For more pictures of our trip to Tasmania, link to Moran Segoli's page   in Hebrew or  in English.


Maracoopa cave spider

We reluctantly said goodbye to Cradle Mountain, and after serious reorganization of our luggage drove off and were delighted to see a rare quoll crossing the road.

At Marakoopa Caves at Mole Creek we walked along underground rivers and enjoyed the stalactite and stalagmite formations, some colored by mud. Parts of the cave were black because of above-ground fires whose smoke was sucked in by the underground river.

Moran found a spider in its web which was the chance for our guide to display his admirable knowledge of the insects that live in the caves.

When our guide switched off the lights we were amazed by the hundreds of glow-worms suspended from the cave ceiling. Glow worms only occur in Australia and New Zealand. In fact on our trip in 2001 we did a rafting tour along underground caves and saw glow worms then. (link to 2001 Cave trip and glowworms). Glow worms are the larval form of the fungus gnat and they use their light to attract mosquitos and flies that enter the cave and then stick to a thread that the gnats make. When they reach adult form they have no mouths – they live for about three days, just enough to deposit their eggs in a female gnat pouch.

Segolis trekAfter this visit, Moran and Mikhal left us for some serious mountain walking while we continued to our next destination, Latrobe, somewhat apprehensive as to how we would manage with Zoe.  
On the way we stopped at Chugleigh to have lunch. We visited a honey station and really liked the hives and explanations. There was a glass window with hives in the open and Zoe loved to see the bees going in and out of the hives.  We were fascinated to learn that when there is a fire, bees gorge on the stored pollen and nectar in the hives and then secrete it in an effort to quench the fire. The kids tasted various kinds of honey and found that different flowers give very different tastes to the honey. 

While they continued to the fudge and silk worm shop I went to change Zoe's diaper. Off we drove to the salmon farm…. where I found that I had left my handbag somewhere back in Chugleigh. While I took the kids to feed the salmon and take a walk to the waterfall Eitan drove back – and found my bag.  In the stress of changing a diaper for the first time I had hung my bag on a rack and forgotten it. A woman walked into the diaper changing station and took it to the café where we had eaten lunch. She phoned the honey shop but we had already left and then phoned the police station. Imagine – I got my bag back with money intact!

at the Salmon farm

bathing Zoe

Relieved we drove off to our B&B in Latrobe and were delighted with the spaciousness and comfort. Moran and Mikhal shower with Zoe in their arms. I had visions of holding a wet and soapy Zoe and having her pop out of my arms and crash onto the floor. Squishing her into the basin seemed a better alternative. Zoe went to bed very late and woke up once in the night and we took her into our bed. After an hour I placed her back in her cot and she slept until morning. Quite an achievement for a baby without her parents, in a strange place and a strange bed!

That morning the children first enjoyed looking at the goose that came to our door and then matzo brei – who cares if Pesach is over, this was the first opportunity to make it!  They finally got their wish, not to go for a walk but just relax and watch TV at the B&B.

In the afternoon we went to Tasmazia, a park with a series of complicated mazes. Neither Eitan nor I felt comfortable walking through the mazes, but that is one of the things one does for grandchildren. They enjoyed it thoroughly and weren't perturbed about thoughts of getting lost. There were other attractions for children there, including a "model" village called "Crackpot Village". As can be seen from the picture below (and also from a previous This Week's Picture) this made babysitting easy!  In the evening we had a barbecue and were again amazed at how much food both Maayan and Zoe can put away.

mazeMaayan in stocks

After a quiet morning and lunch we went to Rialton on the way to the mural competition at Sheffield. Rialton is advertised as the topiary town. We realized that Netanya also has topiaries – bushes cut into various shapes. Rialton did not have a large park with toparies, but we did see interesting  topiary marsupials, a woman with a hat gardening, two men catching a fish and various other shapes dotted around the town. Moran and Mikhal joined us in Rialton after their great three day hike up to the Jerusalem Wall with amazing views of tens of lakes. Of course Zoe was delighted to see her parents again. [See Segolis homepage]

topiary in Railton

 The long drive to Sheffield was made bearable by a game where the children had to find various objects along the way, like a red roof, a public telephone, and a blue car. Eitan was amazing with the kids playing games and singing songs – a week later and the song "My eyes are dim…." is still ringing through my head

Sheffield has a mural competition every year. Artists from all over Australia and New Zealand, submit paintings; the finalists are then given a week to paint their murals on metal boards. The spectators are invited to submit their choice. We had a lot of fun walking around and comparing the murals as well as viewing the displays of previous murals posted around the town.

wall muralpainting mural

That night we had a barbecue – a nice change for Mikhal and Moran who had subsisted on noodles in a cup on their hike. The next morning we left for Cole's Bay in the Freycinet  Peninsula.