We just had a great visit with our Kodiak friends Pete and Margaret and their mob - Clayton, Laurel and Jack. They all came down to Tas and we met up in Cradle Mt. National Park. Here's the crew setting out on a hike, experiencing very stereotypical early summer Tassie weather.
Jack in the buttongrass.
We stayed in a great cabin in the park. Elias was very excited to sleep in the top bunk.
I busted out one afternoon for a walk by myself in the hills, where I got the views above. Cradle Mt. is a very pretty place, and we're keen to go back. Maybe it was the presence of our Kodiak friends, but as I was walking around in the hills I did what I never do when travelling and compared the place to home. "Jeez," I thought. "You could set these hills down in Kodiak and no one would notice them." But that was just my relict Alaskan bias talking and of course comparisons of this sort are odious....
After a day in Hobart we all trekked out to the Bicheno for Christmas. Actually, what we were aiming to produce for our Alaskan friends was an Australian "chrissie" instead of a northern hemisphere Christmas. The northern Christmas is a midwinter festival, but the Australian version is very much a "summertime and the livin' is easy" sort of holiday. Thus our choice of Bicheno, where there is a very nice beach where Elias and I braved the cold water for a swim. On Boxing Day the surf was up and I finally got my longboard wet in Tassie.
We rented a great beach house and set up a little Christmas tree complete with lights. Here's Elias with a plate of cookies for Santa and a plate of carrots for Santa's eight 'roos. (Turns out he doesn't use reindeer down here.)
We had Christmas dinner complete with the Australian touch of party hats and crackers and noisemakers. Good fun.
Pete and Margaret and their troupe caught the ferry back to the North Island on Boxing Day, leaving behind a very warm impression of their family dynamic. We're looking forward to seeing these good people again...maybe our boat search will find us close to Alaska sooner than we know...