A day of contrasts

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A day that began with us waking to the sound of rain drumming on the roof of the van ended with us walking in the sea in strong sunshine.
After getting up a shower in the facilities at Low Head caravan park was great and set the day up. The rain had sropped when I left the shower block and, after breakfast, it was time to leave Low Head. The weather was grey when we left George Town but when we got into the forrests outside the fog grew really thick. Two wine tastings, first at the Bay of Fires vineyard where they produce the award winning Arras sparkling wines before going to Pipers Brook vineyard, the tasting room of which is pictured, where we had a coffe in their cafe. What they have done very well here is to market the vineyards as part of a region, with explaination booklets and road signs for each vineyard branded as part of the route. Alsace promotes its wine route very well but could learn something from Tasmania over the signing of the vineyards, which are hard to miss if you are not from the area and driving around unfamiliar countryside.
After that we drove into Launceston where we had lunch at Cataract Gorge where there is a cableway you sit in and takes you over the gorge formed by the Tamar River, which has a bridge  over it and a park with a walk round it. I’m not sure if you can see the chairlift in the picture.
After lunch I drove to Penguin. A place named Penguin. After the Fairey Penguins which are very common around the area. There is something of a craze for large objects in Australia. You can get a book and a map showing the location of them around the country. To mark an anniversary a large penguin structure was constructed on the foreshore of the town. On our last visit together ten years ago we discovered these ‘big things’ and then, and on subsequent visits I’ve tried to visit as many of them as I can. So I got off the highway at Ulverston and drove along the coast to Penguin to take a picture of the one there, and be pictured with it, as you see.
After a stop for a coffee, to pick up some shopping, and watch the freight train go through the main street of the town we headed off for our destination, Burnie, where we found somewhere to park our van in a place called Cooee, I had to resist calling it out regularly, walked down to the sea and ended the day with our feet in the waters of the Bass Strait.

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