Friday, November 10, 2006

Last (whole) Day in Australia!

Our third day in Tasmania, we woke up cloudy skies, perfect weather for touring the Port Aurthur Historic Site.

But first, we had to check out one more geological wonder, Remarkable Cave. One more of the cave + blowhole + collapse-created phenomena. We had to take an unfortunate number of steps down to see it, and after yesterdays hiking, I for one wasn't too happy with that! Other than that, truly remarkable! (Excellent photo courtesy of Richard who braved "do not cross" tape to get it.)

Next we arrived at the official Port Arthur Historical Site. The site was once a prison facility for England's worst criminals, and if you screwed up at some other prision in Australia, you got time at Port Arthur. We arrived in time to catch a short walking tour and then a brief cruise of the bay where the guides told us of daily life and how the prision worked. Criminals (women and children included, though young boys first got a chance across the bay at the Point Peur boys' prison) were set to work, producing timber, rock, and textiles for the booming cities to the north. They built all their own buildings and structures and for a while, did it all with leg shackles- until the commandant in charge decided that the only way to punish someone already working this hard in this very dreary place was to put them in leg shackles. Then, the rest of the lot went shackle-free.

This went on for twenty years until England figured out that people actually wanted to be transported to Australia and they quit sending convicts. Without the fresh workers, the workforce got older and soon the camp wasn't profitable anymore. For the next twenty years or so, they started carting the nation's lunatics and infirm to the peninsula and cared for them there.

The garden was nice though. This is the Government Garden, created outside Government house, where members of the uh, government came to stay and observe. The powers that be decided that these people needed something civilized to look out upon and created a magnificent garden of flowers for them to ponder.

The garden was the last bit we saw before hitting the road again and heading back to the Hobart airport. We stopped in Sorell for some afternoon fish and chips and then headed back for our flight.

Once we were back in Melbourne, we made quick work of getting settled and then headed to the Union pub to meet Don for some farewell drinks. A great way to finish vacation!

Vocab of the Day
Mmm: a way to fill silence, usually before answering a question or during conversation to ponder what they have already said, usually with a slight head nod, as if giving it time to sink in before continuing. Not the yummy sound.

Most of the time when you ask someone "How ya'going?" They reply, "mmm" "Yeah. Good!"

1 comment:

agentslaeyer said...

your blog has been so awesome, steph! I'm gonna miss it. :(