No one is more eager to get out of a hotel than parents and children sharing a room, no matter their age or stage. I thought we’d be amongst the first to get breakfast when it started at 7 am, but when we arrived at 7:10 am the restaurant was vibrant with energetic children, Moms on the edge, and Dads all too aware of how close their energetic children were putting Mom to the edge.
We found a relatively quiet spot in a windowed corner where the echoes of generational recrimination waned in acoustic insignificance. In preparation for the day’s exertions we gorged ourselves on all sorts of things real mountain climbers wouldn’t touch. And bacon.
We headed back into the park to get good use of the last five hours of our twenty-four hour pass. Regarding the shuttle bus, we adhered to the old adage “Fool me once, fuck you.” Instead, we took the more dangerous and less environmentally friendly option of driving to where we wanted to be so we could leave when we were done. The drive was easy, although it helped that we had toured it by bus the previous day.
Continue reading 03. The Ends of the Earth
Tasmanians can be a bit precious. They get miffed when cartographers leave their island off maps of Australia, or even when graphic designers leave it out of logos. From prior visits I know never to ask a Hobart waiter “How much is that in Australian dollars?” And Tasmanians are quite sensitive about being reminded how they succeeded where so many others had failed by perpetrating a wholly effective genocide on the indigenous population, the last Tasmanian aboriginal having died in 1876. Tasmania is to Australia what Cornell is to the Ivy League – they’re in, but only just.
Continue reading 02. The Cradle to Grave Shuttle
I’m excited about doing something new in my own hometown – when was the last time that happened? Tonight I am aboard the ferry Spirit of Tasmania I, enroute from Port Melbourne to Devonport, Tasmania. This is one of those voyages I have long wanted to take, but always defaulted to the cheaper and faster flight option. For years I lived a stone’s throw from its Melbourne terminus, Station Pier, but never could bring myself to spend the time and money. Now that I am unemployed, I have the time, and now that I’m an old man, I have the money. So here we are.
Continue reading 01. The Spirits of Tasmaniacs