The day at Port Arthur was bathed in sunshine, so much so that I took my jumper off and thought summer had arrived.
That night mother nature proved me wrong again and we slept in our van to the noise of a heavy down pour on our roof. The rain had stopped as we were ready to move on but it was still overcast. We took the road around the Tasman Peninsula to Nubeena where we stopped to buy supplies for the pantry, then we set off to Eagleshawk Neck, a small neck of land joining the Tasman Peninsula to the Forestier Peninsula. This area is still part of the convict trail and is connected to Port Arthur. Soldiers were stationed up here to prevent any Prisoner escaping from the prison in Port Arthur, thus making that prison virtually on an island.
There are also a number of spectacular rock formations such as the Tasman Blow Hole, the Tasman Arch and the Devil's Kitchen. These have all been formed over thousands of years by the continual pounding of the Southern Ocean waves on the cliffs, some of them had photo's taken over a hundred years with the information boards so you could see for yourself the changes that had taken place. Along side these spectacular sights was another one, Doo-Lishes van selling hot food and drinks. On his notice board we saw he sold hot Scallop Pies. When ever we mentioned to any Australian's in Melbourne we were heading for Tasmania they all told us to get a Tassie Scallop Pie. This was the first place that we had seen them being sold so we had to get some for lunch, they only did the curried variety but we enjoyed it never the less. Whilst standing at the van waiting for my pie I noticed they did hot waffles with fresh berries, ice cream and cream. Well, in the interests of food research I just had to try one, the fresh berries turned out to be frozen ones (the season is only just starting here) but it tasted good.
Following a big lunch we should have exercised but we didn't, preferring to drive on. We now embarked on the Wielangata Forest Drive, which had been recommended to us by Viv at Wynyards. It was a pretty drive through a working forest area that also had some very old trees in it. It was about 29 km on a graded all-weather unsealed road, so we drove it to the accompaniment of some rattles in our van. There was one look out that Jeff decided to go up which was 2 km off the road. Having started up it we realised our mistake but there was no going back when you have a 22ft camper van to turn. We stopped at the top for a caffeine fix before attempting the journey back down. My only consolation to this trip was that Jeff got the sheer drops on his side on the return journey.
(Jeff's brief comment). The road up was hairy and I dreaded meeting a vehicle coming the other way. At the top it was necessary to do a nine point turn, (I wasn't getting too close to the edge), before going back down. The magnificent views I could have done without, however, another learning experience.
Back to Sylvia.
We returned to the main road at Orford and set off to look for a bush camp area that our book indicated was close by the beach, it must have been so close to the beach that we missed it and ended up in the next town called Swansea. We looked at a commercial camp site and then as navigator I said "there is a nice camp up here at the end of this peninsula". We set off and drove the down the nine mile beach road to find no camp site, I had misread the map and the camp site was 53 km away across the bay. We retraced our steps and ended up in the commercial camp site at 8 pm and with a site right by the beach, so it wasn't too bad after all. Or that's what I tried to get the driver to believe