If you have ever dreamed of flying, then you’d better head off to the historic town of Stanley in North-West Tasmania. The winds were so strong, that they nearly lifted this mighty heavy hephalump right off the ground like a kite. So, we’re talking about seriously heavy winds and by the end of the day, I could have inflicted grievous bodily harm to get hold of a hair elastic to contain the wilderness on top of my head. I’m not even going to try to describe what it was like trying to eat an ice cream with my hair whipping my face and going all over the ice cream. It was truly annoying…irritatingly annoying.It provides a different interpretation of having “lashings of ice cream”.
However, to be fair to Stanley, the weather was particularly bad that day. So, I wouldn’t necessarily say that Stanley is an exceptionally windy place, though I did spot this sticker…
By the way, for those of you who are into maps and can actually read and follow them, here’s a map of Tasmania and you can spot Stanley on the North-West coast.
Then, we headed into Stanley for lunch. I don’t know whether I’ve exactly pointed out how many times I’ve had fish & chips on this trip and how I’m keeping a bit of a log of their performance. So far, the fish & beer battered chips from Stanley are right up there with the best. They were exceptionally good and the fish melted in my mouth and the portions were also very generous.
Normally, I love alfresco dining, but the wind was so bad that sitting outside became a test of endurance. The wind was bad. Have I mentioned that yet?
Stanley is built into the hillside of a volcanic plug known as: The Nut. This very striking geographical feature helps give Stanley its own character and really adds to its appeal…along with its gorgeously quaint, historic cottages.
After lunch, we set off on foot to explore the town. That’s when we came across former Australian Prime Minister, Joe Lyons’ birthplace. The house has been turned into a museum and restored to its original condition with hand split timbers throughout the house etc.
While looking look through the museum, I was intrigued to find out that his grandmother was a Burke from Shanogolden, County Tipperary, Ireland. This is where Geoff’s Griffin family came from originally. A number of Griffins and Burkes married each other here so I’m curious to see if Geoff’s family has any connection with the former Prime Minister. It’s not something the family is aware of, but until proven otherwise, it’s still a possibility!
While we were in Stanley, we also wanted to check out the Stanley Hotel, which has a connection with Patrick Brehenny who married Ellen Griffin, Geoff’s grandmother’s aunt. It’s quite a building and of interest quite aside from the family connection.
Personally, although our family connections to these old buildings go back a long way, they have meaning for me. While I’m walking around trying to put myself into their shoes, I get that sense of talking walls . I can almost hear their whispers and feel their pulse. I love doing this, even though it can get a bit eerie and even painful at times. Some of these people led such hard lives, and I do absorb some of their grief. After all, I’m not made of stone. Yet, at the same time, I try not to hold onto these feelings. It’s supposed to be a case of slipping into their skin, walking around looking, breathing, sensing and then stepping out again. I need to let them go.
Speaking about letting it go, I’d better finish this off and get to bed. We’re off to Hobart’s famous Salamanka Markets in the morning.