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Monday, April 23, 2007

stanley

A long long time ago, two intrepid explorers, Bass and Flinders, discovered 'The Nut' (sorry, it was raining all day Saturday so I didn't get any photos, and by the time the sun came out on Sunday my batteries were dead. Check out the link for a cool picture). Sadly lacking in imagination, they called the gigantic volcanic plug 'Circular Head'. Well why not? It is a circular head of land after all!

Over time the English realised some of the best grazing pastures in the world were found at the base of the Nut, and they busily set about establishing farms. Not long after that they noticed the area also had an excellent little harbour, so they built a wharf, sent a few more people along to try out the fishing and, hey presto, the town of Stanley came into existence. The King granted them all permission to set up a company, and Van Diemen's Land Co started trading in 1824 or so. The rest is history.


Before they knew it they were long gone and Frank and I were strolling the streets of this historic township, soaking in the atmosphere (and the rain), eating chips made from the best potatoes in the world (of course) and sampling the local seafood (Again, the best in the world. If you hang around in Tasmania for long enough you soon realise that everything Tasmanian is 'the best in the world'! Quite possibly it's true.)

Maybe it was the history (by Australian standards, Stanley is old). Maybe the 3 hour drive to get there. Maybe it was the steadily narrowing roads the further we travelled from the big city. Or the hundreds of sheep and cows grazing in green paddocks. The stately homes set back on gently rolling hills? Whatever the reason, we felt like we'd stepped into a time warp where the minutes ticked by more slowly (or was it just that my watch stopped?!) and the sun moved less quickly across the sky (oh, what? That was the rain clouds?!).

I would have loved to explore every historic nook and cranny of Stanley (word of warning: don't ever visit a museum with me!) but mostly we wanted to enjoy the natural beauty of the area. Wow, we were blown away.

First there was the amazing ecocabin we stayed in...



...then the beach we looked out on...



...and some pretty cool flora and fauna. (Check out the crabs! The beach was absolutely crawling with thousands of these little fellas. Apparently they're called soldier crabs, and when you see them all marching across the sand it's not hard to see why!)


But what topped it all off for me was the artistry displayed in nature. The beach is set on a small inlet where the water flows back and forth across the sand, creating the most incredible patterns and sculptures. I could have stared for hours.



As it was, time wasn't really standing still and we had to come home. So we took the obligatory 'we were here' photo and trundled back the way we'd come, on the ever widening road, back to where the cars never stop going through the night. But I've still got sand in my shoes and I don't think I'll be forgetting this trip for a while!

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5 Comments:

At 5:47 am, April 24, 2007, Blogger Deanna said...

Great pictures. Thanks for all the info. I've seen crabs somewhat like that (there being a lot of little guys marching the beach) along Puget Sound in Washington state.

Thanks to my daughter, I know the song reference, and I like Dido's music a lot.

 
At 10:39 am, April 24, 2007, Anonymous Sandy said...

Nice work Cecily, I enjoyed every bit, especially the one of you and Frank!

 
At 5:15 pm, April 24, 2007, Blogger Robyn said...

Sounds delightful! I love the photo of the two of you together :)

 
At 12:36 pm, April 25, 2007, Blogger Cherie said...

How I appreciate the history, the photos, just all the good news and information in this post and the previous posts to which you linked. Very intersting! Thanks for taking the time display your photos in the attractive way you did.

:-D

 
At 6:11 pm, April 26, 2007, Blogger Cecily said...

Hey... someone recognised the song! Cool.

Thanks guys for all your nice comments. Glad you enjoyed.

 

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