Stories, thoughts, observations, rants and dribble. Just another of my attempts to keep the interested people informed ...

Monday, November 21, 2005

Things I learned in Tasmania

Currently in Sydney, NSW

  1. Taswegians are as friendly as they're reported to be (just standing within a few feet of them is an indication you want them to start talking to you, apparently).
  2. Scenery there is phenomenal, even in rain, although it's much more preferable in sun.
  3. The pioneers had a sense of humour, evident in place names such as Break-Me-Neck Hill (followed by Bust-Me-Gall Hill), Duck Hole River (followed by Pigeon Hole River), Paradise, Eden and Nowhere Else. Oh, and there's also a bed and breakfast called Woolly Butt.
  4. The major tourist attractions are extortionately priced (e.g. $24 to get into Port Arthur to see the ruins of where they held the worst convicts in the British Empire).
  5. Port Arthur is probably the most overrated place on the island.
  6. Dolphins are really big when they swim within a couple of metres of you (phenomenal experience at Wineglass Bay, proported to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world).
  7. It's hard to take pictures of moving dolphins.
  8. It's possible to meet a real life alpaca outside a cafe on the main street of Sheffield.
  9. Alpaca fur is really soft.
  10. Tasmanian weather is completely unpredictable. We were lucky we didn't get snow.
  11. Hiking for four hours in freezing rain through bogs isn't really much fun. Especially when the weather is obscuring the view.
  12. Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park is gorgeous anyway.
  13. Tasmania makes some decent white wine.
  14. The vineyard workers are so nice I brought three bottles back with me.
  15. Vodafone has no coverage outside Hobart and Launceston.
  16. Launceston has the longest chairlift span in the whole world (?).
  17. It is still possible for three mid-late 20s kids to do two mazes at student prices and come out to be greeted with an old man in a waistcoat and pocket watch giving us chocolate frogs. He also calligraphied our names on pieces of paper for us. Thanks Peter at the Richmond Maze.
  18. Richmond is also the home of the oldest bridge in Australia.
  19. Tasmania was renamed from Van Diemen's Land because there was such a horrible history of convict experiences there.
  20. Most of the island is wilderness.
  21. It is possible for me to spend a day out fishing on a boat and catch nothing of legal size.
  22. It is still satisfying to eat the fish that other people caught.
  23. Roadkill is EVERYWHERE. We counted over 120 dead animals in 3 days. I now know what flat wallabies, pademelons (Rufus wallabies), wombats, echidnas and Tasmanian devils look like, as well as multitudes of bunnies and evil possums.
  24. Live wallabies, pademelons, wombats and echidnas are super cute.
  25. Tasmanian devils are cute too, but I never saw a live one.
  26. Wallaby tastes fantastic. It is apparently like kangaroo, but I don't remember eating kangaroo. It's a very tender, light, red meat.
  27. Taste (more specifically, tenderness) can be somewhat proportional to cuteness of the animal.
  28. It is wrong to wonder what a koala tastes like.
  29. I like eating new animals.
  30. I'm glad the vegetarian part of the trip was pre-Tasmania.

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