After the riding trip, I had only one more day in Victoria before I boarded a plane heading for Australia’s island state, Tasmania. I was leaving behind the free-settled gold-rush state for the convict-settled apple state. (Tasmania has traditionally been the location of most of Australia’s apple growing —an industry founded when the Bounty’s famous Captain Bligh planted the first apple trees on the green island in 1788.)
Before transitioning to Tasmania, however, I thought I’d step outside the flow of my adventures to comment on visitors to my blog. It’s always fun to connect and know one’s words are being read. This year, my book, Waltzing Australia, got added to the recommended reading list at a New England university, and I have loved hearing from students who enjoyed reading it. As is common on the Internet, I’ve had visitors from all over he world. However, it is clear that a solid (though not overwhelming) majority of visitors are actually from Australia. It is of course a real delight for me to connect with people in Oz who also love the many places I’ve traveled—a way for me to stay connected to Australia.
I do chuckle sometimes when there are suddenly 30 hits on “When were water buffalo introduced to Australia” or “history of Perth’s Old Mill.” “Sturt desert rose” and “termite mounds” have also witnessed sudden bursts of interest. I imagine some teacher somewhere in Australia handing out an assignment and a whole classroom of kids finding my site. Given the fact that a good chunk of my income is from educational writing, I find this not only amusing, but immensely gratifying. However, that’s still just a small percentage of the lovely visitors I’ve welcomed to this site. Thank you to you all. I’ve enjoyed your comments.
Bringing it back to Tasmania—
Anyone who has visited my other blog (The World’s Fare) knows I’m a foodie, as well as a traveler. I’ve written elsewhere on this site, and have spoken often about the joys of dining down under. I do want to remind folks that, especially for my first trip, I was living on a budget, but the abundance of lamb, seafood, and exotic fruits, as well as the abundance of ethnic cuisine, made it possible to dine splendidly even with little money. However, for those who go to Australia with stacks of cash and who want to unload it on food, there is ample opportunity. As a sampling of the delights awaiting the well-heeled diner, here’s a video from Gourmet magazine’s TV program Diary of a Foodie, about a few of the glories of Tasmania’s culinary scene.
Tasmania: The Next Culinary Frontier
Just one more reason I love Australia—and need to get back before too much longer.