Friday, November 10, 2006


Richard, Dee and I piled into the airplane for Hobart only to have to wait on the tarmac for one late passenger, who they ended up leaving in Melbourne, but not before we all waited for them to offload all their baggage. Luckily, the rest of the flight went off with no problems and we touched down in Tasmania around 10 PM.

Turns out Hobart is asleep by 10:30 on Friday nights, so we made a quick night of some take-out pizza and hit the sheets for our big day ahead.

Saturday morning means one thing in Hobart: the Salamanca market. We walked through the market and I was surprised when Dee actually seemed to be shopping. Then I realized that not everyone packs as thoroughly as I do, and she probably had room to take treasures home. Nothing really tempted her though, and my purchase of the Tazzy-shaped refridgerator magnet for my collection was the only thing to leave with us.

After the market, we took the walking tour described in the lonely planet. It took us through Battery Point, the park and the wharf where we got the vibe of old Hobart. Lots of Georgian architecture, which was a big change from the elaborate Victorian style of Melbourne. It reminded the poms of home.

Next up, we hit the road. Our first stop was Mt. Wellington, a dolerite extrusion that hovers above the northern half of Hobart. The weather was rolling in, so we made quick work of exploring the peak and examining the geology (two out of three of us are geologists after all!) and then hopped back into the car for our trip through the midlands.

We drove through little towns for hours. The "highway" was a two-lane road, marked at junctions (usually) which gave us some trouble early on, but we soon mastered the reading of the mediocre map that was standard issue from the car rental place and we were soon enjoying idyllic and pastoral scenes a-plenty.

We detoured off the highway for two towns noted in the LP, our first was Oatland. Noted for the Georgian architecture and (we quickly realized) not much else, we did our oohs and aahs from the car and kept driving. Our second detour was much more interesting- to me anyway. The town of Ross boasts the third oldest stone bridge in Tasmania, so well built, that the convict that designed and built it was pardoned afterwards.

After Ross, we wound our way through eucalypt forests and then finally reached the Freycinet Peninsula and Freycinet National Park. We checked into our cabin at the park (an excellently situated place within the park boundary) reserved a table for dinner, and got exploring.

First we went to Cape Tourville in the north and hiked the small track to the lighthouse. It was really windy. Really. Take the breath out of your lungs windy. We didn't stay for long!

Next we went to Richardson beach, adjacent to the lodge and enjoyed some time watching the waves and the birds. This beach squeaks too! I am beginning to think that the Squeaky Beach may not have been so special after all!

Since time was getting scarce and the weather was turning, we headed back to the lodge and then to dinner. We opted for the "very nice" restaurant as opposed to the "nice" restaurant, and we had an excellent, expensive dinner that unfortunately did not end well. Let's just say there were a couple of hair spottings in the desserts. Yikes.

Vocab for the Day
Reggo: vehicle registration.

When we got the car from the airport, the clerk said, "Just double check the reggo and you're set!"

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