Day 7. 21st October, 2018.
Right now, I feel like one of the lazy cows in the paddock next door. We've had a big day, touring the local sights with Anne, who played the role of tour guide, complete with running commentary of the local area as we coasted around.
After a quick coffee (and some locally made rocky road and blueberry pastry!) at the Lovett Cafe, Cygnet markets was our first stop this morning. It happens in the middle of town on the first and third Sundays of the month. There are stalls outside on one side of the street, where you can find plants, produce and some unique craft items. Inside the town hall is where you can find the rest of the stalls, including hand-carved wooden items (we treated ourselves to a cute little coat hook made from local wood), pottery (we treated ourselves to a nice utensils holder) and handcrafted items including knitted babywear (we didn't buy any of that) jewellery (we didn't buy any of that either) and bric-a-brac (nope).
Then our first drive began, taking in the northern side of the river. Copper Alley Bay is serene. A small jetty with several dinghies attached. An owner of one of them rolled up and bailed out a decent amount of water from his rubber vessel before cranking up the outboard motor and cutting his way across to one of the largest boats anchored in the bay. Hopefully he didn't have to bail out water from that before sailing to his destination. We didn't stick around to observe. We rolled further down the road, past a cute old church, now on private property and headed to our next location.
Drip beach is a secluded little area where a tree has fallen, long back, across the sand from the bank and into the water. There's a rope attached to the highest branch kids use to swing into the water and a number of people have left their mark, in paint, on the dead, white trunk. We bumped into some of Anne's friends down there who were exercising their dogs, one of them recommending we check out the sheep's-milk cheese maker's place. As well as cheese, they're known for their vodka and gin, made from sheep (milk) whey. Recommendation noted for later, we traveled on to Poverty Point.
Poverty Point is very unique. Another quiet beach (they're all quiet... shhh!) Poverty Point is where you can hunt for fossils. You get a real sense of how old these shores are by keeping your eyes to the ground. As you walk across the rocky shore, some of the rocks start to reveal ancient impressions of shells, molluscs and fish, immortalised millennia before you or I were a twinkle in our fathers' eyes.
Fossil hunting is hard (lazy) work and we'd built up an appetite, so returned to Anne and Bruce's place via the hillside behind Cygnet, which spoiled us with a postcard view of Cygnet Bay from above the valley.
After lunch, Anne drove us to the South of Cygnet, cutting into the countryside towards Woodbridge, which has a small, well preserved town centre and opens out onto the Channel Highway, which held our scenic treats for the afternoon. There was also a gustatory treat at the previously mentioned Sheep's Cheese-maker: Grandvewe. (Get it? Grandv-ewe!!). It sits up on the rise of a hill, overlooking Birchs Bay, demanding we stop for a coffee and enjoy the view. We sampled their cheeses, their mouth-warering pinot paste (which we bought) and a delicious in-house designed sheep's whey liqueur which, infused with vanilla. It tasted a lot like those old 'milko' lollies from yesteryear. Whilst I didn't sample their vodka (it just won the award as best vodka. In. The. World!) I did have a taste of their gin- a potent blend of their vodka base with juniper and a selection of botanicals that gives it a real lift.
We rolled back into the car and headed back down the hill and along the coast road, the water a deep blue against the backdrop of Bruny Island, which stretches down the coast from approximately Electrona to Southport. It's big. We followed the coast through Flowerpot to Verona Sands for some more photo opportunities. Three Huts Point is where we swung past to have a look at an old boat shed only to come across a pair of black swans with their fluffy cygnets by their side. We dared not get too close for a happy snap out of respect for the wildlife (and a desire not to get beaten up by a pair of swans).
Further towards Cygnet we passed Abels Bay (where there are more fossils to be appreciated... next time) Randell's Bay and Deep Bay. Now, after another fabulous home-cooked meal of lasagna with salad and garlic bread, we're lazing about, pondering the increasing possibility of capturing a glimpse of the Southern Aurora tonight, if we can keep our peepers open...