December 28th, 2008 – by: clearviews
It is cool and overcast next morning. All three vehicles having unhitched from their vans head west along the top of Tasmania
to explore. The beaches are beautiful and populations of the small towns, sparse. Our lunch destination is Stanley
where the Nut, a rock rising steeply on the edge of the town, sits.
Our drive takes us through farming areas and I mentally tick off the crops. One puzzles me for a while and it has masses of pinkish white blooms. The paddocks are fenced with 4 or 5 strand barbed wire with signage declaring the area Prohibited for access and warnings that consumption of the crop can cause death.
Beach on the way to Stanley
On closer inspection I see they are poppies and learn later that Tasmania produces about a quarter of the world's legal supply of opium poppies for medicine. It is beautiful sight. Then there are paddocks of Pyrethrum daisies in bloom with their tiny white flower with orange centre and the recognisable scent. Potatoes grow extremely well in this rich soil too.
On the deserted dock area of Stanley the wind is howling and rain comes down in sheets. There are a few motorhomes parked out of the winds and their occupants seem to be fishing from the docks. Lunch is delicious in a cafe and I have some elderflower sparkling soda with mine, product of Tasmania and Cascade Breweries.
Back in Somerset we set up the lap top with a gadget that streams TV channels on it.
Stanley with The Nut rising off to the left
Wind up the Wingard TV arile on the roof of the van and we have a range of channels. This move proves to be a learning experience. All night the wind and rain rage and in the early hours of next mroning Andrew and I are woken by cold water dripping out of one of the light fittings in the ceiling and on to our feet. A bucket place under the stream of water stops the bed getting wetter and we doze until about 7.30am. Having had the van for about 18 months, it has had torrential rain with little water getting in and we determine that the only difference is that the ariel is up for the first time in rain. The ceiling cavity has filled with water and is exiting from the light fitting. The power is disconnected, silicone is purchased, base of the Wingard is sealed and water stops running out of light fitting.