Wednesday, August 30, 2006

30 - August 2006

This morning we explored Port Arthur by daylight as well as by sea (we took a short boat cruise around the site and to the Isle of the Dead). Even in the daylight, Port Arthur felt dark and eerie (though Mike contained himself--no crying out in terror this time around).

We then made our way to the Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park in Tarrana, where we saw not only the Tassie Devils (they sleep flat on their bellies!), but also Cape Barron geese, wedge-tailed eagles, brush-tailed possums, masked owls, a Peregrine falcon, kookaburras, and more. But most memorable of all was literally hanging out with a whole bunch of very relaxed kangaroos and wallabies. Sadie, you would have loved seeing the Mama 'roos with babies in their pouches!

We also managed to solve the roadkill mysteries:

We had an awesome lunch at The Mussel Boys (also in Tarrana and with a great water view), where we gorged ourselves on local delicacies including Norfolk Bay oysters, Port Arthur mussels, Pirates Bay octopus, salmon, and Federation chocolate creme brulee. From there, we checked out more of the Tasman Peninsula: we saw Fossil Bay, the Tasman Blowhole (it wasn't blowing), the Tasman Arch (whoa--it's so much more massive than the postcards make it look!), and Devil's Kitchen (a knee-wobbling experience a bit akin to visiting the mighty fissures in Yosemite). Photos don't do these sights justice--they are the kind of majestic natural wonders that make you feel miniscule, insignificant, and awed.

Then we drove a few hours through mostly bushland to get to Freycinet National Park, where we're staying at the Freycinet Lodge for the next two nights. Along the way, we saw a wombat cross the road, a brush-tailed possum, and many, many wallabies in the wild! The Australians probably get a good giggle from our excitement--but I imagine they might get a thrill from sighting your average squirrel, raccoon, or deer back home, eh?

Today's sign of the day:

(We didn't see any, darnit. That would have been a kick!)

How to speak Australian:
--"trash" or "garbage" = "rubbish"
--"napkin" = "serviette"
--"dock" = "jetty"
--"loading" = "set down" (for parking zones)

They really do sound much more civilized, don't they? Except they don't ever say "bathroom" or "restroom" (and they look at you funny when you do)--it's strictly "toilet" here. Speaking of toilets, every one we've encountered has two flush buttons. We still haven't figured out the difference (they aren't labeled anything obvious), though presumably they're for varying flush power/duration?!

Today's head-scratcher:
We read in the newspaper that Australians play underwater hockey. Huh?!

***Happy first day of school, Sadie! We can't wait to hear all about it. And happy 42nd anniversary, Susie and Noby/Mom and Dad!***


Sonya said...

Ok, I confess, I have photos of squirrels......


11:31 PM  
Sonya said...

..and I played underwater hockey!

Americans don't?

11:35 PM  
Sonya said...

On the "toilets" (because that's what is in don't go to "rest" or take a "bath" you?) the button on the right, sometimes shaped like a half circle is for, err, #1, and the button on the left, sometimes a full circle is for #2. Think half flush versus full conserve water. You just go with what you need.....

And should you be uncomfortable saying the word "toilet" you can ask for a "WC" aka "water closet" and you'll be pointed in the right direction (though they are bound to know you are asking for a toilet and just don't want to ask for a toilet....

12:00 PM  
jessica said...

Hey--finally we see your hair--ADORABLE!!!!!!!!!

Looks like so much fun--gotta add this trip to my someday list...

11:38 AM  

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