycomb is located in the shop.

Tom asked the salesperson if the devastating loss in the number of bees is as big an issue in Australia as in the US.  She explained that the manufacturers of their products actually ship bees to the US. Who knew?

Surely, with the US as the second-highest user of the world’s pesticides, it’s no wonder the bee population is dwindling.  Hopefully, soon, “they” will accept this reality and make some changes.

Per this chart depicting the world’s use of pesticides, it’s easy to see this is a dire situation:

Top Pesticide Consuming Countries Of The World

Rank Country Annual Pesticide Consumption (millions of kilograms)
1 China 1,806
2 United States 386
3 Argentina 265
4 Thailand 87
5 Brazil 76
6 Italy 63
7 France 62
8 Canada 54
9 Japan 52
10 India 40

A few years ago, the US was the highest user of pesticides, but recently China has topped the list. For more information, please click here. Oh, I could go nuts on this topic, but I won’t since, let’s face it, it’s political more than anything. 

Located in the rear of the Visitor Centre, the Honey Pot is an adorable “honey” themed shop. Of course, neither of us uses honey due to the sugar content, but it was fun to see.

As stated in a post a few days ago, we attempt to avoid making a political stance on our site. It’s not always easy to stay mum on these topics, but not everyone shares similar views. Our goal here is to stay as neutral as possible on these topics. 

However, after shopping at the health food stores and farmers’ markets, nothing pleases me more than to find insects in our produce. This is an obvious sign that few pesticides are used in farming, especially when the insects are near the outer leaves or exterior of the produce.

Bee-inspired products.

Yesterday, after our road trip and excursions (more coming later), I did grocery shopping, purchasing three zucchini packages. Upon returning home, I began to thoroughly wash each of the zucchini along without other purchases. 

Cute bee products for sale.

The ugliest worm was attached to the backside of one of the zucchini. Happily, I washed it off, never hesitating to use my fingers to flick it off. This reminded me of a most outrageous worm I found on a head of lettuce in Madeira in 2014. Here’s the photo I took at the time and the link.

I didn’t grab the camera quickly enough to take the photo when this worm actually picked up its head and looked at me. So I picked it up and placed him/her outside in the grass.

Today, with clouds rolling back in over this area after a sunny start to the day, we’ll soon head back to Geeveston to see the annual event we’ll share in tomorrow’s post.

Have a beautiful day filled with sunshine in your heart.

Photo from one year ago today, February 5, 2016:

Tom, standing outside Taylor Dental Practice in New Plymouth, New Zealand, where he had his problematic molar pulled.  For more details, including the cost, please click here.

Political views online?…Will we or won’t we?

These flowers are often seen growing along the highways.

Based on the fact we don’t discuss politics here, a reader might speculate that we’re out of touch.  At times, we haven’t had a TV and have had to rely upon online news which is often “fake” news, as they say, or biased in one way or another.

Years ago, I had no interest in politics.  However, one can’t be married to or in the daily presence of Tom Lyman and avoid endless conversations about a plethora of topics, including politics. 

Small meat pies are popular in Australia.

In a way, his enthusiasm for world and local news has inspired me to research with an innate desire to acquire sufficient knowledge and understanding about politics to engage in lively conversations on a daily basis.

As for sharing our views online, I stay mum regarding my political views on all forms of social media, including in our posts, while Tom is highly vocal on Facebook. 

Sailing is a popular activity in Tasmania.

We may not always agree on certain topics but we both tend to base our views on our personal research based on combination of varying sources of information both online and on TV news as available. 

The bottom line for both of us is clear…we avoid getting into deep and lengthy political conversations with people we meet along the way.  There are plenty of other engaging topics to discuss while on cruises and when meeting people in our daily lives.

Farm view from a hill.

Of course, I do occasionally spew out a few choice comments about the production of food, the overuse of statin and other drugs and the medical profession’s slanted view that only prescription medication is the solution for all that ails us. 

The bright blue Huon River which is not muddy and murky like some rivers throughout the world.

Sure, there are times prescribed medication is a solution to health issues that otherwise can’t be resolved with diet, exercise, low stress and a healthy lifestyle.  I’ve certainly fallen into that realm, taking three little pills a day and a handful of supplements. And, believe me, I’ve tried to eliminate these three meds with alternative solutions, to no avail. 

Tom only takes three 50 mg B6 each day (spread throughout the day) to prevent kidney stones.  For him, its worked for the past 12 years after three surgeries in three years in 2003, 2004, and 2005.  (Our comment is not intended as medical advice.  Please check with your doctor about B6 treatment if you are prone to kidney stones).

Blacksmith shop.

Why is the mention of politics and medicine in the same post?  Simple answer.  They’re closely related.  Through considerable research over these past years, its become clear to us.  However, we won’t get into all of this here in our posts. That’s never been our intention nor will it be in the future.

Our goals for our site remains constant…to share the nuances of dally life as world travelers.  In an email we received today from one of our new readers who began reading our posts from the beginning on March 15, 2012, we’ve evolved in many ways.  

View of the Huon River between the trees.

However, our goals, our joys and our appreciation for this life have remained the same.  We continue to be humbled and in awe of the world around us, its people, its diversity and its wonders of nature.

May your day bring you joy and appreciation.


Photo from one year ago today, February 3, 2016:

Colorful apartment building in New Plymouth, New Zealand.  For more details, please click here.

Pretty, funny, yummy and cute…Do we always have exceptional views?

Cute. Last evening I took this photo through the glass of the window in our living room when we happened to see this rabbit on the shore of the Huon River.

Our reading for today’s post certainly connotes the theme of most of our desired photos; pretty, funny, yummy, and cute. But, on occasion, we get lucky and acquire a shot of a scene or situation even we consider acceptable.

Both of us are always on the lookout for photo ops not only when we’re out exploring but also on days when we’re staying in, frequently looking out the window for possibilities. 

Cute, boys and their cars!  Tom and a 1962 Ford Galaxy 500.

Unfortunately, the setup of this otherwise ideal vacation home isn’t perfect for photo taking when indoors. Views of the Huon River in front of us are somewhat impeded by the glass of the windows, which don’t open adequately for photo taking.

The main floor of this upper-level unit (in a two-unit house) has a door to a small veranda, but most of the river views are blocked by trees and vegetation.  However, we can capture a stunning scene through the glass of the windows, which don’t open adequately for a glass-free shot.

Funny. Extra-large calf nursing from almost same-sized mom.

As a result, the above photo of the rabbit was taken last evening around 7:00 pm through the glass of the windows. I didn’t expect it to be as clear as it was due to the distance and the watermarks on the glass after many rainy days.  

Tom always calls it “safari luck” when I get a good shot, while I tend to fluff my feathers a bit over, finally learning to get it right after all these years. But, with a less-than-professional camera and my amateurish skills, I suppose that on occasion, I’m lucky under the right circumstances.

Yummy apples.

While researching vacation homes, we don’t necessarily list an easily accessible, view-rich veranda criterion. However, when we discover it’s available, it’s a definite bonus.

As most of our long-term readers have observed, in most cases, we have some view in itself, an important criterion which we’ve learned from experience. Only in a few cases over these past 51 months have we lived in properties without a view.

Pretty scene.

In only four of our past vacation homes were we dealing with a lack of an astounding view, including Kenya (a basic backyard view), Morocco (living in the souk with no exterior view except the difficult-to-access rooftop), the second house in Fiji (a backyard pool view only) and Phuket, Thailand (a backyard pool view only).

As we continue, we find ourselves fine-tuning our criteria, but cost and availability are often factors determining the prospect of achieving such a finite expectation.

Yummy-looking baked goods.

When booking hotels for only one or two nights, we’re seldom willing to pay extra for a view. Although in many hotels, we’ve been fortunate to have stunning city views, bodies of water, or mountain views. Without a doubt, views have the potential to make or break the quality of the experience.

In Morocco, living in a riad (a two-story house with an open-air center courtyard), we didn’t have a single-window looking outdoors. So instead, we’d look up to the sky, as shown in this photo below:

Looking up at the sky, day and night, is a rare treat, from inside the riad, defined as a traditional Moroccan house with an interior garden or courtyard. (This huge house was for the two of us only). For more photos of this property, please click here.

Don’t get me wrong, the house in Morocco was amazing. However, the lack of a view had a definite impact on the quality of our experience. After a while, one can feel a little trapped especially, as was the case in that particular location, it was impossible to rent a car with no parking available in the souks. 

In any case, it was a good experience from which we gleaned a lot of knowledge, adding to our repertoire of interesting (to us) times in our world travels. We’ve accepted that location is not always perfect for the nuances that work best for our needs.

Pretty scene of the Huon River near our vacation homes in Castle Forbes Bay.

As for this location, the property, the views, the landlords, and the people in the area, we couldn’t ask for more. Comparable to Penguin, some of the most friendly people on the planet live here.

Already, after only a little over two weeks since we arrived in the Huon Valley, we’ve been sending emails back and forth to people we’ve met along the way. Of course, meeting locals requires a diligent effort to get out to locations that attract locals to ensure face-to-face encounters. We’re always seeking such opportunities, as evidenced by our photos.

Pretty roses growing in the yard.

Today, rain or shine, we’re heading out to another of those events where locals may be found mulling around, photos of which we hope to share over the next several days.

Rain or shine, snow, sleet, or hail, have a safe day!

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

Cloudy, rainy view of Mount Taranaki in New Plymouth, New Zealand. For more details, please click here.

Part 1…Fabulous time out and about…Many new acquaintances…More new photos…

Upon entering the Market @ Franklin, we immediately met Natalie who’s  natural bath, skincare, and beauty line, Naturally Spellbound, is made with all organic products and essential oils. Natalie can be reached here

After yesterday’s post discussing our occasional lack of motivation to get out and the fact that it was a blissfully sunny day, we decided to “hit the road.” With our vacation/holiday home located on a long highway with few outlets to other areas and not feeling up to spending a few hours in the car, we headed back to Franklin.

The Market @ Franklin is held the last Sunday of every month in the historic Palais Theatre in Franklin, Huon Valley, Tasmania. This attractive venue may be rented for weddings, celebrations, and other events.

A few days ago, we’d spent the afternoon at the Australia Day celebrations in Franklin, Tasmania.  Grace, the alpaca products vendor, directed us to the brick building and on Main Street where, on the last Sunday of every month, a comprehensive farmers’ type market is held. She encouraged us to attend when sensing we’d certainly get a kick out of it.

As we moseyed along the rows of displays, this display caught our eye, especially after we were offered a sample.

Grace was right.  No more than moments after entering the door of the historic Palais Theatre, we encountered Natalia, who not only represents her fine products (photo shown here) but also is the organizer of the year-round event as shown here:

“The Market @ Franklin

The Market @ Franklin in the Palais Theatre on the last Sunday of the month all year round. Come along and enjoy a great market day out, and inspect the wares, crafts, and fresh produce of Huon Valley’s locals. The Huon Valley Growers and Makers Market features 30+ stalls showcasing and selling the best produce and craft of the Huon Valley, including seasonal fruit and vegetables, free-range eggs, jams, chutney, honey, cakes, pies and olive oil, plants, seedlings, and herbs, ceramic wooden and textile crafts, jewelry, and alpaca products. 
For stall enquires please contact Natalie via email:

After tasting the naturally “smoked” sea salt, we couldn’t resist making a purchase from Smoked Salt Tasmania.

We chatted with Natalie for quite a while, taking photos of her beautiful display and reveling in this wonderful area of the Huon Valley. As is the case of many we’ve met in Tasmania, their roots started in one of the big cities on Australia’s mainland.

Much to our pleasure, we engaged in a lengthy conversation with Miffy and Don, the owners and creators of this unique product, Smoked Salt Tasmania. For more information on the most delicious salt on the planet, please click here. They may also be reached at Facebook: Smoked Salt Tasmania. What a delightful couple!

Many have shared that they’d longed for the less hectic lifestyle of big city life to eventually relocate to Tasmania for a simpler, easy-paced life on this remote island. Less than a two-hour flight to Sydney and more to other big cities, many locals have found the move to Tasmania fulfilling in many ways.

There were a few homegrown vegetables left, but we had all we needed.  We arrived at the market around noon after we’d uploaded the day’s post.

After we left Natalie, we headed toward the many other booths/displays offering a wide array of fine products. 

The vendors couldn’t have been more friendly. Once again, we ran into alpaca farmer and product maker Grace. Seeing her once again was comparable to running into a longtime friend.

Cute, homemade little felt booties. 

As we continued on our way, it didn’t take long to meet the delightful couple, Don and Miffy, who innovated the delicious, Smoked Salt Tasmania, a bag of which we couldn’t resist purchasing at the cost of AU 15, US $11.34. 

All the displays were set up beautifully, and overall, prices were reasonable.

Naturally aged in barrels (without the use of any of the popular toxic smoke seasoning or other chemicals), the smoked salt is made using natural sea salt harvested in Tasmania. The sample we were offered on a little slip of paper sent our taste buds on a frenzy. I couldn’t wait to get back “home” to use the salt in some way for our dinner. It was indeed a flavor-bursting treat.

More items are included in Julia’s display.

Not only did the product excite us, but after our lengthy conversation with Don and Miffy, they invited us to visit them at their home in Snug. We just may do that during our remaining month in this area of Tasmania.

After viewing all the remaining displays, drooling over a few food offerings, we headed back outdoors, where additional items were offered for sale. With too many photos for one day’s post, we’ll include the remaining photos in tomorrow’s post.

The homemade cupcakes looked delicious.

Rushing a little today with Marguerite, our cleaner, arriving shortly, we’ll wrap it up for today and see you tomorrow with more. Cloudy and rainy, we’re heading out for our weekly grocery shopping in Huonville in order to be out of her way while she cleans.

Have a peaceful and yet meaningful day!

Photo from one year ago today, January 30, 2016:

Many signs and names of towns are were based on the indigenous inhabitants of New Zealand, the Māori who’s language has had official language status, with the right to use it in legal settings such as in court, since the Maori Language Act 1987. There are around 70,000 native speakers of Maori out of a population of over 500,000 Māori people, with 161,000 of the country’s 4 million residents claiming conversational ability in Māori.” For more photos, please click here.

Historical carved statues along the river….Australians never forget….More new out and about photos…

The opposite side of the above carving is shown overlooking the Huon River.

Although it’s summer in Tasmania, it’s not sunny every day, nor is it warm. It seems the sunny days alternate with cloudy days with an occasional few sunny days in a row.

We were fascinated by the tree carvings along the Huon River. This particular statue is in memoriam to all who fought in the Boar Wars from 1899 to 1902.  (Zoom in to read plaque).

The locals find the sunny warm days to be “hot,” but from whence we’ve come over these past years, it’s definitely not “hot” to us. So there’s no need for air-con in Tasmania.

We walked along the shore of the Huon River, spotting this kayaker.

Recently, we’ve been using a floor fan at night we found in a closet. It was a bit warm with the heavy duvet on the bed, and the fan running on low has left us in perfect comfort. The noise from the fan is soothing as well.

Pretty scenery along the river banks.

There is an aircon/heating unit in the lounge (living room), but we’ll never use it during our remaining 31 days in Tasmania. It’s comfortable with the screened windows open during the day. By dark, we close them as it cools down considerably.

River overlook,

We’ve yet to use the pristine swimming pool. It hasn’t been warm enough to inspire us to swim. Nor have we embarked on any walks in this immediate neighborhood, although we continue to drive throughout the area to explore. 

Mother and child wood carving.

The property is tucked away from the main Highway A6, which winds through the Huon Valley.  We don’t hear traffic noise since there isn’t much traffic, but the narrow, winding two-lane road is hazardous for walking.  We’ve noticed cars and trucks zipping along at quite a pace, often locals familiars with the bends and turns.

Sign on the carving, “Timber-getting became a major industry”…

I must admit, after the busy period in Penguin, we’re enjoying some quiet time. Neither of us is feeling overly motivated to go out sightseeing, although we make a point of getting out every few days to explore and take photos.

Roses blooming in the front yard of the home across the road from the river banks.

As we’ve mentioned many times in the past…we’re just like you. We don’t always feel like sightseeing. Instead, staying “home,” cooking a nice meal, throwing in a load of laundry, working on projects (for us, future travel research and bookings) is our definition of a good day. 

We continued on the river walk for more impressive river views. 

Funnily, staying put for a few days grounds us. Without a home of our own nor a place we return to for repacking and laundry creates an environment of seeming everyday life which has proven to be an important part in preventing us from becoming “bored” or “tired” of traveling.  Does this make sense?

In reality, our style of living is exactly how we want it to be, on our terms, including when, where, and what we prefer to do with our time. So we dine when we’re hungry, sleep when we’re tired, and talk when we feel like talking.

The Huon Manor Bistro, located across the road from the river, was closed on Australia Day.

We always provide one another the space to become mindless in an online game, to browse online for hours at a time, or in saying “no” if one of us wants to do something and the other is not up to it for one reason or another.  

Perhaps, this laissez-faire attitude and easy-paced attitude is what makes this journey work for us. However, if we didn’t strive to continue our playful harmony every day, one could quickly become anxious to return to a “normal” life, living in one location, having an established home.

Gorgeous yellow roses.

Neither of us has lost one iota of enthusiasm for our nomadic lifestyle of world travel. But, sure, we discuss the future with its hard reality that someday we’ll have to stop due to health concerns. 

It was a cloudy day, but the views were good anyway.

For now, we’re happy, content, and filled with a childlike wonder of what is yet to come, whether it’s a quiet day at “home” or the excitement of a new adventure. It’s all good.

We hope your day today is good as well.

Photo from one year ago today, January 29, 2016:

The Sugarloaf Islands and Paritutu Rock, located in New Plymouth as seen from a distance from Okurukuru Winery. For more photos, please click here.

Part 2…Booked two new vacation homes…Filling an 88 day gap in the itinerary…

The views from the property referred to as Anchorage Waterfront (no relation to Alaska).

We varied from one of our usual criteria in selecting the second property, which is referred to as an apartment.  We’ve always preferred houses, doubles, or condos. 

We’d yet to book a so-called apartment, although we’ve booked several condos. Based on the fact that each of the small number of units is privately owned, it’s comparable to what we’d refer to as a “condo” in the US. The booking is a first floor unit with two bedrooms and two baths, making it particularly appealing to us.

Thus, going forward, I will refer to it as a condo to ensure our readers are aware of the fact that it’s not a single owner apartment building as one may find in many locations throughout the world. 

The living and dining room, although dated décor-wise, will fulfill our needs.

The decision to move halfway through the stay in Tasmania didn’t come without careful thought. Moving isn’t the easiest thing to do.  But this time, it will be different. Between the two locations, we don’t have to worry about the weight of our bags. We can put the less organized luggage into the rental car since we’ll be unpacking later in the day when we arrive at the second property under five hours later.

Here’s the link to the second location we booked in Tasmania.

We’ll pack our big insulated Costco beach bag with ice being able to bring along all perishable food while placing the nonperishable items in a cardboard box. We’ll be certain to rent a car with ample space for an extra box.

The drive across Tasmania in itself will be fun. When we first arrive in Hobart we’ll drive to Penguin from the Hobart International Airport, a 3 hour, 25-minute drive. When we drive to the second house 44 days later, as shown here today which is located beyond Hobart, the drive will be 4 hours 15 minutes.

A fully equipped kitchen. We can’t see the refrigerator but it can’t be much smaller than we’ve had in other locations.

We discovered the following about Huonville from this site:

“Huonville sits on the banks of the tranquil Huon River and is surrounded by fruit orchards, farmland, and the peaks of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. The town makes an ideal base for exploring Tasmania’s far south.

Set low in the beautiful Huon Valley, Huonville is wrapped in scenery and close to some of Tasmania’s most amazing natural places. With the Hartz Mountains nearby, it’s easy to see what inspires the local creative community and nature lovers alike.

For those who enjoy fine produce, the surrounding area produces smoked and fresh salmon, honey, mushrooms, apples, apricots, plums, cherries, pears, wines, and cider– a veritable foodie’s paradise. There’s even a museum dedicated to the Huon Valley’s famous apple growing story, one that continues today.

Take a wander along the main street and Wilmot Road and find shops that sell a range of first and second-hand treasures from old books and bric-a-brac to new cakes and crafts.

The Huon River and nearby D’Entrecasteaux Channel are attractions in themselves and are popular for fishing and boating, high-speed jet boat rides, or maybe just a quiet walk along the foreshore. Huonville is the last major town before heading into Tasmania’s south, so stop, take a look around and stock up for the journey or stay for a longer taste of the Huon.

Huonville is a 40-min drive (38 km) south of Hobart.”

The master bedroom with views of the Huon River with an ensuite bathroom plus a second bath.

A part of the enjoyment of the move will be the scenic drive across the entire island. Another aspect we love about these two locations is the first is located in Penguin Beach and the second, located directly on the Huon River each with amazing views of the water. 

Apparently, there’s a pontoon boat on the property for which we’ll find out details later. How fun would that be, cruising the Huon River in a pontoon, reminiscent of years past when we had a pontoon while living on a lake?

It’s not that we’re trying to relive our past lake life. We both prefer close proximity to water; a river, a lake, or an ocean. I’m a Pisces, not that horoscopes mean that much to me, but I’ve always been drawn to views of the water, having grown up by the sea in California and having a pool in our yard. 

This is the second bedroom in the property. Although we always share a bedroom, it’s nice to have a second bedroom to store our luggage.

Tom and I both owned boats as adults, long before we met and eventually married, another commonality alighting our otherwise mismatched connection. As a single mom in the 70’s and 80’s I owned a twin-screw Chris Craft cabin cruiser often taking my kids, my sister Julie and friends to Lord Fletcher’s on Lake Minnetonka as well as other popular points of interest on the massive lake.

I was able to dock the boat in a choice spot at the pier, maneuvering the boat easily into a fairly tight spot, tying all the lines using crochet knots. In those days, it was uncommon to see a woman maneuvering a good-sized boat on her own. At the time, I even shocked myself with my independence and skill. 

The Huon River will be another ideal location in Tasmania, located in the southern end of Tasmania while Penguin is located in the north.

The property has a pool and possibly a few chaise lounges. 

The Huon River heads out to sea in the south, another ideal placement for our visit to this beautiful island. At this point, I’m amazed we even found these two properties while dealing with an on and off wifi connection, the outrageous heat on the days we found them, and the speedy and generous response from the two owners, more than willing to work with us.

Yesterday afternoon, I busied myself logging all the information into our spreadsheet in a few separate worksheets; one; the “travel Itinerary” basic expense page estimating the total costs for each of these bookings including rent, rental car, transportation to and from, fuel, dining out, groceries, entertainment and miscellaneous and, two; the financial end on the rentals on the “Deposits Paid” tab including total rents (in US $), deposits paid, date paid, balances due and the dates the balances are due.

Once we arrive in Tasmania, we’ll share more details about the island, the properties, the locations, the cost of living again on the island, its people, its customs, and more.

The dock in front of the property. Gee…maybe there are a few fishing rods we can borrow!

It’s one more cog in the wheel of our continuing world travels. Now, with only one gap to fill for March 13, 2017, to April 22, 2017, prior to sailing to the US for a short stay to visit family and friends, arriving in May 2017, we can sit back and relax knowing a substantial portion of planning for the next 20 months is almost complete.

In these next 12 months, we’ll begin to map out plans for the second half of 2017, hopefully stretching out well into 2018 and beyond. It’s a continuous task that fortunately, we both find to be pleasurable, providing us with a sense of satisfaction, accomplishment, and, of course, excitement!

Thanks for sharing the ongoing journey with us!

Photo from one year ago, September 25, 2014:

There were no photos posted on this date after a long and annoying boarding process to get on the ship in Vancouver, the longest we’d experienced to date. Due to all the delays, we had no time or WiFi access early enough in the day to post other than a short blurb. No sooner we were in our cabins, it was time for the muster drill, and then, our 8:00 pm dinner reservation. Rough waters commenced no more than an hour out to sea.  More on that is upcoming. Please click here for details.