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AUSTRALIA | Sunday, 31 January 2010 | Views [623] | Comments [1]

I made it!

I made it!

January 28 - 31

I left Sydney for Tasmania (or “Tassie” as he locals call it) on the 28th. The two and a bit hour flight was much nicer than the one to Sydney from Vancouver, that’s for sure. Except I accidentally booked a ticket that didn’t allow me to check luggage… so I had to pay a bunch of money to bring my bags. It’s good though--now I know what to look for when I book tickets!

Hobart is the main city in Tasmania, and it’s about 200,000 people, so it’s roughly the size of Halifax (I think?). It’s nice: clean, well-manicured, has nice parks and fountains and things. But it’s very quiet. After 6:30, there aren’t any shops open, and there is no one on the street. I found it almost eerie when I first got there and had to find a grocery store. The closest one was a 25 minute walk, and in that 25 minutes I didn’t see a single other person on the streets. It was weird coming from Sydney.

Hobart was one of the first settlements in australia ( I think second after Sydney), and was definitely a place convicts went. But since it was kind of a prison in itself (you couldn’t go anywhere because it’s an island) they let them all walk around freely. So I think it was kind of like convicts in England went to Sydney or Hobart. And then the bad ones of those (aggressive or whatever) went to Port Arthur, this place near Hobart, which is another island and was a pretty brutal place I think. Actually, Tasmania used to be called Van Damien’s Land (named after the first british explorer I think?) but it got such a bad reputation as a terrible place to live, that eventually they changed the name to Tasmania (after Tasman, an important Dutch explorer I think). I guess it worked: people generally consider Tasmania a nice place to live now.

At the hostel I met this Italian guy, Antonio, who had been around Tasmania a bit, and we ended up doing a bit of sight-seeing for the next couple days. He had already scoped some stuff out, so it was cool because he knew where to go, and had good suggestions for stuff to see.

I liked Touring Tasmania, because it seemed like everything was free. The Botanical Gardens free. And they were massive. Most of it was like a big park, but with sections that had very different plants. The big museum was free, and it had this amazing free tour everyday. Our guide was this fantastic elderly british woman, who I wish had taught me history in school. She spoke about tasmania in the way that a librarian might read to four year-olds… kind of slowly and enunciating, with wide eyes and slow hand gestures. And when people (me) weren’t listening or talking, she would wait smiling politely but with a slightly firm gaze. I really liked her.

I also hiked up Mount Wellington, the mountain that Hobart sits under. Antonio had booked a tour, so I started the hike by myself. But at the bottom I ran into these twin girls from France who were there vacationing, and so we hiked together. It was cool because they had done some WWOOF ing (WWOOF stands for Willing Workers On Organic Farms) and I was really interested in doing it as well, and so we talked a lot about that. They were cool, and I was glad to have the company. We might meet up again in Melbourne.

 It was only about two hours to the top, but the view was amazing. And it’s fun because I have a picture of the mountain from the streets and it looks really high. And then I have a picture of me at the top looking down at the city. The bus must have taken me up half-way because it doesn’t seem like I hiked that far, but the pictures look pretty impressive, so I am totally going to go with it. Apparently I’m a mountaineer.



OF course YOU booked a ticket barring you from bringing luggage!

  Chava Apr 12, 2010 12:40 AM



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