G’day seniors

Hi Junita and her seniors class,

I hear you are learning about blogging today. So I thought I might tell you about how I got into blogging.

San Francisco skylineMy name is Mr Davo Devil. I have been blogging since 2011 when I started to travel overseas with my friend Miss Wyatt. I decided I needed to keep a record of all the interesting places we visited. We have driven around America and Canada for 3 months visiting lots of classes who also were blogging. At the end of that first trip, I was a bit naughty and hid in one of the classrooms. By the time Miss Wyatt got back home to Tasmania, she thought I was truly lost and sent out a call for the classes to look for me. Thankfully I was found in Mrs Yollis’ classroom. I then spent a year travelling around America on my own, going from class to class and staying overnight with students at their homes. I had a great time.

Davo GreystonesThen last year Miss Wyatt and I spent time in Ireland where Miss W was researching her family history. We also visited other classes especially Merry Beau’s school in County Wicklow. Because Miss W was trying to find out about her great great grandmother who was a convict in Tasmania in the 1840’s we visited a lot of archives and gaols while touring. She did find out a lot of information while we were there and has written about it on her family history blog. If you click here, the link will take you to her blog about family history.

A few years ago Miss W and I decided we were going to try and take one photo each day and put that on a blog. We thought this would be very easy to do but we haven’t yet made it through one entire year with a photo for each day. Here is the link to that blog.

So thanks for reading my introduction. I wonder if you have any questions. If you do then feel free to ask Junita or leave a comment on this post.

To leave a comment, click on the title of this post. Now scroll to the bottom and the comment area will appear. Fill in your name, your email if you have one (this doesn’t get published). In the big box, write your comment. Copy the comment by highlighting and CTRL C. Fill in the anti spam word and finally hit the submit button.

You should get a message saying your comment is in moderation. If it asks you to write your comment again, then you will have to fill it in again but paste in the comment you have already copied from earlier.

So time now to leave a comment if you wish.

I have a question for each of you:
If you were going to have your own blog, what would you write about on it and why?

West coast trip 2015

Whenever Miss W and I go on a trip, as long as we visit a new town or do a new interesting activity, then the trip is worthwhile. This weekend was all about going on the ABT railway at Strahan and then staying at Cradle Mountain Lodge where Miss W hasn’t been for many years.

Best way to show what we saw is to look at the photos. Miss W also met one of her Smith cousins in Tullah where she got the photo of whales teeth and a captains work box belonging to their relative Captain William Smith.




These were some of the plants and animals seen that weekend on the west coast and at Cradle Mountain area.

Fraser coast and whale watching

After leaving Canberra, we headed north to Fraser Island and Hervey Bay.

A 4WD bus tour on Fraser Island which is the largest sand island in the world. Certainly changed since the last time I had visited. Fantastic when travelling along the beach on the eastern side of the island, but oh the bumps and bruises when on the sandy roads inland.


But the most important part of this trip with the Wilson’s coach tours from Oatlands Tasmania was going to Hervey Bay and whalewatching.

Would we see some whales?

Would we see them blowing?

  • Breaching?
  • Tail slapping?
  • Spy hopping?

Here are some of the photos Miss W took with her iPad. Aren’t they fantastic! Can you work out what the whale is doing? Check the link above to give you some clues. Did you work out what type of whale we saw?


On the road yet again

Road to Awe

Creative Commons License Klardrommar via Compfight

Miss W woke me up from a nice warm sleep this afternoon to tell me we are off on the road again tomorrow. She has packed our bags ready to get on the bus to head to Oatlands for lunch, Devonport for tea and then a night on the boat across Bass Strait.

Then I checked my blog and realised I am WAY behind reporting on my Aussie travels. So I will do a quick report about Hervey Bay and whale watching and Fraser Island. Then another of our trip around the west coast of Tasmania.

Then on the 10th July we have to have a post written so a group of seniors who are working with Junita can see what a great blog I have.

Well bye for this short post, time to get the other two written.

Canberra, our capital city

I noticed Miss W had an activity in the student blogging challenge about places to visit in your country’s capital city, so this is going to be my post as part of the challenge.

Canberra is the capital city of Australia. Miss W and I have just been there for four nights and we visited some great places.

Canberra Floriade Festival showing off tulips and other special things to make the garden you always wanted. Check out the link to Miss W. flickr album at the bottom of this post to see lots of images.

We then went to Cockington Green – this is a miniature town from England but they also have an international section. Miss W is going to create a slideshow of many of these buildings but you will have to work out what the name of the building is from the country clue we give you.

Tulip Tops was our next stop – personally I liked this more than Floriade – two people have created these beautiful gardens which are only open for one month each year – lots of tulips and trees in blossom but I loved the entertainment – think the vocalist was Annie and the Armadilloes – very toe tapping music.

That mace is too heavyOld Parliament House is now known as the Museum of Australian Democracy. In the House of Representatives chamber, I checked out the speaker’s chair and tried to lift the mace without success.

New Parliament House is high on a hill looking down to the old house and across the lake to the War Memorial. Apparently Miss W owns $70 worth of this building because it was built for the people out of the people’s money. Now which part does she own? – The marble foyer area, inside one of the chambers or the outside of the building.

National Museum including the Uluru line like a huge ribbon outside the building, QR codes on the outside of the building and of course typical Australian things like Holden cars, rusty windmills, Phar Lap’s heart are just a few of the items we saw.

We travelled around the Embassy Row where the most impressive was from China, taking up a few blocks. Miss W also like the one from Papua New Guinea built like a longhouse.

The War Memorial is a do not miss sight. We timed it for the last post ceremony and 4 of the Tasmanians laid wreaths at the foot of the Remembrance Pool. Make sure you see the sight and sound show in the ANZAC Hall area. If you have a relative who died in one of the wars, or was injured then died within 6 months of arrival home, then you should be able to find their names on the wall.

Royal Australian Mint – see where and how are coins are made – trace the history of money in Australia from the use of rum and the holey dollars through to the holograms on our notes. You can even make your own $1 coin – but it will cost $3 – rate of inflation there!

For a calm, stress free tour, go for a boat cruise on Lake Burley Griffin – listen to the carillon, watch the birds, see the tourist places from a different vantage point.

Finally head to Mount Ainslie to see an overall view of Canberra and its expanding suburbs.

Hope this helps if ever you visit our capital city, Canberra. Make sure you check all the links in the post and check out our Flickr album here.

We are travelling again

Miss W and I are off on our travels again. This time we have joined 33 other Tasmanians on a Wilson’s coach tour run by Garry and Sharon. We were picked up at Eastlands at 10am Saturday 27 September.

I think I might be the youngest person on this trip so I will have to make sure I am not noisy nor getting in the way of the walking sticks, frames and wheelchair.

Where are we going? Over Bass Strait on the Spirit of Tasmania, then straight through to Canberra, the capital city of Australia, then we are going to Hervey Bay to go whalewatching. But I am getting ahead of myself.

Picking up more people as we travelled north to Oatlands for lunch – delicious chicken crepe and a berry pancake. If this is how we are going to be fed on this trip, I am going to need to do some exercise when I get back.

Next stop an early evening meal at a hotel in East Devonport, then onto the boat and an overnight cruise to Melbourne. Miss W wasn’t sure if she would wake up on time, but when all the messages were finished at 6am, she was wide awake.


We then had a long drive to Canberra, fuelling up at Wallan where we had a late breakfast. Through Victoria on the Hume Highway to the border towns of Albury/Wodonga. No this is not a border town like those in USA/Mexico but a town straddling the Murray River which forms part of the border between Victoria and New South Wales.

Lunch was at Gundagai, that famous town where the dog sits on the tucker box. Sharon told us the story but I am going to leave that to the readers to find out by searching the internet.


Our final stop for the day was Canberra, our nation’s capital city. But another post will tell you about our time there.




Sights, sounds and smells of Ireland in June

Typically Wicklow County

Since travelling around the fantastic country of Ireland, I have been making some comparisons with my state of Tasmania. I started thinking we were very similar but the further we travelled the more differences I noticed.

  • Lots of stone fences
  • In lanes, lots of hedges with stone under them
  • Lots of houses in between villages, many more villages than in Tasmania
  • Many brand new houses for sale
  • The awful smell of slurry – dangerous as well – two deaths while we were here
  • The friendly people
  • Narrow roads especially L roads
  • Drove on the correct side of the road
  • Loud noisy crows in the trees
  • Lots of roads around the coastline
  • Every Irish country has a different accent, even within one county different accents
  • Lots of rhododendrons and fuschias in the hedgerows as well as blackberries
  • Very little natural forest, mainly pine plantations
  • Very little food being grown, the occasional potato field or onion field but didn’t see any orchards or strawberry fields
  • Every meal contains onions of some sort and usually potato as well
  • Great road signs but some are overgrown by the large deciduous trees
  • Friendly drivers when Miss W got in the wrong lane and indicated to move over
  • Smell of the sea especially seaweed around the coast
  • The amount of tourist buses in such a small country
  • Similar teaching resources in Irish schools and Tassie schools
  • Friendly kids and teachers
  • Ireland 68,890 square kms in land, Tasmania is 68,401 square kilometres
  • Tasmania has over 2000 km of walking trails, lots of walking cycling trails in Ireland
  • Tasmania has 18 national parks and about one third of the state is reserves, parks or World Heritage.
  • National parks in Ireland usually relate to bogs and peat while in Tasmania they are most often natural forests
  • Tasmania population 510,900 while Ireland has 4.78  million or thereabouts
  • Lots of cyclists not wearing helmets especially in coastal touristy areas
  • Many towns with hanging baskets to welcome visitors
  • Still light around 11pm in Ireland during daylight savings

What else would you add is typically Irish that I have missed out?


Around Cork

Our last major stopover was in Cork in the southern part of Ireland. Again we did day trips. Luckily we went to FOTA Wildlife Park and Cobh Heritage Centre on our first day. Why? Well the Irish Open Golf was playing on FOTA Island starting the next day. There was enough traffic on the day we went, with Garda practicing how they were going to be directing the traffic to the various parking areas for the golf.


Unusual rodent called a Mara

FOTA Wildlife Park was open range rather than in big cages like at zoos. We saw zebras, giraffes, bison, kangaroos, many monkeys, many water birds as well as antelope, emu and ostrich. There was only an electric fence between your self and the animals. As the Irish school year is coming to a close, there were also lots of school groups at the park for their end of year excursion or field day.

Cobh Heritage Centre had a variety of exhibitions including Titanic, Emigration, Famine and Transportation. Cobh used to be called Queenstown and was where many convicts were sent out to Australia.

Ring of Kerry view

Another day we went to the Ring of Kerry. If you ever visit Ireland and only stay for a couple of days, take the bus trip from Dublin to Ring of Kerry. A long day but everything organized and you will see a great range of typical Irish sights and sounds. But we drove our car and found it very touristy, with 8 buses at one museum, 5 buses at a seaside village for lunch and so on. We had seen similar sights at other places around Ireland except that Killarney National Park actually had natural forest rather than lots of plantation pine trees.

Davo checking out rhododendrons

Another day we decided to head toward Limerick and Tipperary. Miss W looked on the map and decided we could also visit some places in Australia, so we went through Charleville as well as Lismore. Often it is those last minute decisions that leave an impression and it certainly happened that day. We drove over the hills to Lismore, part of the Tipperary Heritage Trail – fantastic rhododendrons all over the hillside with a little lake just near the top of Vee Pass.

Mizen Head

We also went to the most south westerly place in Ireland, Mizen Head. Lovely drive following the coast as much as possible. Some beautiful beaches especially nearing the head. Had a coffee at the tourist centre and walked part of the way out to the head. But Miss W. was not going to walk up and down 99 steps and walkways at 20% slope.  We were lucky enough to see some minke whales as they rounded the head.

The last place we visited was Cork gaol – thinking this might be where William Jackson Sen and Jun might have been held before transportation to Australia. The gaol is walk through on your own with a numbered brochure. Lots of information about how the prisoners lived in the gaol.