From country residence to city, via Port Arthur

Monday 22nd January 2018

What a view to wake up to … and what a noise too – all those lovely farmyard noises!! The cock-a-doodle-doo from early doors, the cows mooing in surrounding fields … and then the hundreds of sheep arrived outside the bedroom window!! SO rustic!!

So up we got nice and early, true country style. We didn’t offer to stay and shear the sheep but headed out on our journey to Hobart instead. Getting out was a giggle – as we opened the farm gate a sheep escaped, so Steve impressively herded him/her back in whilst trying to stop others achieving the same escape plan!! Thought at one point we were going to be there all day!

The road trip was truly stunning – real chocolate box stuff. I would recommend everyone put Tasmania on their bucket list. It’s so green and mountainous with the most scenic of rivers and lakes. It’s impossible not to be amazed everywhere you look. As always we were looking out for wildlife – got to see wallabies and echidnas … but no Tasmanian Devils or Tasmanian Tigers!

En route we stopped off at Port Arthur which had been highly recommended – it was a place full of history – many of them sad stories – but incredibly beautiful surroundings. Port Arthur penal station was established in 1830 as a timber-getting camp, using convict labour – it was a punishment station for repeat offenders from all the Australian colonies. Of course, some of the original crimes were so menial e.g. stealing a loaf of bread, sodomy (being gay), adultery – for these acts they were transported from the UK to the other side of the world. We took the guided tour, including the harbour cruise – this provided information on the penitentiary, the ‘separate prison’ (solitary), the asylum, the dockyard, the Boys’ prison (boys as young as 9 were sent there) and the Isle of the Dead. In stark contrast Port Arthur was also a community for military and free men – some of the stylish colonial style houses remain and the beautiful gardens and church. The guide informed us that this perfect setting was to entice British officers to move there with their families, they aimed to make it feel like home.

The day had started off cool but got hotter and hotter, so we were relieved to get back to an air-conditioned car. And we drove on to our next airbnb destination – in Sandy Bay, Hobart. The apartment was great – so central to the main areas of the city – we were able to walk everywhere – a tastefully designed apartment with stunning views over the city, the sea and the majestic Mount Wellington.

We settled ourselves into our new 2 night abode … then it was time to get ready for our night out with India. Had such a lovely evening – started off with a drink in The Glass House on Hobart’s waterfront, looking over Sullivan’s cove. And then on to a superb Tasmanian restaurant where we ate fine food and drank fine wine … and of course chatted away about home and our travels and the good times in Australia. India absolutely loves her life in Tasmania and has become quite the country girl – she looks incredibly healthy and content. Her travel stories were great too – there is no doubt that travelling is character building!

With plans to meet up with India again tomorrow, we said our goodbyes and, being the ageing rockers that we are, went home to bed!! 😴

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