So I talked about Tasmania in my last blog and I thought I would share my weekend with you. It was probably one of the funnest weekends I've had in Australia yet.
So my friend Max was in the Antartic for a month on a boat. Myself and two friends decided to go down and meet her when she arrived back in civiliation. The weekend started with a 6:30 AM flight from Canberra to Hobart on a Saturday. For those of you that know me, you know that I'm not much of a morning person. Being at the airport at 5AM hurt. We flew Qantas which is probably my favorite airline ever. The staff is nice and they serve full meals that you don't have to pay for. The US airlines could learn a few things from those guys.
The car we rented ended up being "upgraded" to a small tank. This car was massive - think Land Rover but bigger. Good thing the boys were driving. So we get to the dock area and meet Max. She's surrounded by half the boat (which doesn't surprise me) and so excited to be home. We catch a quick lunch with her and some of her boat friends and then cruise through the markets real quick. Turns out our hotel room was just across the street from her boat so it was so easy to get her luggage and checked into the room. We spent the rest of Saturday afternoon hanging out and catching up. Then we hit a Thai restuarant with some of the crew from the boat (mostly the helicopter pilots and their friends). I found one of my favorite white wines ever at this restaurant and am now hooked. I hope I can find somewhere in the states that sells it.
Here's a picture of Salamanca Square in Hobart.
Oh! Also on Saturday, we toured The Sea Shephard. Thats the boat used to try and stop the Japanese whalers each year. They were giving tours of the boat for donations and hyping their show that's on Discovery. It was pretty interesting to hear about some of their tactics and how the Japanese respond.
Sunday was a beautiful day - sunny but just a touch chilly - kinda like a nice autumn day. The four of us decided to go wine tasting so we headed up to Richmond from Hobart in our tank. I'm not sure how many wineries we hit but between the four of us, we bought 26 bottles of wine. Thankfully, they'll ship the wine to you so you don't have to figure out how to get it home. And it turns out that we were there on a great weekend. They were having some sort of event where wineries that aren't normally open to the public were having tastings. We then headed up to Richmond to have lunch. It's a cute little town with the oldest working bridge in Australia. We ended up going to an oyster farm for dinner as the boys are oyster fans. I however an not so I had a steak. One thing to know though - Tasmania isn't BYO. That was frustrating after buying 26 bottles of wine. Here's a picture of three of us at one of the vineyards. JC is missing as he's taking the pic.
Oh! I forgot the other great part of Sunday. Max became pretty good friends with one of the helicopter pilots on the boat and he offered to give us a quick tour of the area. It was very cool to get to see the coast of Tasmania and a the skyline of Hobart. Here's a picture of Max's boat from the air.
We lost HA on Monday since he had to go to work that afternoon. So the three of us decided to get outta Hobart and do some hiking. We drove up to the the Hartz Mtns and did a quick hike up to a lake. Here are some of the pictures. One of the prettiest areas I've visited in Oz yet.
We lost JC that night so Max and I had to rent our own car. This is where things got really interesting for me. Me, in my wisdom, offers to go rent the car. I get the counter and the lady proceeds to ask me for my license. This is when it dawns on me that I'M GOING TO HAVE TO DRIVE THE CAR TO MAX. In my head, I'm starting to panic but I'm trying to stay cool b/c I'm afraid they won't rent me the car if I act like a fruit loop. She hands me the keys and I cooly get into the car on the right hand side..so far so good. Then I reach over my left shoulder for the seat belt...and i reach...and I reach. Then i realize, Opps..wrong side. I laugh out loud and wave to the lady, who is watchin me and proceed to buckle up. I throw the car into drive and pull out of the parking spot. I go to turn left and suddenly the windshield wipers are on! Oh crap, wrong side. I pull out into traffic, repeating to myself "left side, left side, left side"...it became my mantra. by the time I get to Max, I believe that my hair is falling out from the stress, but at the same time, it was really fun. I felt like I was conquering a fear so I ask Max if she minds if i drive to the hotel. Thankfully, Hobart traffic on a Monday night is pretty light so there were no incidents. Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of me driving so just use your imagination.
The next day, Max and I got massages at the hotel and then decided to drive to Port Arthur which is about two and a half hours away. I drove the whole way! Fun! On the way we stopped at a Tasmanian devil farm. They look like dogs - nothing like the cartoon. And they definitely don't spin in circles. I was a bit disappointed. Once we made it to Port Arthur, we toured the old prison grounds and then decided to take the ghost tour that night. It was pretty fun with the exception of the A-holes that used their flash cameras after being specifically asked not to. A couple of pictures for you. You should look up the history of the prison - it's pretty interesting.
Max drove back since it was dark and I was scared of hitting an animal. On that drive we saw signs for every possible type of Australian animal. Max has pictures - I'll upload for you later.
We got back to the hotel in Hobart around 1am and then left a little after 4am to catch our flight and then off to work.
One of the best weekends yet. If you want to see all the pictures, let me know and I'll send you the link.