Tuesday, 5 January 2010
What's in a Name?
If you come from Tasmania it is easy to pick a foreigner.
They say 'Lawn-seston', not 'Lon-seston' for 'Launceston'.
Interestingly, if you are from England, the original pronunciation for Launceston is actually 'Lawn-ton', spoken very quickly.
Tasmanians don't let the fact that they say it incorrectly bother them when they frown at foreigners who pronounce it differently than the local dialect dictates.
Albany is actually 'Al-bany', not 'All-bunny'. We got that right so we fitted in there, although dealing with N.T. number plates was a little problematic, so we left them on the Prado.
En route to Albany we had a fantastic drive along Highway 1, the route is bumpy, narrow-ish but lined with great forests and lots to see and do.
We stopped at Donnybrook, where they have a huge playground for free, so people drove at least 5000kms to play there (well, we did).
That probably makes it not technically 'free', but there was no entrance fee. It was a great way to split up a 550k drive.
From there we went to the Diamond Tree Reserve, where they have BIG trees that have had the tops cut off and a cubby-house plonked on top, to be used as fire watch towers. There are several, we were told.
We decided to climb the one in the pictures.
Jude and Sam got 1/2 way up and returned to Terra Firma (The more firma, the less terra).
Jess and Len went to the top, and it was quite a feat for a 9 year old. Very scary thing to do, and gained some appreciative 'ooh' and 'ahh's from those waiting their turn to risk heart attack or sudden impact death.
We then went to the Forestry Air Walk, in amongst more BIG trees. Much like Tahune Airwalk in Tas, without the opportunity to scare everyone by bouncing the cantilever, sadly.
Mind you it did sway sideways much more, a fact Sam tried valiantly to exploit.
Albany itself is nestled in the lee of some granite hills, snuggled down in a hollow, where it has a good snooze each day between 12 noon and 6pm. (Not really, it just sounds like it should, being in a hollow and all).
It is also a beautiful town, and one should take a trip to the Natural Bridge and see the awe-inspiring coastline. There are also two 'Blow-holes' nearby, where there are holes in the granite the size of a basketball. If you wait long enough for a good swell then you are treated to a very surprising jet propelled gust of compressed air, strong enough when we were there to remove hats, glasses, tee shirts (Jude held hers down after seeing Len's fat belly exposed to the other visitors in an amusing moment for all but Len), and perhaps strong enough to exfoliate exposed skin, should you so desire.
We were told that some splashes out to sea were two whales. After lots of patient waiting with the tele lens on the camera, and a pic or two of the splendid splashes the larger animal made it dawned that they did not move at all, and looked suspiciously like a few rocks way out at sea that were just being rocks. The pictures have been discarded.
The final thing about Albany, that will be mentioned here, is that if you want a good pizza in Albany, then you must go to Jo-Joe's Pizza.
We bought the jumbo version, $24, fed everyone and there was some left over!!
It just fitted through the caravan door with a slight tilt. Truly the best pizza we have tasted as well.
We are now at Esperence, another 500 or so ks, and tomorrow we explore some beach driving, we think.