Today was another transition day as I traveled back to Rick’s place in Mona Vale. I started the day with another huge, delicious breakfast from my host in Hobart Sommai. I have to admit, I’m really going to miss her delicious breakfasts and Hobart as I really like this town. I hope I can come back someday.
In my Day 3 post I talked about how I like to have a plan and how I am challenging myself to be a little more spontaneous on this trip. Well, part of the down side of not planning is you sometimes end up far from where you ultimately need or have to be….which can be a good thing at times I suppose. 🙂 Anyway, how this applies today is that instead flying from the Hobart airport which is 15 minutes away, my flight is out of Launceston which is 2:30 hours away. Fortunately however I “planned” for this (I just couldn’t help myself 🙂 and gave myself time for the drive. So off I went to Launceston.
The drive to Launceston from Hobart was pretty uneventful. Most of it consisted of open fields on rolling hills and a lot of sheep….Tasmania has a LOT of sheep. 🙂 One cool thing I saw was a small lake just covered with black swans. I’ve seen quite a few black swans over the past 2 weeks but nothing close to this many at one place. Unfortunately I was driving by at 110….km not mph :-), so I was not able to get a picture. You’ll just have to take my word that they were pretty and it was cool.
One thing that is definitely not cool is the price of petro (gas). They measure by the liter and for those who may not know there are 3.7854 (to be exact) liters in a US gallon. I’ve paid as little as $.98/liter ($3.71/gallon) and as much as (on Bruny Island) $1.51/liter ($5.72/gallon). Most everything I’ve seen in Australia is more expensive than the US but, as I mentioned in a previous blog, with the current USD <-> AUD exchange rate of 1.40 most things have worked out to be just a little higher than US cost. Bottom line, it’s a very good time for US citizens to travel to Australia, and New Zealand is even better (USD <-> AUD exchange rate = 1.52).
After stopping for lunch and to fill the rental car…..$1.19/liter = $.85/liter with the exchange rate. So 3.7854 x $.85 = $3.22/gallon, I arrived at the Launceston airport on time.
The flight from Launceston to Sydney was about 1:30 hours. It was funny that the same ocean crossing that took 11 hours on the ferry a week before only took 25 minutes in the air :-)….
|The north coast of Tasmania, AU|
|The south coast of Victoria, AU|
It was a very smooth flight and the skies where mostly clear so I was able to get some really good pictures flying into Sydney….
Once we landed I took the train from the airport to CBD (central business district) where I caught the L90 bus to Mona Vale. About 2 hours after we landed Rick (the ultimate host) picked me up in Mona Vale and I made it back in time to have a wonderful dinner with Rick, Linda and the kids and afterwards we celebrated Josh’s 21 birthday!
It’s an exciting time for Josh as he just turned 21, he will be graduating college in a few months and he just found his first apartment with some friends (mates) and will be moving out in a month or so. So as you can see from the picture there was a definite “set up your first place” theme with the gifts. It was a good night and I really appreciated being able to share this special time with them! Congratulations Josh!