Jan. 22

Jan. 22, 2010

We’re on our way to Tasmania now, and will be for the next few days.  We should arrive in Hobart on the 24th.  The sea is rough, & it’s pretty windy.  I guess it’ll be getting hot soon enough once we reach Australia, though.

Yesterday we cruised through the Fjordland area.  The whole area was very obviously carved by glaciers.  The mtns. rise straight up from the ocean up to 6,000 feet high.  A little farther inland, they rise up to 9,000 feet or so.  Very rocky with lots of beautiful waterfalls.  We got lots of photos.  Luckily, the clouds lifted enough that we could see the tops of the peaks in the best area (Milford Sound).  It was breath-taking.  Of course, the top deck in the front of the ship was completely packed, but we were able to worm our way in somehow.

We said goodbye to NZ yesterday.  What a beautiful and interesting country.  I wouldn’t mind living there, but the real estate is pretty expensive.  They’re also very picky as to whom they allow to move there, which is understandable.  I was really impressed with their conservation-minded, environment and eco-friendly views.  Everything was so clean and nice.  The water was great too!  They were very conscious of recycling everything possible.  Our last tour guide was telling us about a huge project in the works.  Each province is responsible for building their part of a country-long biking trail.  When finished it will reach from the tip of the North Island clear down to the tip of the South Island.  It will take another few yrs. to complete, but wouldn’t that be fun to ride along that??  They’ll have hotels and restaurants along the way, too, so you won’t have to camp the whole time (or any time, if you don’t want to).  I wonder how many days it would take to go the whole way?

Today I plan to work on a little beading and/or sewing on Willie’s necklace.  I brought my supplies but haven’t done a thing on it yet.  We’ll see how that goes.

In Tasmania we’ll see another animal sanctuary (Something Wild Animal Park), will view Russell Falls and visit one of the oldest sheep stations in Tasmania.  After that, we’ll head to Melbourne.

I bought tickets for us to spend a day at the Australian Open tennis tournament there.  It’ll be nice to get away from all the ship people & see a whole new group.  We’re scheduled to see a quarterfinals match, so we don’t know yet who it’ll be.  I hope it’s RAFA NADAL, of course!!

We changed our clocks back another hour last night.  Now we’re off Montana time by 5 hrs. (& NY time by 7 hrs.) and a day.  It’s confusing, I know.  (Bill did keep his watch on MT time, so that helps.)

Now I’ll try to connect to the internet & post this on the blog.  The internet situation has me so frustrated that I’m about to go strangle that Russian lady in the Internet Cafe.  I marched in there last night all ready to rumble, but she was nowhere to be found (luckily for me, ha ha!).  Let’s just say she’s rude, flippant & no help whatsoever.  I’m hoping someone else will be in there today when I go in to complain about being overcharged.  Wish me luck!!

Will write more later.  Sorry I can’t upload any photos for awhile.  Hopefully, the internet situation will improve once we get on solid ground.  G-day for now, Mates!