Thursday, March 20, 2014

Stanley: A Great Place to Chill Out

Why was Stanley on our itinerary? None of our many tourist pamphlets did not mention it. Once we checked into the  Stanley Seaview Inn our questions disappeared. Our unit was roomy and comfortable with Wi-Fi (first for us in Tasmania). Our balcony overlooked a pasture where 18 sheep grazed; in the distance we could see the bay. As soon as I turned my camera on the sheep pictured on the left looked up, kept me in her gaze, and nudged the one on the right to get picture ready.

We went to the village center to make a dinner reservation – a good idea on a Saturday night in a small town with few options. As we strolled past the 19th century cottages on Stanley's Heritage Walk the term “tidy town” came to mind. At village had two blocks of shops and cafes. The gift shops were pleasant and free of junky souvenirs. On Saturday afternoon the foot traffic was light, and by Sunday it had nearly disappeared. Not only a tidy town, but a bit of a sleepy one.

At dinner Doug had lobster, but it was served cold, same as Prince Edwards Island in Canada. I had "river trout" that looked and tasted like salmon. No complaints, just unexpected. After dinner we walked behind the town cemetery to see “fairy penguins” (Eudyptula minor) that come to a rocky beach to roost. To avoid predators the penguins come after dark. So not to spook the penguins our flashlights were covered with red plastic. I did take a picture – there didn’t seem to be ill effects, perhaps because we were alone and there wasn't lots of flashes.

The next day we went to a Rocky Cape National Park to take the Rocky Cape Circuit Walk. We accessed the trail at Route 227 and combined four trails routes (the trail to Postman’s Pass, the Inland Track to Tinkers Lookout,  Brandfordia Spur to Cathedral Rocks and the Coastal Trail back to Postman's Pass) for a total of 8 km. The hills were beautiful (think Sound of Music), but trudging on the gravel path scarcely inspired singing. The Brandfordia Spur Trail was seriously overgrown and we had to be careful not to lose site of the trail – not a popular walking path. In fact we saw no one hiking and no other cars in the car park at the information sign near Burgess Cove. The day was windy, but once the wind stopped the flies came out.  The signs said that the hike would take 2.5 hours. We took 4, about what we expected. The views were good and the hike was never dull. We appeared to be the only ones on the trail that day.

The first part of the hike was through these hills

Note the trail surface! Hard on the feet

Lost in the weeds?

Keeping our eyes on the ground had its reward
Bass Strait is in the background

On our way to Stanley we stopped Burnie’s Makers’ Workshop where up to 36 artists and crafters share work space. Of the artists who were working on the Saturday we visited were a paper folder, a paper maker, a fiber artist, and a bead maker. We talked to Ritchie Ares Dona the paper folder. He uses discarded materials to make various objects. The work takes patience, attention to detail, and vision to transform “rubbish” and create art.

Ritchie Ares Dona with his tools
An outer paper vase and an
inner glass vase
In addition to the artists the Makers Workshop houses a pleasant café and tourist information. The staff at tourist information were particularly helpful. It was they who alerted us to the fairy penguins in Stanley, and SteamFest 2014 in Sheffield.  They even gave us a red transparent paper to put over our flashlight when viewing the penguins coming in at night.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Liz and Doug. It was wonderful meeting you at Makers. Thank you for posting my works on your blog. Sorry to be a pain but can you please removed the photo of myself.