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  • Day10

    Geology and Fish

    November 4, 2006 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 63 °F

    A little advice: don't go on a ghost tour and then sleep alone in a tent. I freaked myself out all night, which was only made worse by the screaming koalas. Note to self...

    Before I left the peninsula this morning, I stopped to view a few rock formations in Tasman National Park. Because the coast is formed of limestone, the cliffs have eroded into many different forms. I went to Tasman's Arch, which is a hole that has worn into the interior. Hmm. Harder to explain than I thought. Anyway, it was a big hole with ocean waves banging through it. Then there was Devil's Kitchen, which was gigantic, with waves crashing way down at the bottom.

    Two great things about the drive today. I went through Dootown. Each house in Dootown has a little "doo" phrase on the outside. For example, there was "Just doo it," "Doo little," "Doo nothing," and "We doo love it." I think the inhabitants are called doodes. (OK I made that part up.) Also, I had to travel over a few hills, two of them stood out for me, "Break-me-neck Hill," and "Bust-me-galls Hill." Yep, that's what the signs said at the summit.

    I arrived in Hobart at about 10:45am. I had a hard time trying to find parking, as the Saturday market was in full swing. I parked by a hospital, then walked down to one of the parks. This particular park used to be a cemetery. It was neglected and eventually was overrun by vegetation. At some point the city decided to make it a nice park. You can view all the headstones on walls, like the Vietnam Memorial in DC. The park itself is quite nice with lots of green grass. I don't know what happened to the bodies.

    At noon, I met some new Tassie friends, who asked if I had been to The Female Factory. I said, "No, but I think that sounds great!" Jeannie explained that it was the remains of the first female prison in Australia; the female equivalent of Port Arthur. "Oh." I got directions anyway.

    I went down to the outdoor market, Salamanca Market, which has everything. I tried a oliebullon; didn't pronounce it, just pointed. It looked like a doughnut and seemed pure Aussie. It was a deep fried ball of not-so-sweet dough, with raisins in it. Not exciting, but an experience. I walked over to the docks, where they have floating fish stalls. These floating contraptions sell fish and/or cook it for consumption on the spot. I went for "flake and chips" and ate it on the waterfront. Yummy.

    I finished the walking tour, as laid out by Frommer. The area is very Victorian. Reminds me of Great Britain. The architecture is delightful, with many rose gardens and lots of lavender. I drove out to the Female Factory and walked around. The site is under archeological reconstruction and won't be open for tours until 2009. I guess I'll have to come again. What is here is fascinating. Which reminds me....I think I forgot to tell you about Port Arthur. When you first arrive, you draw a card, which later corresponds to one of the inmates. You then walk through an interpretive area, where you follow the sentence of the inmate. I got some one I'm sure I've met reincarnated. He just kept getting arrested. Then, when incarcerated, he'd steal commissary food, sneak cigarettes, etc. As you can guess, I ended up on the chain gang with eight pound weights on my ankles 24/7. Nice. It was a really intriguing display and they had histories for a lot of different prisoners.

    Anyway, I'm leaving Hobart this evening for Mt. Field National Park. It is part of a World Heritage site and apparently has some fabulous waterfalls. Cheerio!
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