Wednesday, 5 March 2008, Day 29

I’m sitting at Hobart Airport. Oddest car return system ever. You go to the return lot, settle the bill, then a dude drives you in your rental car to the terminal, and then takes the car back to the return lot. Very Odd.

Saturday, 1 March 2008, Day 25

Met the good Dr. at Melbourne International and we flew to Hobart, Tasmania. Tasmania is a large Australian island, south of the mainland, only a 1 hour flight. Primary mission of this 5 day excursion is to locate the elusive Tasmanian Devil.

We gather the rental car, a Hyundai Getz, and hit the nearest winery for a tasting… and then the next winery. And then off to Richmond for some food. Found the Richmond Arms, but ate at a cool little café. The proprietor was a cool old dude. His hobby was calligraphy. He made each of us a bookmark with our names on it. Mine reads “Larry”.
Anyway we stopped at the Tall Trees Walk at Mt. Field National Park. Tall trees indeed.

Drove through some pretty country on our way to Derwent Bridge, located between Cradle Mountain National Park and Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park. New travel rule: “Do not drive after dark in a Tasmanian forest.” To envision the road carnage here, think back to that one spring day, early in your childhood when there were dozens and dozens of turtles trying to cross the road. It is like that in a Tasmanian forest, except with Wombats, Tasmanian Devils, anteater things, koalas, and Wallabees (the little kangaroos). Road kill often comes in pairs since something will die and then a Tasmanian Devil will get creamed while dining on the carcass. Those damn wombats can push 50 lbs in weight, that would not work well with the Hyundai “Sucrets Box” on wheels.

Sunday, 2 March 2008, Day 26

After reviewing the Lonely Planet tour book, purchased 2 days prior, we decided it would be best to skip the north and west coasts entirely –despite the fact that we were almost there already- and headed to the east coast. Made stops at a few lakes along the way for photographs. Mission was 4pm feeding time at the wildlife park on the east coast. Mission was accomplished. Took more photos. Obtained lodging in Bicheno…..Cheap lodging, with ocean view.

Monday, 3 March 2008, Day 27

Hiked to Wineglass Bay in Freycinet National Park. Wineglass is regarded at one of the top ten beaches in the world. One down, 9 to go…… Anyway you have to hike up a mountain and back down to get to it. This adds to its exclusivity. We took a swim… you get over the cold water real quick due to your fear of the huge waves. These bad boys were 10’+ at times. If you were lucky, you could dive right through with minimum turbulence. If not, you went for a ride. Luckily they were on a very regular frequency so you had a predictable amount of time to recover and catch your breath between each. I learned a few yoga moves afterward. On the “Downward Dog”, salt water drained out of my nose for a long time. I think it had entered through my ears. Weird stuff.

Got back to the Hyundai and drove to Orford, again on the coast, and procured lodging. Quiet evening of catching up on photo downloading.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008, Day 28

We drove to Hobart to spend the day exploring there. Walked around town. We found a great vegetarian restaurant; I had some chicken- actually quite tasty. Found a whisky bar and then drank some wine on the waterfront pier. Wandered around town. Formulated another new travel rule: “Always have a readable map.” Other travel rules were also formulated, but those aren’t free.

Wednesday, 5 March, 200, Day 29

Returned car, flew to Melbourne. I picked up another Hyundai Getz for the one way rental to Sydney. I took Dr. T to downtown Melbourne during her layover. We ate some food, drank some coffee. Got her back to the airport, dumped her at the curb, and I headed south.


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